Are you feeling lethargic and drained by the end of the week? It’s all you can do to get yourself to the weekend so you can rest to try and recover to start the new working week?
This issue seems to be a frequent topic of discussion these days: and for good reason.
Lethargy and exhaustion: Why?
Before we look at one of the best ways to counteract the extreme lassitude and fatigue by the end of the work week, let’s look at several reasons why we feel this way by the end of the week:
Our global society has moved from the Industrial Age where people were more active at work to the Information Age where people sit behind a computer for long hours without moving. Not only is the lack of movement an issue but many people do not sit behind an ergonomic workstation. Consequently, they develop conditions such as Repetitive Strain Injury, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other maladies specific to the lack of movement.
The article published on Everydayhealth.com titled “The Real Effects of Technology on Your Health” notes that information is continuously available via mobile devices, and it can be consumed 24/7. This often causes the brain fatigue from the constant barrage of information. In summary, part of the reason why we feel overwhelmed all the time is that our brains never get time to relax. They are always processing and sorting out information.
Staring at a computer, or mobile device screen all day (and for most of the night) causes eye strain, loss of vision, migraine headaches, light sensitivity, and exhaustion. It also induces sleep deprivation. Firstly, we spend too long on our mobile devices when we should be sleeping. And, because our brains are so busy processing all the information consumed, it never calms down enough so we can fall asleep.
Exercise: One of the best ways to counteract exhaustion and fatigue
At the outset, it’s important to note that I am not a medical professional. Therefore, it’s important to check with your doctor before embarking on a programme of rigorous exercise.
That being said, here are several benefits to exercising on a daily basis:
Improves the quality of your sleep
As long you don’t exercise just before bedtime, it promotes better sleep than if you don’t exercise. Not only will you fall asleep quicker, but your quality of sleep will also be better.
Helps with weight loss
There is no doubt that our sedentary lifestyles are a major cause of the global obesity epidemic. The World Health Organisation’s statistics show that “worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.” Therefore, exercising every day will help us reduce excess weight and reduce the likelihood of contracting obesity-related diseases like heart disease, and diabetes.
Is a mood booster
The Mayo Clinic website notes that “physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.” It gets your heart rate going, increases your natural endorphin levels and helps reduce the stress hormones like noradrenalin and adrenalin.
Improves energy levels
Does walking from your car to your office, or completing household chores exhaust you? Exercise increases muscle strength, density, and endurance levels. It also “delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.” Therefore, when your muscles, heart, and lungs receive more oxygen, you will be able to go about your daily life without feeling tired and out-of-breath.
Starting an exercise programme can be demoralising and tiring in itself. However, on the other hand, it can also be exciting, especially when you notice your fitness levels improving and your lethargy levels reducing. It is important to persevere, break down your fitness goals into bite-size chunks, and celebrate every small milestone.
Succinctly stated, your joie de vivre and raison d’etre will return, thereby, improving your quality of life and your ability to cope with all of the modern-day stresses. It is for this reason alone that it is worth embarking on a daily exercise programme.
3 Life Hacks to Help You Survive our Post-Modern World
We currently live in a world that is plagued by regional conflicts, the threat of conflict, trade wars, rising violent crime levels, severe weather events due to climate change as well as the increasing cost of living while our wages stagnate. Therefore, it suffices to say that navigating our way through life is not easy.
However, the challenging geopolitical and socio-economic living conditions are not an excuse to give up. They are a reason to learn coping skills to live as healthy a life as possible.
Ways to live a healthy life in our crazy, modern world
Thus, here are three essential life hacks to help you learn the coping skills you need to live a full, successful, and healthy life:
Helen Keller, one of the USA’s leading educators and humanitarians in the 20th century, stated that “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
As an aside, it is worth noting that she was left deaf and blind after a devastating illness at two years old. As a result, it would be understandable if she was cynical and bitter throughout her life. However, the opposite is true. She went on to live a life of service to others and, in 1920, she ultimately co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU).
Additionally, Chad Cooper highlights “the importance of being in service to others for your own success” in his article on Medium.com. The salient point here is that if we serve others, we focus on others and forget about our misfortunes. Thus, we end up stronger people, better able to cope with the challenges that each day throws at us.
Thus, it makes sense to try and emulate Keller’s and Cooper’s example.
Mindfulness: Stay in the present
Mother Theresa, who also spent her life in service to the most impoverished communities in Kolkata, India stated: “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” It is vital to not let past events contaminate the present and the future. Therefore, treat each moment of each day as a separate, isolated event.
Imagine, a moment, raindrops falling on a surface. Each droplet can be equated to a moment in time. Depending on how hard it rains, how big the drops are, and how level the surface is, the individual drops will either run together to form a raging river, or they will dry up when the sun comes out. Thus, in our scenario, it is vital to ensure that the raindrops do not form a raging river, no matter how hard it rains. The trick is to keep our emotional surface as level as possible.
Spend time outdoors
Making a weekly date with nature is vital. It doesn’t matter whether you visit an inner-city green space, walk along the beach, or hike forest and mountain trails. Nature is therapeutic. Exercise is also extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Therefore, can you imagine the benefits of combining exercise and spending time outside?
The fact that our modern, crazy life is challenging to say the least. However, as mentioned above, it is possible to thrive by spending time exercising and in nature, living a life of service to others, and by treating each moment of each day as a unique opportunity to do good.
5 Life Hacks to help you Beat Stress
If you feel overwhelmed by the strains and stresses of life, just know you are not alone. A recent study by the American Psychological Association revealed that 75% of Americans experience moderate to high levels of stress on a regular basis. Even more alarming, 91% of Australians feel stress in one or more crucial areas in their lives. About 50% feel overly stressed in at least one area of their lives, this is according to Lifeline Australia.
Going by the numbers, stress is part of life. However, when it exceeds the normal threshold, then it becomes a problem.
Here are five life hacks to help you beat stress:
Don’t rush through life
Today, everything is moving so fast. It seems as though “fast” is the trend. We want to rush through college, rush to get an internship, rush to get a job. We are rushing because the society expects us to do so. We also are rushing because we want to compare our success to that of our peers, in the name of keeping up.
Not to say that rushing is bad; but if you think about it, when was the last time you had no worries, or when did you last relax? When was the last time you felt happy moving in the direction of your choice? I bet you can’t remember.
Here’s the thing, rushing only adds to your anxiety and stress; it’s unhealthy, it affects your decision-making skills, it causes you to miss out on opportunities and what’s worse, it won’t make you happy. So, slow down. Appreciate yourself and things around you. Learn to say no, and don’t take more than you can handle. Live life without regrets: work hard, play harder and just let things to take care of themselves.
Be responsible for your actions
It’s not uncommon for people to want to blame others for the negative things that are happening in their lives. They are always blaming their jobs, their spouse, their mother-in-law, the government, their neighbours, the media, the receptionist at the hotel, or the tailor who took wrong measurements.
Placing the blame for whatever it is you’re feeling on others can make you happy for a moment, but does it really help you to address the real problem? No. think of it this way, how is it that your spouse is responsible for your stress? Are you their slave, puppet or tool? How can you lose the control of your emotions when other people confront you?
Remember, everyone else is but a pretext; regardless of how restricting the situation appears, you have a margin of freedom to act on. Like if someone points a gun at you and manipulates you into doing something, you still have the power to surrender or not.
Don’t create your own storm and get upset when it rains. In the face of a problem, you should accept that you took part in creating it and believe that it is a lesson learned, then grow from it. You can take some time alone to review the situation and once you have everything figured out, let go of your attachment to the problem.
Learn to accept help
Accepting help is not a sign of weakness as many would want to imagine. The notion that it’s a sign of weakness is what makes a lot of people want to struggle with their problems, even when it’s killing them. Human beings are social beings and need one another to thrive.
Your prideful or flawed thinking is most likely the reason why you don’t want to ask for help: it could be that you are scared of what others will think of you or of showing your weakness. However, you should know that it is all in your head – you are the one who’s reinforcing unrealistic ideas. So, instead of struggling with something, learn to ask for help and to trust other people too.
A good approach is to not second-guess yourself – when the thought crosses your mind, act on it. Just be selective about who you are asking for help. Above all, do not undermine your problems – whether it’s difficult or easy. A problem is a problem and belittling it as not worth being solved only makes it harder to cope with.
Don’t let tomorrow’s worries ruin today
Omar Khayyam said, “Dead is yesterday, unborn is tomorrow, why fret about them if today is sweet?” Worrying about tomorrow will only ruin your beautiful today. And the worst bit is, worrying never changes anything; in fact, it only makes things worse.
So, instead of worry about tomorrow, do your best today, and forget about the rest. Often, things are never as bad as they seem.
This list wouldn’t be complete without exercise – and what better way to release the tension and stress from the mind than exercising? Regular exercise is good for your bones and muscles. It can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases; it can help with your skin health; it can help your memory and brain and can help with relaxation and sleep quality. Exercise will also make you happier.
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