By Brigitte Mars
Are you tired of being tired? Has your get up and go got up and gone? When you make your bed in the morning, do you feel like getting back into it? Fatigue may have multiple causes, including nutritional deficiencies, chi and blood deficiencies, allergies (both food and environmental), poor elimination, lack of oxygen, stress, inadequate sleep, poor circulation, low thyroid function, and hypoglycemia.
If breathing is shallow and posture poor, the brain may miss out on the recharging properties of oxygen – one of life’s last free remedies! Exercise is important, even during times of fatigue. Exercises that are invigorating, yet not overtaxing such as yoga, stretching, and brisk walking are great places to start. Avoid overexertion. Exercise is best done at least two hours before bedtime, so as not to be over stimulating
Tension uses up so much energy it can leave one feeling wasted. When muscles are tight, circulation is impaired. Getting problems out of mind and on to a piece of paper makes one feel lighter. Brainstorm possible solutions. Have someone supportive to talk to.
Overeating in a quest for more energy can make the body work harder. Foods containing heated oils make one feel sluggish. Sugary food, and caffeine may be a quick high, but soon leave one more tired as blood sugar levels go through a roller coaster of ups and downs. Sugar and caffeine deplete the body of needed nutrients such as the B’s and calcium. Eating something you are allergic to can cause one to feel foggy and groggy.
Keep a food journal to record what you eat and how you feel on that day. This may help you determine food allergies taxing your system. Dairy products, wheat, yeast, citrus and corn are common culprits, but it could be anything. I have seen so many people improve their energy levels simply by avoiding a food allergy – in many cases, wheat has been the culprit. Try to make lunch the main meal of the day, as more energy is required midday than in the evening. If you are overweight, lose the extra pounds, as carrying around excess weight is tiresome.
Foods for sustained energy include soaked, rinsed seeds, (chia, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), nuts (especially almonds), fresh raw vegetables and fruit. Green foods such as collards, kale, spinach, violets, malva and dandelion and super greens like blue green algae, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and wheatgrass are loaded with nutrients such as beta-carotene, iron, protein and chlorophyll, the wonderful oxygen transporting, life blood of plants. Bee pollen can be added to smoothies as an energy booster. If you have pollen allergies, however start with tiny amounts (one grain a day increments) and increase over a long period of time to one teaspoon daily. Sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp and wakame are excellent foods for those with low thyroid function. My personal experience is that consuming microwaved food does not build vitality.
Herbs that have traditionally been used by various cultures to increase stamina:
Ashwaghanda root ( Withania somnifera ) benefits lethargy and fatigue, facilitates learning and memory and is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to both physical and emotional stress.
Codonopsis root ( Codonopsis pilosula ) is a nourishing tonic for the spleen, blood, lungs, stomach and pancreas. It is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s ginseng.”
Dandelion root ( Taraxacum officinale ) stimulates bile production, thus improving liver function, which when sluggish, can contribute to fatigue. Dandelion root improves digestion and increases vitality.
Ginkgo ( Ginkgo biloba ) helps the brain better utilize oxygen, improves mental alertness, and improves peripheral circulation. Is an antioxidant, kidney tonic and rejuvenative.
Ginseng ( Panax ginseng ) benefits exhaustion and helps the body deal with stress, adrenal exhaustion, fatigue, immune weakness and postoperative recovery. Ginseng is an adaptogen, chi tonic, digestive tonic, immune stimulant, rejuvenative, restorative, stimulant and tonic.
Hawthorn leaves, flowers and berries ( Crataegus species ) help break down fatty deposits in the blood and gently dilates the capillaries so that heart can function more efficiently. Hawthorn improves peripheral circulation and body’s ability to utilize oxygen.
Licorice root ( Glychyrriza glabra ) is naturally sweet, helps normalize blood sugar levels and nourishes exhausted adrenal glands. Licorice is nutritive and rejuvenative.
Schizandra berries ( Schisandra chinensis ) improve endurance and are an antioxidant. It improves fatigue and insomnia. Schizandra is considered an adaptogen, cerebral tonic, immune stimulant, kidney and liver tonic, rejuvenative and restorative.
Essential oils can improve physical and psychological energy levels. Essential oils that benefit fatigue include: Basil, clary sage, geranium, lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint and rosemary. Simply open a bottle of the pure essential oil and take no more than ten deep inhalations.
15 Ideas for Improving Energy
- Reduce exposure to chemicals such as cleaners, art supplies and pollution.
- ave water tested and consider getting a water purifier or using bottled water, preferably in glass.
- Avoid infections, by avoiding overexertion, overwork and junk food.
- Massage relieves stress, improves circulation and lymphatic drainage.
- Have regular bed and awakening times. If you take naps, take them at a regular intervals. Try to establish a rhythm.
- Avoid drinking before bed so you don’t need to wake up to urinate. If it helps, add darker curtains to your room. Earplugs may benefit sleep.
- Set a few specific goals for each day and write them down the night before. Consider keeping a journal.
- Schedule the most difficult tasks during the time of day when your energy is highest.
- Put some color into your life. Reds, bright pinks and orange tones whether worn or used in decor help to perk you up. During the day, let the sunshine in!
- When having to accomplish tasks, playing some upbeat music can be motivating.
- After showering, end briefly with cold water. Several times a day, try spraying your face with some cool water that has been lightly scented with pure peppermint oil (20 drops essential oil to 8 ounces water).
- Keep your brain stimulated by using down time to read uplifting literature more than watching TV.
- Pray, meditate and keep those positive affirmations coming. Offer every day for the highest good.
- Take the time to rest deeply. Sometimes what you really need is a nap.
- Take some time out to do healthy things for yourself every day!