Holistic Methods of Dealing with Fatigue
Experts suggest that 10% of all people are dealing with fatigue, or persistent tiredness. It is one of the most common complaints that doctors receive and can be the result of biochemical, energetic, or psychological and emotional factors. More often than not, the debilitating symptoms of fatigue can be relieved with a good night’s sleep and some recuperation. But many find that fatigue has become a chronic issue — jeopardizing their day-to-day functioning and lowering their quality of life.
There are several manifestations of persistent fatigue, and though traditional methods of treatment (including over-the-counter medication) are widely available, these options might carry undesirable side effects and ultimately fail to address the underlying problem. Many patients and health professionals are instead turning to holistic treatments, which approach the person as a whole being (rather than just a set of symptoms) and attempting to address the underlying causes of fatigue.
Major Causes of Fatigue
An important first step in treating fatigue is to identify its root causes. Here are some of the most common causes of chronic fatigue:
Medical reasons. There are several biological, chemical, and medical reasons that can cause symptoms of chronic fatigue, including:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormonal imbalances
- Heart disease
- Thyroid problems
Emotional and mental reasons. These can also have a profound effect on feelings of fatigue. These causes include:
- Past traumas
- Psychological stress (due to life events such as divorce)
The reasons vary from person to person, and always manifest uniquely. Understanding these causes, however, can help patients pinpoint the root of their condition and develop the right solution.
Holistic Approaches to Fatigue
Once you have identified the underlying causes of your fatigue, you can begin considering specific holistic techniques to reduce them. Here are a few commonly used natural treatments for fatigue.
While your daily routine might seem like an obvious place to begin, taking an active approach to managing your day can be massively beneficial in relieving fatigue. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times on as many days in the week as possible, including weekends. Gently pulling your body into a consistent sleep pattern will help establish a steady schedule and rhythm. If you need to take naps, be sure to keep them short and sweet (approximately 25-30 minutes) to get the benefits without the grogginess. Also consider other important elements of your routine: The order in which you do activities, when and how often you exercise, and how you begin and end your day matter a great deal to your overall energy level.
Improving Your Lifestyle
Lifestyle is a major factor in energy and well-being. A lifestyle that nourishes your mind and body with good nutrition, healthy habits, and plenty of rest and relaxation will significantly reduce fatigue. Key lifestyle factors to address include:
- Dietary improvements. The incorporation of high-fiber foods such as whole-grain cereals and vegetables can alleviate symptoms of tiredness by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Nutrient-dense foods such as spinach, which is rich in potassium and Vitamin B (both vital for energy metabolism), are old-time remedies in this treatment as well.
- Meal Portions. Another helpful tip is the timing and portions of your meals, which also require a solid routine. Eat a hearty, healthy breakfast followed by several small meals and snacks throughout the day. This stabilizes energy levels as your blood sugar levels are being steadily metabolized.
- Supplements. Natural supplements, in conjunction with a sound and healthy diet, can do wonders. Each person requires different supplements, but many common ones — often found in a daily multivitamin — help to reduce any deficiencies that might be causing fatigue in the first place. Be sure to consult a medical professional before determining a supplement regimen.
- Water. There’s a reason they call it the ‘elixir of life.’ Keeping yourself well hydrated is key for healthy body functioning, and central to overall well-being and energy. Sipping on water consistently will ensure that you don’t become dehydrated, which is one of the leading causes of fatigue.
Finally, exercising regularly will do wonders in your battle against fatigue. Exercise will help you shed extra pounds, which can be a major cause of physical tiredness, and will improve overall metabolism and energy for days. Choosing the right exercise is also important — the activity should meet the unique needs of the patient. Ancient forms of exercise such as yoga and tai chi, for example, can aid in relaxation and focus (which also contribute to good sleep). Whatever the activity, ensuring that it is healthy, fun, and consistent is key.
Treating Your Fatigue
Chronic fatigue is often best treated with holistic therapies than with prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs, which emphasize symptoms over causes and do not always lead to long-term health. By treating the person as a whole and tailoring treatment to the individual, a holistic approach focuses on restoring your entire being to its healthiest possible equilibrium. These techniques can help diminish fatigue immediately and generate real, sustainable energy.