A restless night of sleep; a busy work week ahead; overcommitting to your social calendar – they’re all normal reasons to feel tired. But what happens when you find yourself battling fatigue on the regular?

Firstly, there are varying degrees of tiredness. Issues such as iron-deficiency anaemia, depression, glandular fever, thyroid abnormalities or chronic fatigue could be lurking behind the scenes – so you’ll need to seek medical advice who can prescribe alternative methods to get you feeling fresh again. Once you get the medical all-clear, the following lifestyle changes could be the perfect natural pick-me-ups.

Get the right dose of exercise

They say ‘everything in moderation’ – and exercise is no exception. Hitting the gym on most days of the week is an excellent way to burn calories and receive a rush of endorphins (happy hormones), but it’s also denying your body of much-needed rest. Experts say you require up to 48 hours of recovery between high intensity workouts.

On the other hand, spending 50 hours a week at your desk and neglecting exercise altogether will be an even faster path to lethargy.

The key is to prioritise exercise, but always listen to your body. Are you feeling run-down? Try opting for a light walk, so you can enjoy improved blood flow and boosted energy and mood without burning yourself out. Better yet, get outside. It’s hard to feel anxious or rundown when you’re exploring what nature has to offer.

Related: 10 ways to leap out of bed faster

Keep up your fluids

Think caffeine is the conqueror of tiredness? Think again. Water is actually the best energising beverage. Why? Dehydration is one of the main causes of fatigue. You only have to lose around 2% of your body’s fluids for your mood, performance, concentration and energy levels to deteriorate. So, quench your thirst with water first and look to the colour of your pee for proof. The clearer, the better.

Opt for slow burn

Carbs have a bad reputation, but it really depends which ones you’re talking. If you’re pounding the pavement without carbohydrates to burn, then you’ll end up facing extreme fatigue long –term. The key is to switch your mindset from ‘low carb’ to ‘slow carb’. Pad out your salads or snacks with quinoa, sweet potato, chick peas, or fruit, which release energy slowly and give you stamina to succeed throughout the day (workouts included). Another perk. These carbs dish up a healthy dose of fibre, so you may find your digestion and belly bloat improve, too.

Related: Fast fixes for food cravings

Breathe deeply

We unconsciously breathe to stay alive, but what if we breathed to thrive? If you stop and think about how you’re breathing – with deep inhalation and a strong focus on exhaling slowly – you’ll better control your bodily processes. This can extend beyond improved energy to mood regulation, enhanced sleep and general wellbeing.

Seek out happiness

Sounds like a pretty obvious one, but how often do you actually choose contentment? If you’re caught up in a daily cycle of work, meetings, picking up the kids, cooking dinner, watching TV, then truly meaningful moments fall by the wayside. As a result, stress and fatigue can quickly become your norm. So, always be sure to add some gratitude to your day, even if it’s three small things, helps to shift your focus and appreciate any situation.

Related: Keeping your mummy mind in check

This post was originally posted in Whimn and has been adapted with their permission.

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