According to recent data, 3 in 5 American adults claim they’re tired. Even more concerning? More than half of the participants claim no amount of rest helps them feel energized. Half blame poor sleep schedules, while others owe their fatigue to excess stress and burnout. The takeaway? As a nation, we’re more tired than ever. And though many Americans share the same exhaustive feelings, it’s not normal (or healthy) to be constantly tired and running on fumes.
If you have a busy schedule and endless to-do list, experiencing fatigue is not out of the norm! But, these feelings shouldn’t be habitual. In fact, a constant lack of energy could indicate a more serious condition. To rule out any medical issues, talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. When it comes to your health, it’s always better to play it safe! With that said, we’re sharing what to do if you’re tired all the time with simple-to-implement tips that can help you revive your energy.
Potential Causes of Tiredness
Feeling depleted isn’t exactly ideal, but consider all of the factors that may be affecting your energy and cut yourself some slack. Maybe you’re stressed, sleep-deprived, deficient in certain nutrients, skimping on self-care, or managing a busier than usual schedule — not to mention all of the external factors outside of your control.
With so many factors contributing to fatigue, feeling tired all the time is more common than you think. But, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy (especially if long-term). The good news is that there are simple habits that can support your energy and help rejuvenate you back to your normal self!
So, if you’re wondering what to do if you’re tired all the time, try incorporating these simple lifestyle hacks into your day.
Tired All The Time? Try These 10 Hacks
#1 Speak With Your Doctor
First and foremost, if you’re constantly tired, it’s important to check in with your doctor! In fact, having a regular checkup is a good habit to start implementing. If something feels off, ask — there’s no question too small or too silly. When life gets busy, it’s easy to rationalize feelings of tiredness and chalk it up to juggling a full plate, but there could be an underlying deficiency or medical condition. And, it’s not always a serious health condition! Sometimes it’s as simple as boosting certain nutrients (such as B12 or iron) — the sooner you get it checked out, the sooner you’ll be able to address the issue!
The takeaway? See a doctor to address any mental and physical symptoms that feel off. Have your hormones and inflammatory markers checked, and acknowledge that you’re important enough to be taken care of, says Dr. Megen McBride, ND, at Four Moons Spa, a modern beauty, healing, and wholeness space in Encinitas, CA. While exhaustion could be due to lifestyle factors, it can also indicate a more serious issue
#2 Really Take a Close Look at Your Sleep Hygiene
What to do if you’re tired all the time? Once you’ve ruled out anything more serious, start by looking at your sleep habits. Are you spending those hours on the pillow tossing and turning or snoozing away? It may sound obvious, but sometimes sleep is the last factor we consider.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, though 1 and 3 Americans report feeling sleep deprived. And it’s not just Americans, it’s a global issue, too. In fact, 45% of the entire population has issues when it comes to sleep.
Beyond tiredness, poor sleep is linked to a host of mental and physical issues such as chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, inflammation, and even decreased immunity. Get in the habit of developing a healthy evening routine, says McBride. Power down your electronics at least an hour before bed, prep for the day ahead to clear your head, and try winding down your mind and body with a calming meditation.
If you’re ready to snooze, here are some FitOn sleep meditations to help you get started
- Bedtime Affirmations with Kenta Seki
- Preparing for Sleep with DeAndre Sinette
- Falling Back Asleep with DeAndre Sinette
#3 Try Gentle Movement
We get it — when you’re feeling tired, movement is probably the last thing on your mind. But research suggests gentle movement may reduce feelings of fatigue and boost energy! So skip that afternoon coffee and hit play on a FitOn yoga flow for an all-natural boost of energy.
With that said, be mindful of what kinds of exercise you’re choosing! When you’re feeling tired, quality is more important than quantity, says McBride. A gentle yoga flow, brisk walk, or 10-minute stretch can be restorative, whereas exerting all-out energy in a HIIT workout could have the opposite effect.
#4 Eat Energy-Boosting Foods
Getting adequate sleep but still feeling tired? You may be lacking certain nutrients. In addition to eating a balanced diet full of healthy fats, satiating protein, and clean carbs, combat diet-related fatigue by incorporating foods rich in various vitamins and minerals!
Try prioritizing these energy-boosting nutrients: Omega-3’s, iron, zinc, magnesium, B Complex, vitamin B12, C, and D.
Here are some of the best energy-boosting foods to incorporate: Dark leafy greens, salmon, sweet potato, almonds, walnuts, and berries.
#5 Add 5-10 Mindful Minutes to Your Day
What to do if you’re tired all the time? Schedule a mere 5 to 10 minutes of mindfulness into your day! Pain, fatigue, sleep, chronic illness, and ‘dis-ease’ are all affected by emotional unease and not in ways that we can necessarily predict or completely understand, says McBride. Finding ways to work through emotional stress and find some measure of peace and balance within the storms can be life-changing.
Let’s face it, anxious thoughts and a busy mind drain our precious energy stores real fast. Mindfulness techniques such as journaling, meditation, stretching, and even sipping on tea can help give your mind and body a break and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. Less energy on stress means more energy for productive activities, such as exercise!
While these mindful moments may not seem like a lot, you’d be amazed at what a few minutes can do for your health, emotions, and energy. Here are some 5-minute mindfulness techniques to try!
#6 Soak Up That Vitamin D (Daily!)
Did you know that roughly 42% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D? Vitamin D deficiency is linked to fatigue, among other conditions related to immune and bone health. Research suggests 10-15 minutes of SPF-free sunshine a few times a week is enough to reap the benefits of natural vitamin D.
Try these simple ideas:
- Take your pup for a morning walk before you head to work. The brisk air will help stimulate your creativity and enhance your productivity!
- Trade your indoor workout for a sun-soaked sweat. Stream a FitOn workout at a local park, go for a bike ride, or head out for a hike with a friend.
- Take up an outdoor hobby like gardening! It’s a great way to soothe stress while you soak up the benefits of the sun.
#7 Take Mini Outside Breaks
Sip your morning coffee outdoors, schedule a walking meeting for your next work call, or make a point to fit in some daily steps. Sounds therapeutic, doesn’t it? I think we can all agree — spending time in nature surrounded by the cool breeze and sunshine really does something for the soul, not to mention our energy and mood!
And, it’s easy to schedule these energy-boosting breaks into your day without disrupting the rest of your schedule. In fact, they can help boost productivity!
#8 Stay Hydrated
Feeling tired, irritable, and maybe even hungrier than usual? Dehydration may be to blame. And, it doesn’t take much fluid loss to feel the negative effects! Research suggests even a 1-2% decrease in fluid stores could increase feelings of fatigue while decreasing performance and concentration.
Prevent dehydration by sipping smart with these hydration hacks:
- Begin your day with a large glass of water
- Carry a cute and sustainable water bottle with you at all times
- Spice up your boring water with a handful of antioxidant-rich berries
- Eat more water-rich fruits and veggies like watermelon, cucumber, and tomatoes
- Make a DIY electrolyte drink for a post-workout refresh
#9 Prioritize Mental Health
Mental health is just as, if not more, important as physical health. In the midst of busy schedules, endless to-do lists, and a world full of uncertainty, there is understandably a lot to feel stressed about. But don’t shove these feelings aside! Make mental health a priority by giving these feelings the attention they deserve. Schedule a call with your therapist. Talk with your doctor. Call a friend. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your energy levels by disrupting stress hormones within the body. Prolonged stress leads to elevated cortisol, which in turn causes everything from fatigue to depression. Have a list of mental health resources and stress management techniques on hand, says McBride. Imbalances in mental health (think: stress, anxiety, and overwhelm) can be one of the biggest contributors to low energy. Addressing these emotions and prioritizing stress management techniques can prevent acute stressors from draining energy stores and becoming chronic while also benefiting overall health. Win-win!
#10 Do More of What Brings You Joy
Find whatever makes you happy and do more of it! Maybe it’s finding that work/life balance and prioritizing quality time with friends and family. Maybe it’s embracing a new (or old) hobby that lights you up. Or maybe it’s channeling your inner Martha Stewart and having fun in the kitchen. It could even be as simple as a morning trip to your favorite coffee shop. Whatever the case, find what brings you joy and incorporate it into your day-to-day life. Having activities we look forward to can increase motivation, relationships, overall happiness, and, you guessed it — energy.
If you’re feeling more tired than usual, know there are lots of tools at your disposal! Try these lifestyle hacks to combat feelings of fatigue and restore that vibrant energy you’ve been missing. But, these tips should never replace the advice of a healthcare professional. If something feels off, consult with a medical doctor to rule out any possible health conditions.
And remember: practice self-love and compassion, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!