Feeling wiped out all the time and not understanding why? It’s time to reclaim your energy from some sneaky drainers.
When you go through periods feeling exhausted, it’s easy to think lack of sleep, a poor diet, or too much stress is causing your energy drain.
Any one of those factors could be contributing to your fatigue. However, when you are doing your best to catch enough zzz’s, you mostly eat like a health guru and are managing life just fine, lack of energy is confusing.
It’s time to look to a few other reasons that might be draining your battery. One of these sneaky saboteurs might be sapping your reserves without you realizing it. It’s time to reclaim your energy!
Ditch the naysayers in your life.
Mood and energy are contagious. Have you ever noticed how great you feel after spending time with your most optimistic, enthusiastic friend? Well, we are the company we keep.
If you often spend time with individuals who sap your energy, it might be worth rethinking your company. Overly negative, highly critical, competitive, or individuals who constantly call on you to solve their problems can be a root cause for feeling drained.
Set some boundaries around the amount of time you spend together or the conversations you have. The next time your complaining co-worker goes off on a tangent about how unreasonable your boss is, empathize but explain you need to focus on the project that highly unreasonable boss is expecting by the end of the day. You don’t have to pick up the phone every time your negative Nellie friend calls.
Setting boundaries is particularly difficult if that energy sapper happens to live with you. But it is totally possible, and even more important, to do so in your home. It starts with a healthy conversation. Keep it focused on you. Express your need for some alone time at the end of the day. Explain how focusing on the negative leaves you feeling sad. Suggest scheduling time to spend together doing activities you both enjoy—watching comedy movies, playing backgammon, or cooking together. Divert your partner’s attention to something other than themselves.
Straighten up and work on your posture.
If you spend the bulk of your waking hours hunched over a computer, seldom take breaks, or have ever been told your posture needs correcting, stand up straight. You will be surprised how just doing so will increase your alertness and make you feel more awake.
Slouching puts a strain on your vertebra and can lead to neck and back pain. Discomfort alone can sap your energy. But you may not be aware that hunching over also impacts your breathing. Your lungs can’t fully expand as you inhale, which means you get less oxygen. Staying in a seated position for hours on end also decreases the circulation of oxygen throughout your body and to your brain.
The next time you feel your eyes closing and your face heading towards your keypad, it’s time to get up. Stand up tall, bring your shoulders back and down, and imagine lengthening your spine. Now take a few deep, slow breaths. Better yet, set the alarm on your phone once an hour to remind you to get up, walk around, and take a break. Your body and brain will thank you, and you will feel more energized once returning to work.
Time to clean up the clutter and get organized!
Your environment can have a dramatic effect on your mood, focus, and energy levels. Research has shown that folks who spend time in cluttered environments and are highly disorganized have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol levels have been linked to a heightened risk of illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, and increased inflammation throughout the body.
Anything that slows you down during the day depletes your energy. It’s exhausting when you notice stains on the shirt you were planning on wearing, can’t find the car keys when late for an appointment or spend precious minutes scrounging through the piles of paper on your desk to locate the one you need!
If your home and office are cluttered and disorganized just walking into those spaces will begin to sap your energy. No doubt thinking about cleaning up your mess and overhauling your habits is stressful and exhausting as well. But don’t fret. Even small tweaks to your habits, consistently practiced over time will lead to huge changes in how you feel.
Perhaps you begin by always putting your car keys into the kitchen bowl the moment you walk through the door. Practice sorting through the mail one time each day. Recycle the junk, file all the bills that need to be paid in one place. Better yet, set up automatic payment and sign up for online statements. Sort one drawer in your dresser each week.
The most important aspect of getting organized is setting up systems to follow so you don’t wind up right back where you started from after spending days on end cleaning up and organizing. It will be well worth the effort when you reclaim your daily energy.
Take a news and media detox.
Do you start your day reading the newspaper, have CNN playing in the background all day, watch the six o’clock news while eating dinner? Are you addicted to social media, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest any chance you get?
Both of those habits are draining your battery. Let’s face it, especially these last two years, the news has been disturbing, upsetting, and at times, quite horrifying. If you drown yourself in the news all day long, there’s a pretty good chance you will end up exhausted by the end of the day.
I am not suggesting you ignore what’s happening in the world around us. It is important to stay informed. But not much changes from hour to hour. A once-a-day check-in will keep you up to date with what is happening in the world around us. Taking a full day or even a week off from the news will not turn you into an ignorant fool. But it will release some of the negativity that saps your energy.
If you find yourself just a bit down or depressed after looking at social media, you might be comparing your life to others without even realizing it. Since most love to make their life seem filled with amazing moments and events, your own might begin to feel a little bland. Remember, no one posts when they are having a bad day. And we all have bad days! Social media can be fun, but pay attention to how you feel after bathing in it. If you notice feeling envious or begin to be self-critical, it’s time for a social media detox. Limit how often you indulge, and consider taking time off altogether.
Eat your spinach, and don’t forget to ask your doctor to check your iron levels.
If despite following all the best lifestyle habits, surrounding yourself with folks that fill you with joy, and living a relatively organized, balanced and stress-free life, you still feel exhausted, it might be time to check in with your health care provider.
Iron is an essential trace mineral that helps your cells generate more energy. If you don’t get enough of this important nutrient, or your body is struggling to absorb it, you may need an iron supplement. However, don’t experiment on your own. There are side effects of too much iron supplementation, and it is not necessarily safe for everyone. So by all means, schedule a physical, tell your doctor your concerns about your lack of energy, and request your iron levels be checked along with a full blood screening. Other hidden factors such as low thyroid levels can impact your energy as well.