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Winter fatigue. I’m feeling it big time.
The parks are wearing a carpet of golden leaves, we’re all layered up in our favorite coat and scarf combo, pumpkin-spiced lattes are back on sale in Starbucks, and weekends in bed are back on the menu.
It is easy to understand why we all love autumn. But winter is a very different beast altogether. And winter will be here before you know it. I don’t know about you, but I always experience winter fatigue.
The nights are drawing in, you can see your breath when you wake up, your joints ache, your fingers struggle to type out a text message, and your bathroom floor has become the coldest place on earth, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
But that isn’t the worst of it.
The worst part is that you feel constantly tired.
It is just so frustrating. Despite all your efforts, you can’t shake that feeling of fatigue. You can’t get your levels of tiredness to climb up, and out of the funk they are in.
At best, it causes you distress.
At worst, you start to think you have an underlying issue that requires special medical attention, something that your local doctor wouldn’t be able to diagnose. This tiredness in the winter months is also known as winter fatigue.
To address your constant fatigue, we have pulled together a list of things you can do to start overcoming your exhaustion and start feeling alive again.
How to Fight Winter Fatigue
Go On A Healthy Eating Bender
One of the biggest causes of tiredness is being overweight. Why? Well, there are a couple reasons. Having to carry that extra weight around and excess weight can lead to sleep apnoea, where your weight causes you to snore, thus interrupting your sleeping and leaving you with an exhausted feeling in the morning.
Not only will eating healthier foods help you lose weight, but it will also fill you with energy, good energy, the kind of energy that will keep you going from morning until lunch without your eyes feeling heavy once.
Caffeine Is Not The Villain Here
Caffeine has sometimes been labeled as a bad guy that should be avoided. But, this may not always be the case.
The trick is moderation.
You could start drinking caffeinated water instead. Not only does caffeine boost physical performance, but it also helps mental awareness too.
Just try and keep your caffeine intake as a pre-lunch thing; otherwise, you could find your sleep starts to take a knock.
Hit The Gym, Not the Sofa
When you are feeling a little bit knackered, the idea of collapsing in a heap on the sofa and popping on another episode of New Girl is the most attractive proposition going. However, the gym could be the answer to your exhaustion. That is because exercise is known to increase our energy levels.
You know this, though.
You know how alive you feel when you go for a run or a jog, a walk, or a quick burst on the rowing machine, so why ignore this. Exercise has a way of waking up our minds, producing endorphins, building muscle, and improving our mood and self-confidence.
It is basically the Holy Grail when trying to overcome that feeling of being fatigued.
It’s Time To Say No To Screens
We mentioned Netflix and New Girl above, which hint at you watching a screen. People are becoming more and more addicted to screens. We’re talking televisions, smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Trust me, I understand because I’m attached to my iPhone. But, these are affecting our ability to sleep and affecting our eyes, brains, and just our general well-being.
Yet we struggle to manage this…
We struggle to turn our screens off. We look at our phones before bed. We work late. We watch Netflix until the early hours.
The reason why these screens affect our sleep has to do with the lights affecting our melatonin levels, throwing our natural body clock way off course, like the Titanic heading toward a sea of icebergs.
So, maybe we should put down our screens more often and go back to the good old days of taking a hot bath, reading a book, and enjoying a cup of tea if you want to fight winter fatigue.
Get your Omegas Right
Omega-3 has literally been proven to help with sleep. How can you argue with proof – scientific proof? That is why you should start getting into the habit of chowing down on fish for dinner or taking cod liver oil tablets an hour before bed.
Of course, you may not be a big fan of fish, which is no problem. Canola oil, flaxseed, wild rice, eggs, soybeans, and walnuts are all pretty awesome on the omega-3 front.
What you want to avoid, however, is omega-6. Ugh. This nasty little sucker will keep you awake. So, to prevent chomping this sleep thief unwittingly, you should cut down on the number of processed foods you eat.
We know a life without junk food and fast food sounds horrendous, but by readdressing the balance between these omegas, you will feel less tired all the time. We promise.
Kick Back And Relax More
One of the biggest tired-inducing variables is stress. Being stressed about something is a surefire way to see your energy levels get thrown under the bus because stress topples our hormones quicker than rulers get toppled in Game Of Thrones.
Stress produces either cortisol or adrenaline, both of which are short-term functions designed to get you out of danger. They are not to be turned on and left for long periods.
Stress not only tampers with sleep, but it can also affect your weight, your digestion, your heart, your mood, and your memory. So, whatever it is that helps you relax and encourages you to stress less, do it to fight winter fatigue.
My biggest advice to help fight winter fatigue is to try and incorporate as many of the above tips as you can. Baby steps…