Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Motivation: Identify Energy Drainers

Do you feel like you're dragging? Tired all of the time? Wish you could spend the day in your jammies, curled up on the couch? Yeh, me too.

OK. Enough of that. Let's get down to some possible reasons behind the fatigue and some solutions for dealing with it. Ready?

1. Let's face it. The middle of winter is not the most pleasant time of the year. Daylight is hard to come by and the cold, wet weather chases us inside and away from the sunshine. Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as the Winter Blues. Symptoms include excessive sleeping, depression, and craving sweets and carbs. Treatments can be special lamps that imitate sunlight, taking Vitamin D, and talking with a therapist. I find that trying to take a walk outside everyday helps with the mild symptoms I experience.

2. One out of five premenopaual women don't get enough iron in their diets. Without enough iron, you'll feel tired and have trouble concentrating. Don't take extra iron, though, until you've had your doctor run a blood test (serum ferritin test). Too much iron can be harmful as well.

3. Sleep deprivation effects many women. Lack of sleep combined with stress leads to many a melt-down. We just can't handle it all. If you've gotten into the habit of staying up late, gradually train your body to go to sleep by going to bed 15 minutes earlier every few weeks. After a few months you will have trained your body to sleep longer. Sleep time is when our body fixes things that are broken. Cells are renewed and refreshed.

4. Many women suffer from an undiagnosed under active thyroid. I struggled for years with a thyroid function that was within the low limits of normal. I finally found a doctor who understood the effects it was having on my body. After 6 months of being on a small dose supplement, I had lost 20 pounds and felt like I was back among the living.

5. I hope you don't think I'm meddling, but weight has a lot to do with your energy level. Carrying around extra weight puts strain on all of your body and makes you tired. Also, foods that contain sugar, white flour, caffeine etc. are messing with your metabolism. Diets that are too strict also sap your energy. The best route is a healthy diet that nourishes your body. When it's fed properly your body will most likely respond with a healthy weight.

6. Water, water, water. Sometimes I forget to drink during the day, especially in the winter. Dehydration can sap your strength and make you feel "foggy". Many times we think we feel hunger when really it is thirst. Try to drink a glass of water every few hours. Soda, coffee, and even my favorite "sweet tea" are not the best things for keeping you hydrated. Stick to water.

7. Every afternoon I start to slow down a bit. In fact if I sit down I will probably fall asleep. To remedy this, I often eat or drink something that contains mint. Peppermint has an uplifting quality. Even if I suck on a mint it helps me to perk up a bit. When I taught full time, I would put peppermint extract in a spray bottle with water and spray it around my classroom to help the children focus. They loved the smell of the "perky peppermint" spray.

8. A few of my friends suffer from auto immune diseases that effect their energy level. Research is being done to help alleviate the symptoms of these draining diseases. If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, MS, or other diseases you should keep up to date with the most current meds, supplements, and treatments to address your fatigue.

I know this post is a little "heavy" but I hope it will motivate you to check into any symptoms of fatigue you are experiencing. You have too much life to live to be dragged down by a sleepy body and mind. So now get a glass of water, two peppermint patties and call me in the morning.


  1. I'll have to try your mint tip. Usually about 2 p.m., I'm ready for a cat nap...

  2. Teehee. You're so cute. :-)

    Craving peppermint patties now.

  3. I just realized that sometimes I go an entire workday without taking a sip of water! I'll have 2 or 3 cups of coffee and then feel dehydrated when I get home. I'm bringing my Sigg bottle to work tomorrow.


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