Why Am I So Exhausted?
This past year has taken a toll on almost everyone. Lives were quickly upended with the onset of COVID-19, and for many of us, this meant double duty, working from home, and if you have children, helping to educate them while also teaching them to stay safe and healthy. These competing priorities cause excess stress, leaving us worn out – and this reflects in our health. Experts in psychology all agree that there is a natural cause and effect. Extreme tiredness is our body’s natural reaction to acute stress and trauma. You may be wondering if others are feeling the same way and what can be done to mitigate your health concerns.
Is It Normal to Feel This Tired?
“There may be a few reasons why we’re so exhausted. For one, many feel emotional overload. This triggers anxiety, which activates the sympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for our fight-or-flight response, activating our adrenaline. The stress we are all under leads to adrenal fatigue, causing our bodies to automatically shut down simply because we need a break.
Secondly, we’re not interacting with our community in the same way. Often the things with which we interact are the things that stimulate energy. Without that excitement we become more tired. When we’re tired, we don’t exercise. There are many studies addressing the effects of stress on physical activity.
Adding to that, during stressful periods, many of us just aren’t eating a balanced diet. Comfort foods tend take the place of a normal healthy diet, leading to nutrient deficiencies and exhaustion.
Signs That You May Be Emotionally and/or Physically Fatigued from Stress
Depending on where you are, what you are involved in, and what your coping resources are, there can be a real variation in how we deal with our stress. We all manifest that stress either emotionally or physically – somehow stress will find a way to take a toll on us. Below are a few signs that your biological stress has caused fatigue.
Emotional symptoms can include:
- Feeling tense or agitated
- Lack of motivation
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
Physical symptoms can include:
- Physical fatigue
- Inability to concentrate, be productive, or complete daily tasks
- Difficulty sleeping
- Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol.
- Conflicts in your relationships
- Changes in your appetite
- Feeling exhausted all the time
- Avoiding work or other activities
Managing your stress and gaining back your energy!
We’ve all been exhausted from time to time, but once you recognize the signs of emotional exhaustion, try the following:
- Eliminate the stressor: The best way to treat stress is to eliminate the stressor. For example, if your work environment is the cause of your emotional exhaustion, consider changing jobs or companies.
- Exercise: Physical activity raises endorphins and serotonin levels, improving your emotional state. Just 30 minutes daily exercise, even just a long walk, will help take your mind off your problems.
- Sleep: A good sleep routine is essential for emotional health. It’s even more effective if you plan your bedtime for roughly the same time every night. Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep every night.
- Practice mindfulness: Scientifically recognized to reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is the act of engaging with the present moment. This can help direct your attention away from negative thinking. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, including meditation, yoga and breathing exercises.
- Eat healthy: It’s important to eat a balanced diet. Not only will this help you get necessary vitamins and minerals, you will also improve digestion, sleep, and energy levels, which can have a domino effect on your emotional state.
Supplements that help mediate stress
An easy and fast way to bring needed support to your body during stressful times is by taking a few supplements proven to help your body adapt to and manage stress.
- Ashwagandha: This herbal medicine has a rich tradition. Its use dates back three millennia to the time the Ayurvedic practitioners in India began using it for people with anxiety, low energy, and the ravages of aging.
- Vitamin B-12: Taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 can help reduce stress by promoting healthy nervous system function.
- Vitamin C: Considered a stress buster, researchers believe that vitamin C should be considered an essential part of stress management.
- Vitamin D3: Studies provide evidence that optimizing vitamin D levels may improve positive psychological well-being
- Probiotics: A recent study found that Probiotic consumption relieved human stress and anxiety symptoms in adults.
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