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12 Tips to Fight Fatigue

Try these 12 simple solutions to help you fight fatigue and stay energized.

| November/December 2014

  • These simple solutions will help you overcome sluggishness and feel energetic, naturally.
    Photo by Veer
  • Making time for activities we find replenishing—such as reading, getting a massage or spending time with friends—helps keep us energized.
    Photo by Veer

If you’re tired, you’re not alone. A 2014 survey published in the medical journal BMJ found that 36 percent of people had experienced fatigue in the past week. Transient fatigue, mental or physical, is a normal reaction to overdoing. Maybe you stayed up late finishing a novel, or perhaps you’ve been working long hours, raising kids or exercising too hard. A number of lifestyle changes can relieve weariness and even reduce fatigue associated with some chronic conditions.

12 Energizing Habits

1. Listen to your body. Rather than trying to fight or ignore your fatigue, search for the natural remedy that’s best for you. Even though caffeine can temporarily enhance alertness, it won’t correct the underlying problem.

2. Get enough sleep. More than 40 percent of American adults and teens fail to get a full night’s sleep on weeknights, according to the National Sleep Foundation. While sleep needs vary, the average adult needs eight hours a night. Plan ample time to sleep and avoid sleep-hindering substances, including afternoon caffeine, and late-night alcohol, tobacco and other stimulants.

3. Say, “No.” This stress-survival skill can sometimes seem impossible, but do it anyway. Practice saying it in front of the mirror: “Thanks for asking, but that doesn’t work for me.”

4. Meditate. Done regularly, meditation has multiple benefits. Chief among them is the ability to reduce stress. Pranic meditation, a technique that uses breathing techniques and visualization, has been particularly effective at reducing fatigue and psychological stress, as well as improving sleep quality and quantity in breast cancer survivors. Studies show that mindfulness-based stress reduction eases fatigue in healthy (but stressed-out) individuals and those with chronic illnesses. For more on mindfulness, read Mindfulness 101: Live in the Present Moment.

5. Move your body. Moderate physical activity energizes, relieves stress and promotes nighttime sleep. Even in the face of chronic illness, exercise has anti-fatigue effects—though it’s a good idea to get medical clearance first. Studies support moderate aerobic exercise, resistance training, yoga, tai chi and qigong. Start slowly and build over time. If you do too much too soon, you may feel sore, discouraged and weary.

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