I’ll admit that between work, commute, doing extra to achieve more in my career, writing articles, fulfilling my social and other obligations, seeing and spending time with the person I am seeing, and resting or relaxing, there isn’t much time left for full on restoration. There are mornings I wake up, and within the hour, I feel tired, and that’s even before I step out for the day.
The other day we were having a conversation with another colleague, different from the one I wrote about last time when talking about career and income growth. I was telling him how I’d set the alarm for 6am, but could not bring myself to wake up until an hour later during a work week. And we laughed and laughed, and I told him of how I am sometimes tired in the morning. It was while talking about this that I realised that I was having persistent fatigue. I had not even stopped to consider the patterns of my tiredness, and sometimes, my inability to get a personal target accomplished, no matter how simple, in the evenings.
So I came up with the list below on how to take care of myself. These are methods which will help me to reduce and eliminate the continuous fatigue, and to ensure that I have sufficient energy to power me through the day.
- Getting Enough Sleep
I’m guilty of sleeping late into the night. Sometimes I am up doing almost nothing, but the lack thereof of a consistent sleep pattern does havoc to my biological and sleep clock. There are weeks, where on alternating days I sleep at 9:30pm, and other days at 1:00am, but wake up roughly around the same time (5:30-6:30 thereabout). This inconsistency means my body does not get to rest well enough, and has no sleep rhythm to adjust itself to.
It is scientifically proven that the better hours of sleep one has (typically between 6 to 8 hours), the more energy they have for the day ahead because their energy is replenished during the sleep hours. So I am trying to find the correct balance between the sleep time, and the sleeping hours, so that I can attune my body to proper rest.
- Making Provisions to have a Healthy Diet and Enough Water
Another way to restore my energy, and eliminate the fatigue is by having a healthy diet, and enough water. A balanced diet ensures that the body receives the nutrients it needs. Having enough water, also ensures that the body metabolism works alright. When these two are right, our bodies easily recover from tiredness instead of accumulating it over time.
I intend to create a meal plan, because there are days I am too tired to have an idea of what I want to eat- and may end up having the same type of meal throughout the week; which is not healthy in many respects.
- Prioritizing Exercise
When I bought my sketchers more than a year ago, I got the motivation to do evening runs during the work days, and Sunday morning runs. Back then, I was living in a town with high altitude (2506m), and my body ploughed through the gentle slopes, and my lungs loved me for it. However, being back to the city (1795m), I haven’t set aside time to exercise – this could be running, skipping rope, yoga, simple aerobic exercise. If you are like me, and not into the gym and big sports like basketball and football you can consider these alternatives.
In fact, as I write this, I realize the lack of exercise is a huge contributing factor to my fatigue. My body is not getting enough oxygen distributed deep into my internal and external organs. Thus, a certain laxity is growing in and on me.
I’ll have to pick an exercise regimen and stick to it, and will report back in a few months’ time, say three months.
- Setting Aside time to do Nothing
Michelle Obama in her book Becoming writes something that resonates with me on a deep personal level; “I just wanted to achieve” she writes “or maybe I did not want to be dismissed as incapable of achieving.” This type of mentality, which I have had for most of my life, is really draining – because when I have some free time, I immediately want to use it in a better/different way other than relaxing.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, in the months leading up to this article, my body has gotten to a point where it refuses to function, and thus, I am forced to take a rest.
Learning to have free time, where I do nothing but enjoy music or watch YouTube videos and funny memes is so refreshing, and the pressure to be more than plain myself is forgotten in momentary laziness. This helps me to be energized when I get back to whatever task I have in hand. And I intend to have more slots of time, where I do much ado about nothing.
- Being Realistic on What I Can Accomplish in a Day
We all like to think the best of ourselves, and sometimes, when planning for the day, we may think that we are capable of accomplishing a lot more than we actually can. About three weeks ago, the Mr. saw my list of things to do – and he asked – will you honestly have time to do all that? I immediately realised I’ll have to prioritize the tasks so as not to get overwhelmed, and fatigued.
This brings to mind the Stephen’s Covey time matrix with which you can split tasks into four quadrants:
- Quadrant 1: important and urgent,
- Quadrant 2: important and not urgent,
- Quadrant 3: urgent and not important,
- Quadrant 4: not urgent and not important.
Elimination of tasks in Quadrant 4 and delegation of tasks in Quadrant 3 frees time to focus on Quadrants 2 and 1; which essentially allows one to apply the Pareto principle.
The Pareto principle is the the 20/80 rule, which states that 20% of all the tasks you undertake will produce 80% of your results, while the other 80% will produce 20% of the results. To focus on the 20 % (Quadrant 1 and 2) yields much higher results; which is the best way to achieve high productivity and avoid work fatigue and burn out.
Those are my top 5 ways to restore my body to a state of rest and youthful energy. What are some of the ways you use to replenish and restore your body?