People have never had so much access to a wealth of information as they do today. And although there’s still room for improvement in many ways, society has also made strides in terms of equality and diversity.
More than ever, we are aware of the many opportunities that might lie ahead of us in life. And we know just what it takes to reach our goals.
But at the same time, we’re also getting stretched out on multiple fronts. We have to balance our dedication to career advancement with the responsibilities at home and our social commitments.
You don’t need a doctor to tell you that fatigue can lead to injury. Or a lawyer to tell you that it increases the risks of getting in a truck accident. Yet many of us still go about each day in a near-exhausted state.
Turning this around will let you approach each day with renewed zeal and derive more enjoyment from all that you do. These are the keys to understanding how to manage your energy and restore your vitality.
All living things require energy to survive and fuel their growth and other internal processes. We learn this concept in our introductory science courses as schoolchildren. Plants absorb energy from the sun. They are consumed by herbivores, themselves prey for carnivores, and so on as you go up the food chain.
Yet unless your career lands you in STEM, it can be easy to forget this lesson and apply it to your daily living as an adult. Your energy determines your ability to concentrate and be effective at whatever task you’re doing. In its most simple form, you have to balance your input versus your output.
That begins with proper nutrition. Missing mealtimes and working long hours is a recipe for disaster. It gets even worse when you substitute junk food for healthy meals or turn to stimulants such as caffeine or energy drinks for a temporary boost.
Eat healthy food and eliminate empty calories and other substances from your diet. Get good, regular sleep. You can resort to all sorts of productivity tricks and hacks, but if you skip these basics, you’ll always feel fatigued.
Chasing good stress
Modern lifestyles demand that we fulfill a wide array of roles. Each day, you don’t just go to work and come home to your family; you’re also commuting, shopping, balancing your budget, staying updated with news and social media.
Handling all these activities means you have to process many decisions. And not all of those choices are easily made. Many of them never go away. You might have to continually thread through potential conflicts in the office or at home, or figure out how to make ends meet each month.
Every bit of uncertainty you have to deal with leads to increased stress. And that’s generally a bad thing. However, there’s a good form of stress. It’s known as ‘eustress.’ And it comes from activities that challenge us within our limits, creating positive stress in the short term. Learning a new hobby, traveling, meeting new people, or exercising can all add eustress to your life.
Its opposite, distress, is harmful and chronic. It makes you feel as though you’re worn out and always carrying a heavy burden. Research has shown that distress sharpens the feeling of fatigue, while eustress alleviates it.
Thus, avoiding fatigue isn’t necessarily about doing less. You can start by reducing the sources of distress in your life. And you can pursue a more active lifestyle and still feel energized if you focus on things that create eustress.
When you’re busy, things seem to happen so fast. Days, months, and years past all blur into a uniform and distant recollection. You’re running to stand still, and the future seems to bring ever more additional tasks and concerns.
This sameness of experience also contributes to fatigue. When our lives become so routine, we feel dull to our experiences. Nothing is new or stimulating, so we don’t anticipate novelty or fun.
If you want to approach each day with a greater appetite for life, you have to make better memories. Do things differently, pursue your interests, or open yourself up to unique experiences.
When you make this effort, you’ll have something to look forward to amid the daily grind. You’ll realize that you do have a lot of time and energy to spare, and it takes away the numbness and fatigue of monotonous existence.