Updated: Nov 7
Do you know that 3 out of 5 of us feel tired all the time? Women are more often tired than men. Tiredness may show in feeling sleepy, unmotivated, uninterested, and bored.
And although feeling tired from time to time is normal, and to be expected, feeling tired all the time is not. So, if you are asking why am I feeling so tired? You came to the right place!
Today, I’ll show you some of the most common reasons why you could feel tired, what are the energy drains and energy boosters, and how to stop feeling tired once and for all.
Why Don’t I Have Energy?
First, let’s eliminate moments when you will naturally feel tired. For example, welcoming a new baby into a family will bring many sleepless nights and physical exhaustion.
However, as mentioned earlier, all of us feel tired sometimes. It is normal to feel tired after a long week at work, exercising, or dealing with a stressful situation. It is also anticipated that you feel tired if you battle a virus or bacterial infection.
You may not feel energetic when recovering from an illness or surgery or have a debilitating medical condition. However, feeling tired all the time is a signal that something is not right.
I remember when I was going through burnout I felt mentally and physically exhausted. I didn’t feel motivated and inspired. I didn’t feel like doing anything.
I thought I was supposed to feel that way because it was common. Everyone around me felt tired, complained about muscle pains and aches, didn’t have time for anything, and rushed from place to place.
But you see, I strongly believe that your body sends you signals all the time. And feeling tired is one of those signals. It means how you manage your mental and physical health and well-being is not working.
Your body and mind are not getting what they need to give you enough energy to go about your day. So, let’s have a look at what can drain your energy.
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There could be many reasons why you feel tired all the time, some of them potentially serious. That is why you shouldn’t ignore the signals and if necessary, seek medical help. However, in most cases, you feel tired or even exhausted because you do those four things on repeat.
#1 Lack of Sleep
The most obvious reason you feel tired is you didn’t sleep long enough. The debate is still on in regard to what enough sleep means. However, the recommendation is to sleep between seven to eight hours for an adult.
Of course, you will require more or less depending on your age. Children and teenagers need more hours of sleep as they are growing and developing. While seniors can sustain with less sleeping time.
However, how much sleep your body needs is an individual thing. It will also depend on your lifestyle. The more active, intense, or even stressful life you lead, your body and mind will need more or less downtime.
Sleep is important to your health and energy levels. Your body and mind regrow, rejuvenate and repair during sleep.
Lack of sleep does not only lead to fatigue, but it has a domino effect on your health.
When you don’t deliver enough sleep, many vital processes can’t happen. Your hormones are out of balance, your weight fluctuates, your muscles can’t repair themselves, and your brain can’t sort out and make sense of the daily events.
As a result, you feel exhausted physically and have aches, pains, and headaches. You also can’t concentrate, think strategically or creatively, and doing even a small thing is a hustle. Your emotions are like a rollercoaster and you cry for no reason or lash out in anger.
Unfortunately, a common trend is to reduce sleep because this is the only area we can still cut into to cramp more things to try to catch up on the day. Having an evening routine is a good way to ensure you get enough quality sleep.
#2 Lack of Regular Exercise
You have heard of the many health benefits of exercising, but the main reason you need to exercise is to have energy. Energy creates energy. So, the more active you are, the less tired you will feel.
We spend most of our time sitting, so we don’t create enough energy to meet the demands of our busy lives. I am sure you had moments when you ran on empty. But running without replacing what you used can only lead to fatigue.
If hitting a gym or going to a Pilates class seems like too much of an effort right now, I want you to embrace the concept of NEAT.
NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It involves all types of non-exercise physical activity. The idea is that your body still generates energy when you don’t work out.
Some forms of NEAT activities include walking the stairs, standing, laughing, singing, folding laundry, cooking, or cleaning. Those types of activities will not increase your heart rate but will force your body to move and your muscles to flex.
I often stretch when I cook, fold laundry, or just stand up while talking on the phone. All those little movements add up.
This will not solve the tiredness caused by lack of exercise. However, it will move you in the right direction. The moment you develop a healthy exercise routine, the quicker you stop feeling tired.
#3 Inadequate Nutrition
If I was to ask where energy comes from what would you say? If you said food, you are partially right. Food is one of those elements that can either drain or boost your energy.
I want you to think about food as fuel for your car. The better quality fuel you put it, the better your car will run. The more nutritious food you eat, the more energy you will have.
Unfortunately, for most of us, the typical diet is high in processed fats and sugars. And very low in vitamins and minerals.
When you don’t consume enough foods that contain all the required nutrients, many vital processes can’t happen in your body. Think about it, when you fill up a quarter or half of a tank with poor quality petrol, you won’t go far.
So, if you often feel tired or have pains and aches or gastro-intestine problems, you may need to revisit your diet. It may be time to ask yourself if your diet is balanced.
A balanced diet contains all the food groups. It means you consume complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. As well as you eat plenty of products that contain micronutrients.
A balanced diet also indicates that you cut, completely or reduce significantly, products that overload your liver, alter your biochemistry or interrupt vital processes such as hormone production.
One of the main minerals that can significantly impact your energy levels is iron.
Iron helps with oxygen distribution. If there is not enough oxygen in your muscles, you will feel tired and unable to perform even the lightest of exercises. And if there is not enough oxygen delivered into your blood, you will feel mentally tired, unable to focus, or irritated easily.
#4 Chronic Stress
I feel like we don’t talk enough about the consequence of chronic stress. We accept stress as a part of our lives, and to a certain degree, this is correct.
Stress is our survival mechanism. It has been happening for millions of years and cannot be stopped. Acute stress or a one-off event was designed to pump us up with adrenaline so that we get into action.
However, when you live in a constant state of chronic stress, your mental and physical health is compromised. Stress is a biological reaction that alters your biochemistry. It interrupts hormone production, changes the acid-alkaline balance, and impacts your nervous and immune systems.
If you are battling with stressful events day in and day out, you will feel tired. Your body will be going through a constant rollercoaster of adrenaline and cortisol production, you will feel fatigued, and making any rational decisions will be impossible.
Reducing stressful events or eliminating the stressors as much as possible is the first step in addressing stress. And when this is not possible, managing stress the best you can is your second-best option.
There are many ways to manage stress, so look for strategies and techniques that address both mental and physical stress.
Energy drains and energy boosters come hand in hand. The lack of something can drain your energy, the same way an increase in something can give you a boost.
That is why the best energy boosters are your energy drains but in reverse. If you find that you don’t sleep enough, get more sleep. If you don’t exercise, incorporate daily body movements to generate physical energy in your body.
Change your diet so you deliver all the nutrients and vitamins your body requires to function well.
Learn the best stress management techniques and use them often to keep stress at bay.
However, there are 3 energy boosters I want you to add to your wellness toolkit.
Energy Booster # 1 Set Boundaries
One of the biggest drains on our energy is time. We don’t have enough time to attend to all the tasks on our to-do list. It doesn’t matter how impossible it may seem, but you need to create healthy boundaries.
The stronger the boundary between what is important to you, how you spend your time, how you prioritise yourself, and the stress and overwhelm in your life, the better results you get.
You see, most of the time you feel tired because you took too much onto your shoulders. The stress levels increased, your mental overload went up, and you feel exhausted.
Energy Booster # 2 Self-Care
The term self-care has been used a lot lately, so I want to clarify what I mean by it. Self-care is not a box of chocolate, a glass of wine, a bubble bath, or a day at your favourite spa.
Although certain things can elevate your mood, make your body look amazing, and de-stress your mind, they are external factors. It means you can only take care of yourself when you have them.
Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to pamper yourself, but true self-care is resilience, confidence, and self-love. The more time and energy you spend developing those skills, the easier it will be to sustain your energy.
You may feel tired, but when you are confident that you can get yourself out of the situation, you will enjoy the external props even more.
Energy Booster #3 Mindset
Mindset is key. As Henry Ford famously said whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right. Your thinking produces the outcomes in your life, so the more resourceful you are, the better your chance of facing what life throws your way.
To use your mindset as an energy booster, develop a daily practice of conditioning yourself to be open-minded. And look at challenges as opportunities in disguise.
When you abandon black-and-white thinking, you will find ways to move through the roadblock and feel less tired as a result.
How to Stop Feeling Tired
The most common reasons you feel tired are lack of sleep and regular exercise, inadequate nutrition, and chronic stress. Common sense indicates that if you want to feel more energetic, you need to reverse them.
In addition, creating strong boundaries, practising self-care, and cultivating open-mindedness can boost your energy.
So, how are you going to stop feeling tired today?
Join my newsletter to get the latest action steps on how to eat a healthy plant-based diet, de-stress, manage your time better, prioritize yourself, and anything in between so that you INCREASE your energy, SAVE time, and INVEST well in your wellness!