Are you tired of being tired?
Some days, you may expect it – you played pickle ball in the morning, caught up with friends at lunch, ran errands and stayed up later than usual. However, some older adults struggle with ongoing fatigue that is not always easy to explain.
While everyone feels tired sometimes, particularly when the days get shorter and darker, it is important to discern whether fatigue is the result of something more serious than a poor night’s sleep.
If you have been feeling consistently more tired than usual and are struggling with everyday activities, talk with your doctor to take a closer look. Fatigue can result from hormonal changes, anxiety and depression, changes in sleep patterns and stress. Your doctor can also determine if issues like medications, dehydration, thyroid issues, anemia or illness are impacting your energy levels. Rather than brushing off tiredness as just a facet of older age, give yourself the care you would offer a friend by seeking a professional opinion.
If health issues are not a factor, then you can take steps to bolster your energy levels. Make an effort to move your body more, which can be as simple as walking a mile, and eat a healthy, balanced diet – avoiding excess sugar, fried foods and anything else that makes you feel sluggish. While caffeine can definitely give you a short-term energy boost, try to limit intake to one or two cups in the morning, so it does not impact your sleep. Engage in activities that you enjoy with people you enjoy.
You can also keep a journal, noting what times of day (or days), of the week you feel most tired, as well as the specific foods or activities that affect your energy levels. The more mindful you are about what makes you feel great and what makes you feel depleted, the easier it will be to choose the best activities for that state of mind.
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