Is Fatigue Getting To You?

Author
Published:
February 22, 2021

Fatigue is something that we generally attribute to the end of the year. Of course, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that we are working towards the end of something tangible.

However, we had a very different year. Indeed, many of us feel that we just did not get any rest.

Furthermore, the chronic stress that we have been under is starting to show in different ways. People are suffering from different afflictions more than usual. Furthermore, people are edgy and generally less tolerant.

Stress-Induced Fatigue

Chronic stress affects us greater than we realise. To begin with, it can compromise our immune systems. This, in a time when we are trying to improve immune function.

It also causes us to use up our internal reserves of energy. Subsequently, we start this year feeling exhausted and demotivated.

Here are some other things emotional fatigue can lead to:

  • lack of motivation
  • trouble sleeping
  • irritability
  • physical fatigue
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • absentmindedness
  • apathy
  • headaches
  • change in appetite
  • nervousness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irrational anger
  • increased cynicism or pessimism
  • sense of dread
  • depression

What can I do to combat this fatigue?

Luckily there are ways for us to boost ourselves. Here are some of the ways that I do personally that help!

Nutrition

Of course, we start with food. What we put into our bodies will ultimately be used to energise us. Fatigue can be combated at this level already.

For the most part, I am a sucker for comfort food when I feel fatigue creeping in, so here is one of my favourite healthy and energising ideas:

Food for Fatigue: Pan-Seared Salmon and Herbed Brown Rice

The oils in the salmon and the steady release of energy from the low GI rice is a great energiser to fight fatigue.

Pan-Seared Salmon and Herbed Brown Rice is a tasty fatigue-fighting dish.

Ingredients for Pan-Seared Salmon

  • 500g salmon
  • 2-4 tablespoons safflower oil
  • A big pinch of salt
  • A big pinch of pepper
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges for serving)

Ingredients for Herbed Brown Rice

  • 1 cup of your favourite herbs
  • 1 ½ cup short grain brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic

Salmon Directions:

  1. Add oil to a large pan and heat over medium-high
  2. Pat salmon down with paper towels
  3. Salt and pepper on both sides and place skin side down
  4. Once the fish starts browning (about 4 minutes) flip it over
  5. Cook for another 2 - 4 minutes
  6. Remove from pan and squeeze some lemon juice over

Rice directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium saucepan
  2. Add the onion and sweat until it is translucent
  3. Add a pinch of salt
  4. Put into blender with the garlic, herbs, another generous pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and blend
  5. Pour mixture back into the pan and simmer
  6. Rinse the rice and add it to the simmering onion mixture
  7. Cook as per instructions
  8. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before taking off the lid
  9. Fluff, season with salt and pepper to taste

Place rice on a plate and salmon on top.

Serve with a delicious garden salad.

Exercise

The old adage that you need money in order to make money is quite apt here, just in a different way - you need exercise to make energy.

No need to overdo things, take it gently. Here are some ideas to get the blood flowing and waking up a sluggish body:

  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Brisk walking
  • Trampoline
  • Skipping rope
Physical activities like yoga can help produce more energy to fight off fatigue
Family doing yoga. Mother standing in a position, keeping balance, while father smiling down at their child creeping on all fours at his feet.

Sleep

I cannot overemphasize the importance of getting enough sleep to combat fatigue. It is much more than just getting into bed and staying there for x amount of hours. Limit screen time before you go to bed. Try and stick to a regular routine.

Eliminate stressors

Although it is a challenging thing to do with our current situation, try and remove as many stressors as possible. When the body has less pressure, one will have more energy to focus on productive projects.

Sunshine

Vitamin D is something that is very important, even to fight the fatigue. We discussed it in a previous article.

5 Supplements that counteract fatigue

Here are some supplements that can assist in fighting fatigue:

  1. Acetyl L-Carnitine
  2. N-Acetyl-Cysteine
  3. B Vitamins
  4. CoQ10
  5. MSM
  6. Vitamin C

Mindfulness Fatigue Busters

Leave the worries outside

One of my coaches told me a story in a class once that has stuck with me.  I share this with many people that I work with when it comes to stress management.

There was a mechanic who went to work on some motorcars for a rich businessman.

At the end of the day, the mechanic went to the businessman and with a rueful look asked if the businessman would mind giving him a ride to his house since his own car had broken down.  He would have to come back the next day and try to fix his car.

The businessman saw that the mechanic was troubled by all of this and agreed to take him to his home.  On the way there, the mechanic shared with the businessman that life had indeed been challenging for a while and that his equipment had started malfunctioning.

When they reached the home of the mechanic, the businessman watched him walk up to a tree, stroke the leaves and immediately get a smile on his face.  With this smile, he turned to the house and went inside.

The next morning, the businessman asked the mechanic what exactly made him smile when he stroked the leaves of the tree.

The mechanic replied that every time he touches the tree, he places all of his worries in it and leaves them there to be picked up the next day because his family and home do not deserve his worries.

“And the amazing thing”, he said, “is that those worries are almost never there the next day…”

This visualisation is a powerful one that can be used in order to take a step back from stressful situations and let the effect of those situations be minimised. This will have a beautiful effect on fatigue

3, 2, 1, Blastoff!

This exercise can be done as often as you feel the need to.

What if you could feel the stress and anxiety in your body without going into it?  Feel where it would be.

Now take that stress and anxiety and put it in a box.  Be aware of how that feels.

What if you could take that box and put it down next to you?

Now, what if you put that box containing your stress and anxiety and put it outside in a rocket?

What if you could count down - 3, 2, 1, Blastoff - and send that box containing your stress and anxiety into the sun to be kept there.

How does that make you feel?

Dr. Carel-Piet van Eeden
About The Author

Dr. Carel-Piet van Eeden

Dr van Eeden completed his Ph.D and qualified in Holistic Life Counselling in December 2012 through the University of Sedona.  He is currently pursuing an MBAM through the same University.

After experiencing the trauma of cancer first-hand, Carel-Piet decided to leave his corporate position as legal business analyst and focus on the field of integrative medicine.  Together with Dr. Craige Golding, he works in the Golding Institute to provide evidence based integrative solutions and training for healthcare providers and patients alike.

As a practitioner, Dr. van Eeden focuses on a wide array of challenges people face.  Because of his diverse training, the challenges addressed in sessions are many and include:

  • Lifestyle management
  • Genetic testing
  • Emotional counseling
  • Mindfulness
  • Life Coaching