Help! I feel so tired
Dr Emma Johnston, Clinical Psychologist, Cumberland Park SA
8 August 2018
Help: I feel so tired!
Tiredness can have many causes, however here are a few simple hacks to help you improve your energy levels and feel more in control of your life.
1. Get physical in the morning. Getting up early and finding a physical activity that you enjoy helps not only improve your mood for the day, but also gets your endorphins going, which increases your energy levels. You will never regret getting up and into a physical activity. It also improves your sleep at night, which combats tiredness.
2. Eat breakfast. Our brain and body needs fuel in the morning, in the form of food. A good breakfast helps fuel the body and mind for the morning, and increases our overall sense of energy and wellbeing.
3. Don’t use technology too late at night. Apart from the harmful ‘blue light’ that has been shown to disrupt our circadian rhythm, using phones or tablets into the evening can become addictive, and time passes before we realise it, resulting in a later than normal bedtime.
4. Change your tiredness mindset. The more focused we are on feeling tired, the more tired we feel. If our mental dialogue is repetitive chatter about tiredness, such as “I feel so tired today”, “how will I cope with the day because I am so tired”, “I need to sleep more because I’m so tired” or even “this day will be awful because I’m too tired to cope”, these thoughts offset a greater sense of tiredness. The more we focus on tiredness, the more it grows. If we change our focus, we can forget about the feeling of tiredness and move on more easily with what we need to do that day. Try some mindset changes and overlay the tired dialogue in your mind with thoughts such as “I am going to enjoy my day despite being tired”, “I know that I will sleep better tonight”, “I can manage despite being tired”, “this feeling of tiredness is momentary and will pass”.
5. Don’t be afraid of feeling tired. Seems a weird thing to say, but over the years of working with people who report feeling tired, many of them actually have a great fear of being tired. This fear comes from a belief that they cannot cope with life when they are tired. Let’s take the power away from tiredness and realise that we can trust ourselves to cope when we are tired; it is simply an unpleasant sensation to experience.
So, look at changing your mindset, eating breakfast and moving about more in the morning, and above all else, recognise that tiredness does occur but is nothing to be feared, and we can continue to do what we need to do in our day despite it.