6 things all men need to know about exhaustion and fatigue
6 things all men need to know about exhaustion and fatigue
There are important factors all men should consider in regards to exhaustion and fatigue. Work related stress and work pressures, the effects of caffeine and alcohol consumption, food intolerances and healthy diet choices can affect our energy levels in different ways.
Consider deeply the effect that exhaustion and fatigue can have on your body. Now consider that this is not okay or normal, and that there are ways that fatigue and exhaustion can be addressed.
Many men work long and tedious hours and constantly feel the work related stress and pressures of society to succeed and or provide for their family.
Have you ever taken work home?
After work many continue to make work calls, think about work, worry about the taxes, family, bills etc. Many men go to sleep thinking about what needs to be done the next day, next week or even next month. This can contribute to work related stress and creates a situation where the body feels it constantly needs to be ready to jump into action, creating strain on men’s bodies that naturally require rest to rejuvenate each day.
- Don’t save up your rest time for the annual holiday.
If your body is constantly working and running in overdrive, it will not recognise fully when you suddenly give it a week or two to rest.
- Create time each day, even if it is just 10 minutes, to let go of the day’s pressures.
Take some time for yourself, take a walk, enjoy spending time deeply connecting with family and friends, even take a nap.
- Men that do allow themselves to rest regularly have a more productive work life.
You have more energy to play with the kids and are more able to enjoy the company of friends and family.
- Rest is not for the weak and your body is telling you that you need it.
Is it any wonder that after a long day men reach for the fridge for that ‘cold one’ because it gives them that brief energy boost they need?
Alcohol, especially beer, contains high amounts of sugar
Unfortunately whilst the alcohol content makes your brain slow down, thus creating the illusion of relaxation, your body gets the “sugar rush” that creates an imbalance within the body.
Alcohol consumption is also known to increase sleep disturbance and prevent healthy sleep rhythms, thus increasing fatigue and exhaustion.
- Instead of reaching for that beer
Go for a relaxing walk. Regular gentle to moderate exercise can actually help with energy levels and gives you a natural and healthy boost of endorphins, rather than the sugar high and alcohol-induced low of alcohol consumption.
- Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress levels
This can help you to unwind more easily at the end of a big day.
Coffee and caffeinated drinks, although commonly assumed to give you an energy boost, actually contribute to exhaustion and fatigue.
The supposed energy boost you get is actually a chemical reaction within the body that is triggering your stress hormones. Yes that’s right – stress hormones! Stress has been known to contribute to various diseases in addition to fatigue and exhaustion, not to mention the yoyo affect this has on your body every time you have that cup of coffee.
An even bigger negative health contributor is the ever-more popular energy drink that contains higher levels of caffeine than coffee – as well as other not-so-healthy ingredients. The high sugar levels in these energy drinks also contribute to fatigue and exhaustion due to the sugar rush and the inevitable low afterwards. The sugar in these drinks can also potentially contribute to weight gain: excessive unused energy from the sugar is stored in the body as fat. This creates further strain on the body, which contributes to the fatigue and exhaustion.
- If you are feeling constantly tired and find yourself reaching for coffee as a solution, think again.
There are many factors that can contribute to exhaustion and fatigue and reaching for the coffee will only make the problem worse.
- Slowly wean yourself off coffee.
Changing to decaffeinated coffees and teas and eventually teas that contain no caffeine at all will support your body's transition.
- Dandelion tea and Rooibos teas are tasty alternatives to coffee and black tea.
Some herbal teas may even be of benefit to your energy levels. Chamomile tea supports healthy sleep and digestion, whilst Peppermint tea can support the immune system.
- Caffeine elevates stress.
Herbal teas such as Chamomile and Peppermint teas can actually help reduce stress levels, making them a great support when trying to reduce coffee intake.
If left unaddressed, exhaustion and fatigue can impair judgment, affect concentration, cause irritability and forgetfulness.
Risk assessment is impaired as well as affecting communication skills and hand-eye coordination. Fatigue and exhaustion can be symptoms of serious medical conditions that if left unattended, can be life threatening. Long-term fatigue and exhaustion due to irregular sleep patterns and other factors have been known to contribute to depression, digestive problems and heart problems. Fatigue and exhaustion can also be symptoms of many very treatable health issues. If left untreated these can develop into more complicated health problems.
- If you are feeling constantly fatigued, get help.
Seek the support of your healthcare practitioner.
- Talk to someone about how you are feeling.
Give yourself time to rest and recoup if you are feeling run down. It is especially important to express to your friends and family what you are feeling.
- Getting help does not make you weak or pathetic.
In fact, it actually empowers you to get the support and help you need; it allows your friends and family to understand what is going on for you and support you to regain your energy levels.
A healthy diet is important to our energy levels and general health.
Unbalanced diets and irregular eating patterns can disrupt the body’s natural rhythm and contribute to fatigue. Diets especially high in sugar can cause sugar highs and lows and eventually lead to exhaustion and fatigue.
Eating at irregular times, overeating and under-eating also contribute to fatigue and exhaustion and can also lead to overweight and or malnourished conditions thus putting further strain on the body. Eating too close to sleeping, eating in bed or eating in front of the TV can often disrupt your sleep and digestive rhythms, contributing to exhaustion and fatigue.
Low quality foods, such as fast foods or heavily processed foods, can have a negative effect on your digestive system. It has to work harder, causing your body to use more energy unnecessarily.
- Try not to eat in front of the TV, in bed or eat at irregular intervals.
Instead cook a healthy meal to enjoy, either relaxing by yourself or sharing with friends and family.
- Cooking is not just for the ladies.
It can be a very relaxing and rewarding exercise in self-care.
- Arrange regular meal times with good quality fresh foods to support a healthy diet.
Include nutrient dense foods such as fresh vegetables, proteins and healthy fats. Having a healthy diet that suits your lifestyle is important to support your health and energy levels.
- Seek further support.
For support with healthy diet and energy levels contact your healthcare practitioner or trained nutritionist.
If you are feeling exhausted after eating or after eating certain foods it could be that you have a food intolerance.
Common foods that can cause intolerance and symptoms of exhaustion and fatigue include dairy, gluten, grains (including wheat, oats and rye), chocolate, wine and eggs.
Intolerance to gluten, a molecule that is a part of some grains including wheat, barley, oats and rye, is becoming quite common and there are many varied health discussions around the potential health risks surrounding eating gluten.
Going gluten free does not require a gluten intolerance diagnosis.
- Are you feeling low?
If you think it might be attributed to a food intolerance, seek the support of your healthcare practitioner. Professional nutritionists are extensively trained in food intolerance and may be of great support in assisting you with addressing any food intolerances you feel you may be affected by.
Exhaustion and fatigue can be addressed and there are many contributing factors, including many not listed above.
The most important thing to consider is that exhaustion and fatigue are not normal and they are not just something men need to put up with.
It is okay, and in fact important, to seek help and professional medical advice when you are feeling excessively tired or fatigued. With the prevalence of men’s illnesses soaring higher and higher we need more healthy, energetic and vital men in the world showing all that there is another way – and that all men deserve to feel great, energetic and awesome every day.
Do you need or love your coffee?
When we start being honest we see things from a completely different angle.