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Fatigue self-management tips and tricks

by CBHS Corporate Health | Aug 22, 2019
A man struggling with fatigue

Been feeling fatigued lately? It’s quite likely. The Sleep Health Foundation found that seventeen percent of Australians will have missed work in the past month due to poor sleep. No one wants to let down the team or have the work pile up though, so let’s see if we can help get the spring back in your step. Aside from getting your 7-9 hours of quality shut-eye per night, what else can you do to fight fatigue?

Step away from that coffee

When we feel tired it’s natural to want to order an extra-large caffeine hit – energy drinks, coffee, tea, cola. This is counterproductive to treat fatigue, as after the initial hit wears off, you tend to fall into a slump. it’s best to cut our caffeine altogether but if you drink a lot of caffeine each day, cutting down slowly is best to avoid headaches. Try it for a few weeks and see how your energy levels improve overall.

Pick up the water

You could be dehydrated. Fight your fatigue with plenty of water. A 2014 study found that increasing the water intake of people who were typically low-volume water drinkers showed a significant mood improvement, less reported fatigue and less confusion.

Reach out to someone

Between 50-80% of fatigue is down to psychological factors. If there’s something keeping you up at night, a mental health professional can help you untangle the cause of the issue. See your GP for a referral.

Eat all the nutrients

Start with a breakfast to fuel your brain and body properly. Then, ensure throughout your day you’re getting in loads of veggies, fruit, wholegrains and dairy (low fat). Women in particular, will need to ensure they keep their iron levels up with foods like lean red meat, leafy green veggies and nut, as low iron (anaemia) can be a cause for fatigue.

Get some exercise

It might seem like the last thing you want to do, but even a 15-minute walk can help boost your energy levels. The Australian Government’s guidelines say we should be active on most, preferably all, days in every week. That should equate to 2½ to 5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity or 1¼ to 2½ hours of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination, each week. If you’re not there quite yet, gradually increase your activity in manageable chunks.

Heading to the gym, yoga class or other activity can also be a good outlet for stress, which contributes to fatigue also.

Schedule in some downtime

Do you have any time in your week where you’re just free to chill out and do absolutely nothing? Make time by yourself or with a loved one to simply relax and unwind. Doing this in nature can be even more beneficial.

Quit the ciggies

Smokers tend to have less energy than non-smokers as there is less oxygen available in the blood for their bodies to combine with glucose to create energy.

Check with your doctor if you’re getting enough sleep, exercise and proper nutrition and you’re still feeling fatigued. He or she will be able to assess if this is caused by any health issues.

Sources

https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/surveys/SleepHealthFoundation-Survey.pdf

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/fatigue-fighting-tips

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0094754

https://www.cbhscorporatehealth.com.au/news/2019/05/15/the-connection-between-nature-and-health

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines

https://www.cbhscorporatehealth.com.au/news/2019/05/15/the-connection-between-nature-and-health

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-side-effects#section8