You have likely been spending most, if not all, of your time at home. You are surrounded by comforts and able to have any necessities delivered to your door. Your schedule is on your terms and perhaps for the first time, you can have your cake and eat it, too.
Still, despite being able to go about the day at your pace, you may be feeling more tired than ever. This fatigue may have interfered with your daily schedule, leaving you feeling less motivated and drained of energy. You may worry that the longer you are expected to operate from home, the harder it will be to find motivation again.
First, you are not alone. But the fatigue you feel now is cause for concern and could create serious problems in the future. By nipping your fatigue in the bud now, you can bring energy back to your life.
When experiencing fatigue on a consistent basis, it’s important to monitor any known health issues that could be interfering with your sleep. Certainly years of addiction can take a toll on your nervous system and interfere with sleep. However, do you suffer from any other diseases or health ailments?
Diabetes, arthritis, anemia, thyroid, sleep apnea, stress, and anxiety can all cause fatigue. When you identify any contributing health risks, ask yourself if you are properly managing these health issues. For example, if you have diabetes but have allowed your diet to slip during quarantine, this could be the reason for your lack of energy. Are you taking new medications or discontinuing others? Changes in medication can have an impact as well.
One of the biggest contributing factors to feeling tired is a poor diet. Eating foods that are high in sugars, glucose, and carbohydrates might taste good, but they do not nourish the body. If you are substituting vegetables for potato chips, then it’s likely that you understand you are making the wrong dietary choices.
The solution is to eat healthier foods, such as vegetables, lean proteins, and Omega-3 fats which are found in fish and eggs. You may still be able to have some junk food but make sure that the ratio of good to bad is greater.
What if you do eat healthy foods, but are still feeling tired? One of the things we often overlook is the number of times and what time of day we eat. Sometimes it’s a matter of not eating enough. Do you suppress hunger with coffee or soda?
Do you wait until you’re so hungry that you have to eat? This lack of consistency confuses your body and can cause weight gain, heart problems, and fatigue. Start with making consistent times for meals. Snack on nuts or granola instead of chips or sweets. Instead of another cup of coffee, drink water.
In fact, drink water consistently throughout the day. Water is shown to be more effective than coffee in helping the body feel awake because it hydrates the muscles rather than dehydrating them. Next, find the portion size that works for you—eat more if you feel you need more, and listen to your body.
Sometimes when you lack motivation and energy, it’s because you have become stagnant. The longer you sit on the couch, the more the areas of your body that are responsible for generating energy shut off — a process that can lead to atrophy, heart problems, respiratory issues, cognitive dysfunction, and irritable and irrational behavior.
When you feel that you cannot get up and move, this is a signal to get up and move. Many believe that exercise will drain them of energy, but activity not only breeds energy but also self-confidence. Begin slowly, perhaps with ten push-ups, ten sit-ups, walking, or yoga. Go at your own pace, but also make sure that this pace offers the challenge your body needs.
Much like your dietary schedule, you want to maintain a consistent sleep pattern. Going to bed and waking at consistent times will help train your body to feel tired when you want it to feel tired and awake when you want it to feel awake. You can study your sleep pattern by keeping a log of approximately how long it takes you to fall asleep, how rested you feel in the morning, and how many times you wake during the night.
Depending on what wakes you up, you can address these issues. For example, do you watch TV to fall asleep? What do you eat or drink before bedtime? Do you practice meditation to clear your mind before sleeping? Addressing these issues could have powerful effects on the quality of sleep that you are getting.
Energy in Recovery
If you are within your first year of recovery, your fatigue could be caused by residual energy from when you were using. The physiological effects are real because you have likely caused stress to your adrenal glands, which play a huge role in your emotional and physical health.
When you experience feelings stemming from an affected adrenal gland, you will likely experience a roller coaster of emotions with great climbs and great falls. These falls could be what is making you feel so fatigued. When you take the time to understand yourself, your health issues, and your experience with drugs or alcohol and begin to take measures to combat them, you will find the energy you have been missing.
Understand that the results will depend on how serious your addiction was and what your current health ailments are. Like anything worth doing, it takes patience and persistence. These practices are not overnight solutions — however, they are the pillars that will support the quality of a lasting recovery.
If you are struggling with addiction or in recovery and feeling a lack of energy, we are here to help. True Recovery offers 24/7 care to meet your unique needs. Don’t let another day pass without feeling energized and whole again. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.