Many women struggle with debilitating fatigue on almost a daily basis. While chronic illness is often a major culprit, toxic habits can sap your daily energy without you even realizing it.
If you don’t know what’s causing your fatigue, it can lead to an ongoing cycle of despair and depression. These destructive thoughts can bog you down and even prevent you from actively seeking solutions to the problems that you’re struggling with.
In order to free yourself from feeling constantly drained of energy, you’ll want to consider your typical routines and habits (both physical and mental) which might be sapping your vitality.
7 Toxic Habits that Drain Your Energy
1. Sitting for Too Long
It might feel like you’re running around all the time but think about how much of that time is actually spent sitting…in the car, waiting for an appointment, or at your desk. It’s said that sitting is the new smoking and that sitting throughout the day for long periods of time might take years off your life expectancy. If you work at a desk job, sitting is a necessary part of your day. But at times, sitting is also a choice. If you’re sitting or laying around too much, you should remember that it only makes you more tired and can even increase the risk of lifestyle diseases and ailments.
Look for ways to bring some movement into your day. Park a little further from your destination and walk a few extra steps. Take the steps when you can. Stand up every hour or so and do some stretches at your work space.
If you live with a chronic condition as I do, you are probably sitting or lying down a good portion of the day because of your chronic illness symptoms. Unfortunately, the longer we are sitting the more the body and brain moves towards a resting state. The end result is that we feel tired and unmotivated all the time.
Even though movement can be a struggle and resting seems more appealing, I want to encourage you to make it a part of the day. It can be as simple as taking a 5 minute walk every hour or so. If you have the room and the ability, get a rebounder and bounce on it for a few minutes at a time. Try doing some simple stretching exercises…anything that gets the blood moving will help you to feel better.
2. Too Many Carbs and Processed Foods
Processed cereals, sugary spreads, muffins and pastries for breakfast or snacks might feel like a quick fix because these foods make your blood sugar levels increase rapidly, giving you a temporary feeling of energy.
Unfortunately this energetic feeling is only temporary and within a short time you’ll start to feel tired or even crash because the temporary fix was…only temporary.
To help moderate energy and blood sugar levels, you’ll want to eat a protein based meal every 3-4 hours with healthy carbohydrate sources. Keep simple, healthy protein sources like hard boiled eggs available in the refrigerator. Protein bars and protein drinks are great in a pinch, but your primary source of protein should be natural food sources whenever possible.
3. Negative Thinking
Many of us probably don’t realize it, but negative thinking including ongoing resentments, worry and an inability to let go of the past can drain the physical and mental energy from us. You might want to keep a journal or log of your thought life and see how much time this takes from your day. The very act of writing your thoughts down can be a big release and as a result, you might not spend as much time trying to hold onto them in your head.
4. Toxic Relationships
Toxic people can be found in any area of your life including family, school and business. Unfortunately you can’t always get away from them and in that case you have to find a way to co-exist. Learn more about how to manage toxic relationships.
5. Stop Mindlessly Scrolling Social Media
The act of continuously scrolling through our social media feeds has become a norm in our society. But think about it…have you ever considered the mental cost of consuming vast amounts of information that’s designed to provoke you? Or considered the emotional drain of watching other people’s seemingly happy lives and comparing your life to theirs? Social media can be a great way to connect but is also incredibly draining if not managed properly. Take a few simple action steps and see how you feel. Unfollow negative people and feeds. Try to keep your feed a positive source of encouragement. Limit your time on Facebook. You might even want to remove it from your phone completely.
6. Destination Addiction
Many of us are constantly looking to the next item on our to-do list, what we want to do or buy next. Learning to live mindfully is a great way to break the habit of destination addiction. It simply means staying in the present moment and not continuously looking to the next thing to satisfy us. Sure we have to have a big picture plan of the future and setting appropriate goals for our lives, but learn how to live within a healthy tension of big picture thinking and staying in the moment for today.
7. Too Much Clutter
Most of us have too much stuff. Start getting rid of things that aren’t serving you and you’ll probably be AMAZED at how much better you begin to feel when you don’t have to manage so many things!
The causes of fatigue will vary from person to another. If you haven’t been to the doctor for awhile, it’s a good idea to schedule a checkup and get some labs done. Even if you’re living with a chronic illness and fatigue is a fact of daily life, you can still minimize these toxic habits that drain your energy even more.