Get to the root of why you’re always so dang lethargic. By Alyssa Dhaliwal
Photo: dolgachov / www.123rf.com
1. A high dependency on caffeine
Many of us love coffee. It smells good, tastes good, and often gives you a great boost of energy with the added benefit of antioxidants. Sadly, becoming too dependent on your source of caffeine to function can paradoxically make you a more tired person. Those of us who turn into walking zombies without caffeine will know the feeling. The energy boost from each cup can only last so long, and over time you’ll find yourself needing more of it to stave off the caffeine withdrawal －which is the real reason you feel sluggish. Bottom line? Cutting down on your intake and dependency can actually leave you with more energy.
2. You’re stressed out
It’s a bad year for the job market, which means that most of us have more on our plates than ever before. Even if it isn’t actual work keeping you up at night, stress makes it harder for our minds to switch off when we need rest. The constant anxiety about your work can cause a fair bit of fatigue, so it’s important to find ways to get your mind off work and relieve some of that stress after office hours.
3. Your lifestyle is too sedentary
An unfortunate side effect of having to work long hours is that we run out of time to do much of anything else. We imagine a large number of Singaporeans wish they had more time to exercise during the week, us included. If you’re someone who’s had to cut down on their exercise time, you might have already noticed the lethargy setting in. Getting in even a half hour class or a gym session two or three times a week can make a big impact on your energy levels, so making time for exercise after work might be more important (and better for you) than that extra half hour of mindlessly watching Netflix before bed.
4. You aren’t eating well
When you eat crap, you feel like crap. It’s really quite simple. A lot of junk foods and processed foods we eat contain little to no nutrients, which do nothing for our energy levels in the long run. Sugary foods or simple carbs are quickly absorbed by our bodies and cause insulin spikes that result in a short burst of energy – followed by a great crash. You know those post-lunch food comas? This explains why you feel well, the most comatose when you’ve had a carb-loaded lunch. When choosing what to eat, consider things with lots of fibre or complex carbohydrates, and snack on nuts or whole grains instead of cakes, sweets, or biscuits.
If you’re having problems concentrating at work and are feeling constantly fatigued, you may want to look into whether you’re drinking enough water. Fatigue is one of the effects of dehydration, and when we’re busy working we often forget to stop and have a drink. If your lips or skin in general have been looking extra dry, or you feel yourself developing cravings for salty snacks, chances are you need to drink more water.
A version of this article first appeared on www.herworldplus.com.