Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of women in perimenopause. For women who are used to getting things done and having plenty of energy all day, being hit with fatigue is rough. You don’t lose the desire to get things done. You just plain don’t have the energy to do them.
There are a number of reasons perimenopausal women experience fatigue. At the risk of gross generalization, almost all of them boil down to a hormone imbalance. Elevated levels of cortisol put the body into a state of chronic stress, and the easiest way for the body to survive is to carefully guard energy reserves. In your reality, this translates to fatigue.
And while you may be in the habit of reaching for a caffeinated drink or a sugary pick-me-up, stop! Those will only magnify your tiredness later. Even worse, they’re wreaking havoc on your hormone levels.
If you’re tired of feeling tired all the time, try these five fabulous fatigue fighters!
Drink some water
Hydration is key for staving off fatigue. If your body is dehydrated, blood volume drops. When blood volume drops, your heart works harder to pump blood throughout your body. The energy for that extra work has to come from somewhere! It’s being taken from your energy stores.
Try some deep breathing
Most of us breathe shallowly all the time. When we fill (and empty) our lungs completely, we are flooding our body with oxygen. That oxygen wakes up the brain and the muscles. If you can work on conscious deep breathing for 3-5 minutes, you’ll feel revitalized.
Try this: Sit up tall. Inhale while counting to 4. Hold for a count of 4. Exhale for a count of 4. Keeping the breath deep, steady, and even is your goal.
There’s even better news for perimenopausal women about deep breathing. Breath work can help reduce hot flashes, too!
Movement asks the heart to push all of that well-oxygenated blood around the body. Whether it’s getting up and going for three minute walk around the office or just standing up at your desk and doing some gentle stretches, the shift from being sedentary to moving enlivens your body.
Bonus points: Get outside and move around in the sunshine. Sunlight interacts with your circadian rhythms to remind your body that it’s time to be awake and active right now.
Grab a Snack
Eating a nutrient-dense snack can perk you up, provided you don’t eat too much. (That will send blood to your digestive tract, robbing you of the energy you’re seeking.) Nuts are a great option for a fatigue fighting snack. Their protein and fat will stimulate your energy without setting you up for a crash later on.
Protect your Sleep
Of course, the best possible way to fight fatigue is to ensure you’re getting the right amount of sleep for your body. Without proper sleep, your body suffers in a multitude of ways. Your brain is less sharp, your appetite signaling hormones aren’t as well regulated, and your fat receptor cells are all fired up. This trifecta of negative effects should be avoided at all costs!
Work to be as protective of your sleep as you are of, say, your wallet. Recognize that investing in good sleep pays great dividends.
While it may be hard to do things like give up vegging on the couch in front of the TV while you doze off, allowing your body to drop into sleep in a more supportive environment really does matter.
Wait…..were you expecting a fatigue fighting magic pill?
There isn’t one. But when you nail the basics of good health and wellness habits, fatigue falls away. Your energy levels rise, your mental engagement perks up, and you’re ready to handle whatever life throws at you.
So stop trying to overcomplicate things. If you’re ready to learn more and take action creating your wellness lifestyle, check out my ecourse Build Healthy Habits: Six Weeks to Wellness. Because when you feel better, you feel better!
Carry on, fatigue fighter!