Nerves frazzled? Constantly on the run? Is your head literally ready to explode if you hear the torturous clamour of your alarm clock once more, after yet another fitful five hours of sleep?
You're not alone. Today's fast-paced world has bred unprecedented levels of stress, accompanied by poor dietary choices and insufficient amounts of sleep and exercise. All this has left many in a seemingly constant state of fatigue, with no apparent end in sight.
Wrong. There are solutions. A number of reasonably simple lifestyle changes can boost your energy levels and help you live a fuller, more enjoyable life. But it's up to you. Don't bother reading any further if you insist you don't have any time to fit anything else into your day. You'll need to make time.
Yes, you've heard it a dozen times. Stop rolling your eyes and do it. There's a lot of nutrition information out there and it might take time to sort through and figure out what works for you. In the meantime, use some common sense. You don't need a dietitian to tell you that a bag of chips and a Coke is not a healthy lunch or that a Mars bar is not a breakfast option. If your mornings are a rush, try to make breakfast and lunch the night before. Yes, yes, you're busy in the evening, too. But you won't be of any use to anyone when your health fails or you're too tired to stand up.
Tormented by cravings? Check out our tips for deleting unhealthy snacks from your diet.
Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day is the general consensus. Forget the excuses -- make the time. There is a half-hour in your day for you to work up a sweat and get your heart pumping. It will leave you with a great workout high, a feeling of accomplishment and, in combination with some of our other lifestyle fixes, add years to your life. You can do it in 10-minute chunks, or try a time-saving workout And think like a kid again -- make exercise fun.
Common opinion suggests that the most important factor to getting a good night's rest is setting and sticking to a routine. It's also suggested that you shouldn't eat, read or watch television in bed. And yet people do, and some sleep just fine. Figure out what's right for you and then make it happen each night. If you're still having trouble sleeping, see a doctor or sleep expert. You may be ill or suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome that requires treatment or medication.
Managing stress is far easier said than done but it's essential that you make the effort. Be proactive. Say no sometimes and stop stretching your schedule to include still more responsibilities. Leave yourself some time to relax every day. And don't let others tell you what's relaxing either. If you'd rather watch American Idol than quietly read a book, that's your business. While you're at it, try not to dwell on any unpleasantness that may have marred your day. It may not be easy but it's worth your peace of mind.
If you're moving too fast, slow down with a pair of quick and easy relaxation exercises.
If these lifestyle changes don't work for you and your fatigue is prolonged or detrimental to your daily function, consult with a doctor. Remember, make the effort and help yourself. And do it today.