Managing Fatigue

The 21st Century is truly one of the most wondrous times to be alive in human history. Never before have people known these levels of comfort nor have we had such easy access to resources.

In terms of material comforts, we are living in a Golden Age. But it appears these have come at the cost of our health and overall well-being.

The smartphones and high speed internet technologies that have put the world at our fingertips are also making it more difficult for us to fall asleep at night. Our roads are jammed with high-end cars that keep us on the road for hours every single day. And thanks to our fast-paced lives, we’ve fallen prey to numerous lifestyle diseases.

 

Look around and you’ll see a world filled with over-striving, sleep deprived, pill-popping, alcohol-guzzling, fast-food munching, smoke-emitting humans with overcharged credit cards and tonnes of stress and fatigue. A crash is imminent and something needs to be done NOW!

 

What is Fatigue?

 

Fatigue is an extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness. It is a condition characterized by a number of symptoms:

  • A lessened capacity/lack of motivation for work
  • Reduced efficiency of accomplishment
  • A constant feeling of weariness and tiredness
  • Mental fatigue or an inability to concentrate and remember things
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscular weakness after the slightest activity

 

Sometimes, fatigue can be acute and come on suddenly or become chronic and persist.

Fatigue affects the quality of life of not just the person who suffers from it but also those around him. Moreover, if left untreated, fatigue can become the doorway for a whole host of diseases and ailments which could severely impact ones quality of life.

 

Dealing with Fatigue

 It is important to understand that fatigue is not a disease but a symptom of some underlying condition. This could either be a physical ailment or a mental/psychological issue. In any case, the problem needs to be dealt with in order to alleviate the fatigue.

 

While this article cannot prescribe medical treatments to deal with fatigue, let’s look at a few simple ways in which we can prevent fatigue from occurring or reduce the severity of the problem in case it has already surfaced:

 

(It is very important to correctly diagnose fatigue. Visit a licensed medical practitioner if the symptoms described in the earlier section persist.)

 

  1. SLEEP

The human body needs 8-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Most people are lucky if they can get 6.

A good night’s sleep seems to be something that eludes most people, thanks to their hectic lives and attachment to their smartphones.

Fix this and you’ll see the difference in no time.

 

Tips for restful sleep:

  • A firm mattress and a comfortable pillow will go a long way
  • Switch off all smartphones and other objects with illuminated screens an hour before bedtime
  • Maintain an ideal temperature in the bedroom – not too hot, not too cold
  • Avoid eating at least 60-90 minutes before heading to bed

 

  1. EXERCISE/PHYSCIAL ACTIVITY

Ideally, lift weights. If you can’t do that, then try any of the following: walking, running, bodyweight exercises, Yoga.

Don’t set the bar too high if you haven’t been exercising. The key is to get moving and keep moving and do this for the long term.

 

  1. PROPER NUTRITION

A bad diet doesn’t just impact the physical body but can also affect your cognitive abilities and emotions. Make sure you are eating a balanced, nutritious diet that is not deficient or lacking in any macronutrients. Supplements may be taken on a need-basis but under medical supervision.

 

  1. REDUCE STRESS

As mentioned earlier, fatigue may come on due to mental stress as well. All of us face different challenges in our lives so I wouldn’t want to trivialize what someone is going through but one needs to actively work to reduce one’s stress levels.

A few things that can alleviate stress:

  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Gentle Pranayamas such as Anulom-Vilom, Sheetali Pranayama or Bhramari Pranayama
  • Get a pet. If you can’t keep a pet, then even volunteering at an animal shelter/petting zoo may help. Being around animals has been reported to have a calming effect on people.
  • Get out more – By this, I don’t mean go to a pub. Go to a park, take mini-breaks from your work. Being around nature, especially trees has been shown to reduce stress levels and help make a person feel calmer

 

 

Prevention is definitely better than cure. This is true even with fatigue. Given how it can adversely affect the quality of life of the sufferer, one needs to be vigilant against signs of fatigue and take corrective steps at the earliest.

 

Author credits – Jaideep Bhide

 

References:

  1. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916514552321
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/general/diagnosis/index.html

Jaideep Bhide

Jaideep Bhide

Hi, I'm Jaideep Bhide. A former Couch Potato and a still recovering (and often relapsing) Ice-Cream addict, I now devote most of my time to the Three C’s of my life: Cooking, Cats and Content Writing.  I am a certified INFS Expert and a whole-time Grammar Nazi whose writing style is a perfect reflection of his personality - wry and engaging with a hint of saltiness.  I write for Fitmag because I believe fitness is that one intoxicant that everyone should rightly indulge in. And Fitmag is the only place that demystifies fitness and nutrition for the common man and provides them with all the tools they need to become the best version of themselves. So keep reading, and get Fit with Fitmag!