In our office, we have a fatigue discussion at least twice a year. It goes something like this – “Man, I’m so tired all the time. Am I feeling down because of the weather or am I getting sick? Maybe I need to do a fitness challenge. I wonder if my protein intake is low.”
We consulted with naturopathic physician Kristen Allott to get her take on what’s “in the office water.” She shared a handful of tips – many familiar and a few fresh ideas.
Eat protein every 3 to 4 hours: As a group of salad eaters, this was something we all took stock of and began to focus on. Adding protein powder to our morning smoothies, and eating a handful of almonds, almond butter with apples or a hard-boiled egg for snacks became our go-to favorites.
Make sleep a priority: Dr. Allott suggests at least 6.5 hours of sleep per night. For many of us, it’s higher. She also recommends stopping electronics at least one hour before bed and maintain the same sleep and wake schedule every day. Bye-bye nightly Instagram habit.
Have at least one personal conversation that you can be yourself: This idea surprised us, but we love it. While we believe we can be ourselves always, the reality is that we are shaping our words and actions for our environment, and it takes energy and effort. Both of which may make you feel tired. Spend the time to talk with your mate, a best girlfriend or a parent where you can just let go and say and do what is true to you.
Do 5 minutes of focused breathing: Mediation is the answer to stress and stress makes you feel tired. A simple first step is focusing on just your breath for five minutes a day. As the practice of mediation feels daunting for so many, breathing is an easy way to begin centering yourself.
Exercise at your desk: Sitting all day causes fatigue. Set a timer and do a few exercises throughout the day. Try 10 chair squats, a brisk walk to get lunch or a juice, simple stretches or 30-seconds of wall push-ups.
We’re committed to integrating all of Dr. Allott’s recommendations into our daily routine, and we’ll report back. You do the same!
Dr. Allott’s practice Dynamic Paths provides non-pharmaceutical interventions for depression, anxiety, addictions, sugar cravings and other mental health concerns. She also runs Dynamic Brains Consulting, helping small to midsize businesses optimize the brains of individual employees and teams to improve innovation, responsive decision making and manage performer burnout.