Updated: Aug 12, 2020
We all probably know that feeling of being tired.
That familiar sensation we have when everything just feels like a real effort, even waking up in the morning can just be “tough”....but what if it’s more than that, more than just simply “being tired?”
What if it’s actually a case of being fatigued?
If we define Fatigue, it can be described as an “Extreme State of Tiredness”.
This can often be a result of extreme, maybe continued mental or physical exertion, or even illness. We can also define it as a condition which is actually characterised by a decreased capacity for being able to work. This together with a reduced efficiency and ability to complete tasks, is usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness. Phew! But let’s put the science and definitions aside and ask the question “how does this translate to you, to us, to today?”and what’s more, “How did I get here?”
We need to be addressing what might have gotten us fatigued in the first place and asking the question:-
”How do I overcome it?”
Here are some useful methods you can use for recognising fatigue and the steps that could contribute to it.
• Tune into yourself:- When you felt fatigued, take note of the day, the time, the events that led up to you feeling this way.
• Record:- Take note of any positives or negatives which can be replicated/avoided in the future. (Use your phone, a notepad or whatever you have to hand) For example, habits, lifestyle, nutrition, work/life balance. All of these can contribute in their own way to someone becoming fatigued. When we have done this, remember that we don’t need to leap into action, making drastic changes and changing everything around us. To make lasting change we initiate small, consistent steps. We need to recognise how we got here and what it actually took to create this.
We need to “sweat the small stuff”, take manageable steps, which will enable us to build habits and in turn, prevent this from happening again.
Suggestions on how to recognise and handle fatigue:-
1- Recognise It:- Sometimes it can simply be tiredness. Gauge on a 1-10 scale, and keep a record of what days are good and bad. Use your notes to look for patterns which may help avoid similar feelings of tiredness in the future.
2-Get Moving:- Movement in whatever way, shape or form, will undoubtably help. From a small brisk walk in the morning, perhaps a yoga session, to a full on work out. The more energy we have, the better we are at handling our days and whatever stress comes with it. This can also help our body weight and body composition too.
3-Sleep Well:- Create a bedtime routine. Just like brushing our teeth or putting the kids to bed, a pre-sleep routine helps our bodies and minds prepare and begin to wind down ready for rest...(and put those devices down....yes, you know who you are!). Getting good sleep can also help us be better prepared to handle the stresses of the days ahead.
4-Stay Hydrated:- Sometimes feeling tired can often be a case of being thirsty. A good sized glass of water can often do wonders.
5-Reduce or Cut Out Caffeine:- Although caffeine can provide a boost, overdoing it isn’t always good. Aim to make 2pm your cut off, remembering that caffeine can stay in the system for between 6-8 hours after consumption. Keep this in mind when you’re reaching for a warming drink in the evening.
6-Drink Less Alcohol:- Alcohol can actually cause you to sleep less deeply, often resulting in tiredness the next day.
Often when we know just how we work, we can take greater control of how we perform.