Fatigue is something we hear a lot about today.
There are a few issues we encounter with fatigue: one is that women are diagnosed with fatigue more often than men and that fatigue is a fuzzy word.
Is there a way women can avoid becoming fatigued?
When someone is diagnosed with chronic fatigue there isn’t a specific thing that can be pointed to as the actual cause of fatigue.
Most often, women battling chronic fatigue (as well as other chronic issues that arise from it) don’t look sick. They often mask their exhaustion or push themselves thinking that more activity will help them feel better.
So when they begin canceling appointments or avoid going out in the evenings, they are misunderstood.
The guilt that arises from knowing they’ve let family and friends down only contributes to the fatigue they already feel and it becomes a vicious cycle.
I have dealt with overwhelming fatigue for many years.
For a long time I didn’t think that I would ever overcome the wall of fatigue I slammed into from the moment I got out of bed each morning.
Throughout the day I felt like I lived in a haze, a thick fog that kept me from thinking clearly and wore me out even more.
I’d go to bed bone-weary and wake up each morning feeling even worse than the day before.
Through hours and hours of research, experimenting, and learning what has worked for me and what hasn’t, I’ve found many things that make it better….and worse.
12 Things Women Can Do to Avoid Becoming Fatigued
If you are already battling fatigue – chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, maybe you’ve not been formally diagnosed but you find that a good night’s sleep doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed in the morning…
or worse, you don’t even get a good night’s sleep any longer, these are things that have had a tremendous impact on my own recovery from fatigue.
I’m not 100% there yet, but I can definitely testify to the fact that I am significantly more energized and rested today than I was 2-3 years ago.
1. Have a consistent quiet time
In my previous post I talked about the importance of the war room for the weary woman.
But beyond that, having a consistent time when we get alone with God, seeking the Holy Spirit who gives us power, allowing Him to refresh us and renew us, is vitally important.
Our spiritual condition directly affects our emotional and physical well-being!
2. Turn off your screens 1 hour before bedtime
Something I have realized over the past year is how much blue light technology raises my stress level. It’s stressful and addicting at the same time.
Not only that, but it messes with your circadian rhythm.
If you find you are unable to turn off your screens 1 hour before bedtime, you can use these blue blocking glasses. Many people report how wearing them 1-2 hours before bedtime has helped to reset their circadian rhythm and that they’ve begun to have a better quality of sleep.
3. Get at least 8 hour of sleep
The impact of sleep deprivation on our bodies and psyche is far greater than we realize.
Not only does sleep deprivation exhaust us and leave us foggy and cranky, it can lead to other serious health issues such as insulin resistance, diabetes, heart problems, and depression – just to name a few.
I use this Sleep Better app by Runtastic to help track my sleep.
Since I began doing these 12 things, my quality of sleep has improved dramatically!
The picture on the left is from a few years ago. The red lines is when I was awake, the yellow is light sleep, and green is deep sleep. As you can see, I got 35 minutes of deep sleep the whole night.
The picture on the right is from a couple of months ago. My deep sleep and light sleep have completely reversed, and I feel amazing!
4. Cut out the caffeine
I will admit, this is a struggle for me.
A few years ago I wrote this post about caffeine. While it stirred a bit of controversy, I still stand behind each word. I didn’t drink coffee again until last year when I chose to embrace a Ketogenic way of eating.
In a way, I think I traded comfort food for my coffee again. However, I am very careful not to allow my body to become dependent on it again, and I don’t drink it everyday.
But here’s why I am trying hard to get away from coffee again:
Caffeine raises adrenaline….for no reason at all. For those who already suffer from fatigue – particularly adrenal fatigue – it can actually make things worse because once the affect of caffeine wears off the fatigue is even more debilitating than before.
If fatigue has been a problem for you for a long time, consider going caffeine-free. It may be hard at first, but you’ll feel better very soon.
5. Turn off WiFi or put devices on airplane mode when sleeping
Something I’m beginning to research is the effects of EMFs on our bodies, particularly while sleeping.
One thing I’ve begun to do is put my cell phone on airplane mode while sleeping. Because I use the sleep app, I have it next to me in bed. But while in airplane mode it no longer emits radiation, so it’s not disturbing to my sleep.
Plus, it wont ping or make any other noise at all until my alarm goes off.
If you use your cell phone as an alarm, or use a sleep tracking app, put it in airplane mode.
6. Drink plenty of water
Dehydration can lead to fatigue. In this article, I talk about the importance of water on a Ketogenic Diet, but it is important for everyone – no matter what diet you choose. Plus, there is a link to a calculator to find out how much water you need each day based on your body composition.
7. Respect your limits
One of my greatest victories in life was finally realizing that just because one woman had twice the children I have and still managed to do twice as much as I do, doesn’t mean that I am a slacker.
God gives us grace in proportion to our need.
He gives one person the grace to joyfully take on the load He has divinely given them, just as He has given you grace to joyfully take on what He has given you.
Do not take on more than you can handle peacefully and without frustration and exhaustion.
Each person has their own load limit, some are lower and some are higher. Those with lower load limits are not weaker, they simply have a different calling.
8. Eat healthily
I cannot emphasize strong enough how much this has turned around my energy levels!
I used to be the one to preach “everything in moderation”, but I know better now. Having followed a Ketogenic way of eating for over a year now, I know I will never look back.
My body functions better, my head is clearer, I sleep better, and so many of my chronic issues have disappeared, and others are slowly healing as well.
You can find out more about Keto on my companion blog here.
9. Give your kids room time
One thing I have begun doing with my kids is something I borrowed from Courtney at Women Living Well.
On the days when my children are home all day long, I send them upstairs to their room to play for one hour. This gives me a break in my day during which I can either get some needed work done, or just sit and relax.
The biggest thing it does is give me space.
For introverts, this is essential! I can’t have people in my space 24/7. I need to have some time each day when my space consists of only me and no one else.
That one hour means so much to me, and when it’s over, I’m ready to have people in my space again.
10 Get moving
I’ll be honest, I don’t like exercise.
Well, I like to walk – and that’s a good thing. Intense exercise for adrenal fatigue sufferers, is not a good thing…at all. But walking is highly recommended.
Whether or not you enjoy exercise, take some time each day to get outside, soak up some Vitamin D (something that most people are deficient in), and move a bit.
Exercise – whether light, such as walking, or more intense – increases your endorphins and helps boost your energy and makes you feel great!
11. Take vitamins
It is pretty much impossible to get what we need in vitamins from whole foods.
In fact, for the most part, the recommended daily allowances for vitamins is far lower than what we actually need. Consider a good quality multi-vitamin (preferably in capsule form so the body can break it down easily).
Also, consider getting a blood panel done to see if you have a vitamin deficiency.
12. Take an adaptogen, if you are dealing with a hormonal imbalance
This is a new thing I’ve introduced into my daily diet, and it has made an enormous change!
If you’re not familiar with adaptogens, they are herbs that help to lower your stress levels. But even more than that, they help to balance your hormone levels (lower those that are too high and raise those that are too low).
I am personally taking Ashwagandha.
It has helped to
- Completely eliminate my insomnia
- Stop my hair from falling out
- Eliminate my stress responses and anxiety
Often around 4pm I will suddenly have an onset of anxiety that is completely physiological. It comes out of nowhere and for no reason.
I usually mix up 1 teaspoon of Ashwagandha, 1 dose of magnesium, and 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid in a glass of water and within 10 minutes I feel great again.
For more content on healthy living, see the links below
- Rosilind, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live in the country with their 2 active boys where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an Associates of Practical Theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of A Little R & R where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.