Do you jump out of bed each morning full of zing and zest, and happy to face another day? Or do you crawl out, feeling limp, languid, exhausted, and depressed with no spark, no pep, no energy?
We all go through times of reduced vitality and energy. But a normal, well-adjusted person should normally feel happy, sprightly, and have a reasonable supply of vitality surging through the system at most times.
So, if you have the idea that you are perpetually listless, down-trodden and a “has-been” in the energy stakes, it is high time to take stock, try and find the cause. Then, do something about reversing the situation. Happily, there is an answer to nearly every case.
The first essential checking point is within yourself. Think right, and you are halfway towards a cure. The person who perpetually looks on the negative side of life is the one with a dour, hapless outlook.
She is invariably exhausted. Too tired to carry out her normal activities, too listless to get going, to get moving. Motivation is low, energy is never present. Life is dull and boring.
Many suburban housewives, unfortunately, drift into this state, often without realizing it. The monotonous routine of everyday life, of getting up, getting the husband off to work, the children to school, the washing-up, washing, ironing, shopping, preparing meals.
The story goes on and on. The routine becomes a sub-conscious nightmare, and a common form of rebellion is a lack of energy. If one takes the easy way out, sits and stares at the heap of work yet to be done, disaster strikes rapidly. Self-pity can quickly set in, and escalate at a terrifying rate.
This is not a criticism but a sad fact of life, usually unrecognized by most women and most men, for the same idea applies in principle to each sex.
The answer is to take a long, hard look at yourself, and your way of life. Recognizing the possible cause is the first advance. Then it is imperative to tell yourself in the firm, loud and clear terms that your lot in life is not as bad as you imagine.
Frequently, working out a new daily routine, preferably altering it radically from the way you have been living for the past few years, may work wonders.
Time-slot the essential jobs you have to accomplish each day. Put them in an order which tends to remove boredom, jumble them up – have an active job followed by one that requires less physical activity. Variation can often get rid of boredom. Get the boredom factor out of the way, and your energy will start to revive almost at once.
Set daily goals of what you hope to achieve. Suddenly, as you stick to this routine (which is preferably applied to paper so you keep to your schedule), you will notice a renewed spark of interest in your daily routine. You will accomplish more work in less time, with more energy and vitality, and more time to spare to do the other things in life you always claimed you never had time to do.
Just try it and see. A person has the inner energy to accomplish anything she so desires in life. This is unquestioned. Just ask the busy person how she manages to chew through so much work, and she will invariably tell you that she simply programs her time, keeps going, and enjoys everything she is attempting.
There is nothing like having a series of goals, both in objectives as well as time limits, to spur you on. The feeling of inner satisfaction when these goals are accomplished in itself gives renewed vigor and vitality and a sense of happiness and achievement.
Many people suffer from a lack of energy simply because they do not receive enough rest each night. Do not think you can persistently rob your system of rest. During sleep the body repairs the internal machinery. The inevitable wear and tear from the stresses and strains of everyday living takes its toll on all systems.
During rest, new cells are manufactured to replace the worn-out ones. Millions and millions of these regenerate overnight in a remarkable manner. That is what sleep is all about – to allow the inner working forces to get your inner machinery into top-flight mechanical order again.
Six to eight hours of sleep a night, every night, are essential to good health and vitality. You can scrimp and save occasionally, but not in the long term. Something will suffer, and that something is you. If you have a few late nights, then catch up by a few early ones to compensate.
The body has an internal time clock called the circadian rhythm. It tends to operate on a 24-hour cycle. In most people, their general body metabolism is at its lowest ebb in the early hours of the morning, say from two to four am.
Sleep is deep, and waking up then and trying to think straight is a nightmare. As your usual time for waking arrives, the body’s system tends to speed up, and get into normal gear. As the day advances, so does the body metabolism and efficiency.
This is why many people feel at their worst first thing in the morning. Most revive rapidly as the day advances. This is often perfectly natural. Persons traveling overseas tend to find the going hard when they arrive at their destination for a few days because their internal time clock takes a few days to re-adjust to the new time differentials.
Similarly, upon arrival back home, jet lag takes its toll with many for the same reason. The body is trying to perform activities whilst the inner time clock is really saying, “slow down – it’s time you were asleep.”
A very common cause of energy lack is the temperature in which we work. Visit any of the Pacific islands and you will see the natives understand this better than we do. During the hot part of the day, they sleep. As the day cools off, they continue their normal activities. But shackled to our 9-to-5 routine, we have to look keen and full of vitality for set times, irrespective of the external temperature.
Many people find heat slows them down, physically and mentally. Heat is soporific, and inevitably the body tends to become languid.
Most schools and universities have long summer vacations. The main reason is to give the brain a rest when efficiency is most likely to be at the minimum level.
Many companies have long since discovered that air conditioning offices and work areas (keeping it slightly on the cool side) will increase the productivity and mental and physical efficiency of their employees. A cool head is always more effective than a hot one.
Whether you have air conditioning or not, it is always possible to cool off somehow. Get plenty of fresh air, for oxygen in the system also provides vitality, and increases the efficiency of the system.
Often the gear we wear can alter the state of energy. Be sensible. Wear the type of clothing that best suits your needs. But over-dressing is foolish. Heavy clothing, although often necessary in winter, can easily produce fatigue and reduce personal energy.
Collect the amount of clothing you wear and place it all on the bathroom scales. You may be surprised at how much you are carrying around each day. Preferably go for warm clothing that weighs the least.
Conversely, many younger women foolishly wear too little clothing in cold weather and run the risk of infections and illness. A happy medium is essential.
An extremely common cause of fatigue and energy lack. No woman has to be told if she comes into this category. Merely looking into the bedroom mirror will give the answer in one fleeting glance. Men similarly suffer but are usually less inclined to believe what they see.
Being overweight is not only a potent cause of energy lack but is now recognized as a possible cause of many diseases. Heart disease, gout, arthritis, diabetes, a reduced healing after surgery, obstetric problems, are some of the hazards.
If you are overweight, get onto a simple, sensible weight-reducing routine. You will be startled at how your energy seems to rocket back to normal when you peel off those extra pounds.
If you are 26kg (4 stone) overweight this is the same as if you are persistently carrying around a bag containing 27.5kg (56 pounds) of stones all day. Just think how exhausted this would make you.
Physical Good Health
Those who are in good physical health tend to have more energy and vitality compared to those who seldom bother to exercise or watch their general health.
The more exercise a person gets each day the better. Many women in fact do gain much exercise simply by carrying out their normal household duties. Never knock these and say they “wear you out.” Quite the reverse is happening. It is keeping your muscle groups and internal organs in good working order.
This has been purposely left until last, for in fact illness is probably responsible for the minimum number of causes of energy lack, despite the fact most may believe it heads the list.
In women, anemia is relatively common. It is easy for the blood quality to become reduced. Incorrect eating, irregular menstrual loss, frequent and heavy periods, are some of the probable causes. When the blood quality is down, paleness, puffing, and blowing often with small chores, irritability, fatigue, and lack of energy are the tell-tale early signs.
A check with the doctor will often indicate certain blood tests are needed. These invariably pinpoint the diagnosis. Treatment is usually extremely quick and successful. Improved eating (eating the right foods) and iron supplements will often bring a prompt cure, provided any underlying cause is also remedied.
A malfunctioning thyroid gland is also a well-known cause of energy lack. This vital gland sits in the neck across the windpipe and produces a hormone that governs normal body activity. If deficient, energy lack sets in quite early. Lethargy, disinclination for work, weakness, deepening of the voice, falling hair, menstrual irregularities, and nerviness are often associated features.
Many internal illnesses can also produce a feeling of lassitude and disinterest in work. In short, the energy flags. Some are simple ones, like a sore throat or cold, where the toxic effects of bacterial invasions produce lethargy. Others are more sinister and horrible, such as TB and cancers.
The important thing is that when there are symptoms that give you a sense of feeling poorly, despite the attempts you personally make to overcome them by sensible living and positive thinking, then you must visit the doctor.
Frequently a series of “screening tests” will indicate if there is any underlying anomaly.