You might feel like you have so much on your plate…
Maybe you’re a full-time mom, an entrepreneur, a corporate powerhouse, or all of the above! Yet even the most sedentary people complain about feeling worn out, tired and sluggish from time to time. So what’s the deal?
After all, being tired is about the quantity of things you have to do, right?
As it turns out, there are a number of surprising reasons why you’re feeling tired and sluggish, and they have a lot more to do with the quality of your lifestyle than you might think. Some are deceptively obvious, but until identified, they’ll stick around like an invisible antagonist ruining your day!
So by the end of this post, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your exhaustion and have the tools necessary to increase your energy with greater ease!
Ready for things to turn around?
Let’s demystify 7 surprising reasons you’re feeling tired and sluggish and discover how you can start living each day with vibrancy and increased aliveness!
1. Your Cluttered Space Is Creating Internal Clutter
Pause for a moment to picture your work space.
Are there random stacks of paper strewn about?
Do you have last night’s dishes still needing to be attended to?
How about the messy sock drawer you keep telling yourself to handle (but never do)?
These small, insignificant items fade into the background and sneak into your subconscious, taking the clutter from your physical area into your mental space.
And guess what?
They are a lot more distracting within you than without.
So if you’re surrounded by clutter or lack of organization, you might not realize how much brain power it takes to constantly be surrounded by excess or messy items.
All of the stuff takes up mental energy.
Which then leads to increased stress, worry, and cluttered thoughts.
In contrast, when you’re organized and keep your living space clear, you’ll experience more calm, confidence, and heightened motivation.
It’s like breathing fresh air and getting a fresh start!
And starting isn’t hard – in fact, I encourage you to approach any clean-up project with self-love and grace – one corner at a time.
Maybe you’ll decide to put your papers in a drawer.
Or toss out the take-out from your refrigerator.
And how about that sock drawer? If you focus on one small corner at a time, you will get there.
At the end of the day, “The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” – Marie Kondo
And as wonderful as it is to make your mind feel lighter after a bit of tidying up, it’s possible that it’s not the main culprit behind what’s keeping you tired and sluggish.
So since we started from the outside-in, let’s now take a look at taking the inside-out!
2. You Aren’t Giving Yourself A Chance To Breathe
Although it is important to keep your mind fresh and focused, sometimes what your body truly needs is to step outside and take a literal breath of fresh air — away from your workspace.
That’s because we do a lot of living and working together, in the same place.
Of course, there are exceptions to this, but with the rise of Work-From-Home careers and remote employment, it’s more important than ever to separate work from our sacred place of rest.
It can be as subtle as working from your laptop in bed or finishing paperwork on your coffee break.
When there isn’t a clear enough distinction between work and play, it’s easy to get stifled and stuck with work energy.
Which is why sometimes you can step away from work, do something else, and still come back feeling unmotivated and tired (especially when your work space is a room away from where you take your break – or the same room).
When you notice this happening, it’s a signal for you to detox from that work energy and replace it with fresh air. And I don’t mean walking from your desk to your living room couch. I mean stepping out the door, soaking in the sun, and filling your lungs up with rich, revitalizing oxygen!
I find this practice especially helpful when I’m working a full day of coaching. Sometimes, I’ll be so engrossed in my work that I don’t even realize when it’s dark out!
And I’ve noticed that if I don’t give myself the chance to refresh and recharge, my battery drains so much faster, and I end up feeling tired and sluggish.
And the problem with that is that we are not battery-powered!
We are organic, living beings with body temples that crave light, air, and aliveness!
Our bodies are not designed for constant stress, and the fact that so many of us live under this default setting is what’s making sluggish, tired lifestyles the new normal.
Don’t let that be you! Give yourself a breather and step out of work mode to recenter and refresh.
You deserve it.
3. You Aren’t Making Empowered Food Choices
Your body is a vehicle for your energy, so whatever fuel you put in is what you will put out!
From a mechanical standpoint, if you filled up a commercial car that uses gasoline with diesel – you won’t get far. They’re incompatible and will eventually lead to the engine sputtering out and giving in.
From a wellbeing standpoint, if you fill yourself up with unhealthy foods high in carbs, sugars, and other low-nutrient snacks, you’ll sputter out and reach burn-out faster.
Where it can get sticky is that working individuals often face stress and overwhelm and tend to distract themselves from that distress with comfort foods.
So stress eating usually happens on a subconscious level. For example:
- Eating comfort food to “feel better”.
- Eating because you’re bored.
- Mindless eating while watching TV or working from your desk.
- Binge eating (or waiting until you’re starving to finally eat).
- Not eating, because you are either too busy, too stressed, or you aren’t hungry, even though you consciously know your body needs fuel.
The result of this “unconscious eating” is excess weight, lower energy levels and even increased negative feelings — often leading to a vicious cycle of even more stress eating!
In fact, this “eating on auto-pilot” is a bodily instinct that requires little to no thinking.
According to Professor Susan Torres, an Exercise and Nutrition Scientist,
“Research has shown that chronic daily stress releases cortisol, and in studies this has been linked to increasing our appetite or drive for sweet, fatty foods.”
So when stress stock-piles, your cravings follow suit until eventually – they overrun your own will power to stay healthy and block you from releasing unwanted weight.
Mindful eating, on the other hand, is about making empowered food choices and trusting your body wisdom.
But it’s not about replacing all the food in your house with strictly healthy alternatives and “cornering yourself” into better eating. Instead, you can make permanent change by working from the inside-out with daily meditation.
Here’s what Harvard scientists have to say about the benefits of meditation in mindful eating habits:
“Countless studies show that meditation reduces stress…Meditation may also help people become more mindful of food choices. With practice, a person may be able to pay better attention to the impulse to grab a fat- and sugar-loaded comfort food and inhibit the impulse.”
So take back control and empower your mind, body, and spirit to help you develop healthier habits, which in turn will help fuel your body in a way that prevents you from feeling tired or sluggish!
4. You’re Not Hydrating Enough
Think of water as the nutrients your brain needs to function properly. In fact, 75% of your brain is made up of H2O.
So when you’re dehydrated, you’re literally sapping the energy out of your brain.
Solara Mental Health explains the relationship this way:
“Dehydration is the number one cause of stress in your body. In fact, it’s a self-perpetuating cycle: dehydration can cause stress, and stress can cause dehydration. When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce extra cortisol, the stress hormone, and under chronic stress, your adrenal glands can become exhausted, resulting in lower electrolyte levels.
Drinking sufficient water can help reduce the negative psychological and physiological impacts of stress.”
But before you jump into a pool of bottled water and hydrate your stress away, keep in mind that even water can be too much of a good thing. Overhydrating can be harmful and there is such a thing as a healthy balance.
Solara suggests this best practice:
“Your ideal daily water intake depends on your gender, stress levels, weight, climate, exercise levels, whether or not you’re sick, etc. But a rule of thumb is 11.5 cups (92 oz.) of water per day for women, and 15.5 cups (124 oz.) for men.”
Although water intake isn’t an instant solution, it’s a long-term habit that will help you create life-long health and make your day-to-day stressors easier to manage.
And with lower stress, you sleep better, rest better, and as a whole – feel better!
5. You’re Exposing Your Body To Unhealthy Stimulation
Screens are a part of both our work and personal lives, which increases not only their necessity but their proximity to everything we do.
Working from home? There’s a computer on your desk.
On vacation? There’s a TV in your hotel room.
Waiting in line? Just scroll through your phone.
We are so accustomed to having them around that they’re difficult to put away.
And yes, they have their place, but they also have their time.
And the best time to not have a screen around (especially your smartphone) is when you’re trying to rest.
When you’re awake, your smartphone usually helps you stay productive and makes your life easier. At the same time, they’re also designed for constant stimulation by engaging your brain with entertainment and endless information.
So even the smallest peek at your phone in bed can tell your brain that you’re active and awake and ultimately delay your sleep.
On top of that, the blue light from your screen suppresses a natural hormone called melatonin.
Sleep Disorders Specialist, Dr. Walia, MD, explains what happens as a result:
“Research has found a correlation between suppressed levels of melatonin and exposure to blue light. Melatonin is a hormone responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle. So when your body runs low on it, you can experience insomnia, tiredness during the day and irritability.”
This is largely due to the fact that the artificial, blue light radiating from your screen mimics daylight and therefore negatively affects your body’s internal clock.
So instead of bringing your phone to bed or leaving the TV on, set it aside or keep it off for at least 30 minutes before hitting the hay.
And by creating a more predictable, relaxing bedtime routine, you’ll achieve higher-quality rest and revitalize your body for the next day.
6. You’re Setting Your Body To Slow-Motion
Even the most sedentary lifestyles can lead to tired and sluggish days.
That’s because, as modern scientists like to say, “sitting is the new smoking.”
When most of your work or play is done in a seated position, you actually suppress circulation throughout your entire body.
That means your lymphatic system that helps detoxify your body has to work harder (and as a result, slower) to drain your body of toxins and waste.
Even a short exercise before and after your day won’t cut it. There has to be movement, however small, happening throughout your day.
Sanford Health warns us that:
“Lots of people will think, ‘I did 45 minutes of workout in the morning, I should be good for the day,’ but when you’re sitting in a car, sitting at a computer, watching TV, that doesn’t matter…If you sit continuously for six to eight hours with no break, you may not be able to counter the effects of that.”
And it isn’t just taking a toll on the body.
Cardiologist Naveen Rajpurohit, M.D., bridges the gap between mind and body by explaining that people “who sit continuously for long periods of time during the day are at an increased risk of dementia and anxiety because mental health is dependent on exercise and being active.
It’s not just the body, it’s the mind that’s being affected too by simple things like sitting too long and a sedentary lifestyle, so awareness is very important.”
Awareness is very important.
So now that you are aware, how do you go about introducing mindful movement in a healthy, gradual way?
Stand up, move around, and let your body do its magic!
You can accomplish this with simple, small movements like:
- Gentle stretching throughout the day (especially before bed).
- Free dancing to your favorite music!
- Standing up for at least 5 minutes every hour.
- Sitting on a medicine ball to engage your core and encourage good posture.
- Stimulating your vagus nerve (which will support you in having a balanced mental and emotional state).
Your body needs the contraction of your muscles to release the toxins in your body, which means making these small, consistent movements a BIG deal!
And whatever you choose to do, remember that the best way to raise your energy level is with natural, mindful movement.
So next time you’re tempted to reach for a 5-hour energy drink, try going for a 5-minute stretch instead!
7. You’re Emotionally Tired (Of Yourself And Others)
If you’re in a negative work environment, or surround yourself with people who are constantly radiating negative energy, you will feel that vibration physically and spiritually.
Personal example: As a sales professional in my previous career, I put our business goals, and bottom line in front of my own needs and self care.
Regardless of how I felt inside, I felt tremendous pressure to perform at the highest level.
I had to show up with positivity when the very environment I was in created not-so-positive situations.
But I had responsibilities. I was raising a family with 3 kids, and although I was stuck in a cycle of burn-out, I felt like I had to do everything I could to power through.
As a result of being burned out is spilled into my home life. At home I showed up as a short-tempered, cranky, unmotivated mom. I didn’t have the energy to go after my best life or my personal goals.
Similar stresses can cause you to lay in bed all day, lose interest in the things that usually give you joy, and trigger your inner critic in ways that make each day feel heavier and slower.
I was only able to finally start turning my life around by doing exactly what you’re doing now — identifying the root behind why I was so tired and sluggish and changing things up little by little; listening to my body and trusting in its wisdom.
If you feel that same calling within you, I encourage you to follow these top 3 healthy practices:
- Don’t allow yourself to be a dump can for other people’s emotions.
- Invest more time with people who make you feel good.
- Reflect on yourself to make sure you aren’t being pessimistic and pulling others down.
All of this is meant to encourage you to be there for yourself, to pay attention to your mind-body-spirit connection, and be mindful of how you treat yourself.
And the most surprising, natural remedy for all of this: cultivating confidence!
CONCLUSION: EMPOWER Yourself Through Your Day With Confidence!
There are physical, emotional, and spiritual factors that determine your energy levels, and unless all three are addressed, any change will end up temporary.
That’s why empowering yourself from the inside out is the key to stop feeling tired and sluggish and unlocking naturally high levels of energy, motivation, and aliveness!
So as you learn to declutter, breathe, hydrate, and encourage physical movement…
And improve your areas of emotional health and wellness…
I encourage you to make these habits a permanent part of your lifelong health.
Not just so you can power through your day, but empower yourself through each and every day with vitality and confidence!
If you would love to make this possible for yourself, I invite you to download this Free Confidence Kit.
I’ve helped empower thousands of women worldwide to become more confident, healthy, joyful, abundant and full of life – and you are not an exception!
You CAN have the energy and motivation to make a difference in your life and others, and I would love to guide you to that sacred path.
Together in this guided meditation, we’ll begin the process of repatterning disempowering thoughts and habits about yourself and your body that may be causing your tired and sluggish lifestyle.
You’ll also release unworthiness, deepen unconditional self love, and create more health and vitality from the inside out!
If you’re ready to start living all out in a life you love, rather than tired and sluggish all the time – let’s get right to it!
All it takes is one step in the right direction.
To your lifelong energy,
Jennifer Joy Jiménez