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Fatigue & Stress Busters

Are you feeling more tired or more stressed than you were in the past? Uncertainty is a major driver of stress. And the COVID-19 epidemic adds another level of that uncertainty.

Luckily, we humans are incredibly resilient. Sometimes, at a cellular level, we become less resilient. Try a few of these at-home tips to improve your cellular resilience and feel more alive.

Also remember there may be another cause of your symptoms - so be sure to check in with your naturopath for a thorough assessment (thyroid, environmental toxicity, poor liver function, autoimmune conditions, inflammation and chronic infections can all play a role - and you may not be aware of these!)

1. Hydrate

How much water do you drink? Is your skin/mouth dry? Being slightly dehydrated can deplete your blood volume and cause fatigue, as well as constipation. Drinking enough water will help your body's natural detox processes too - which will improve energy. Drinking coffee and tea actually can count against your total water intake, since they increase urinary output and can add to dehydration.

Trouble remembering to drink water? Get an app!

Don't like the taste of water? Get a quality filter (actually, everyone can benefit from filtered water), and add some fresh mint, cucumber or berries, or add a bag of herbal tea to a litre of water and let it infuse overnight.

2. Eat less sugar and caffeine!

Have you considered what you reach for when you're tired? Stop relying on these crutches that will perpetuate your fatigue, causing you to crash a little while later. Instead, choose a snack with a bit of protein to balance your blood sugars. Or, see #1 and reach for a glass of water or weak herbal tea. Unsure about what to eat to support your resilience? Check out my post on antioxidant/anti-inflammatory foods.

3. Sleep

While all people definitely don't need the same amount of sleep, studies show that consistently getting less than 6 hours per night (more than 10 nights in a row) has significant detrimental impacts on cognitive functioning. Hours in bed don't equate to hours of sleep. And hours of unbroken sleep will allow for more restorative benefits. See my post about sleep. If you are a shift-worker, have young children or other reasons affecting your sleep quality, let's talk about other natural support available.

4. Get out in nature / take breaks

You don't need to be athletic or sporty to benefit from time in nature. Connecting with nature has many health and mood benefits - take the simple practice of "forest-bathing" (or shinrin yoku). When in nature, try to see, smell or hear something pleasant you haven't noticed before (turn off your phone while doing this).

If allergies are getting in the way - find a place with less grasses/pollens, or do this away from allergy season (also - ask me for support in balancing your immune system to reduce the severity of reactions in the future)

5. Consider further assessment and support:

Adaptogens are a group of herbs that help combat chronic stress and fatigue by building resilience. They're especially important if the cause of your stress is ongoing. Speak to your naturopath about which adaptogens may be best for you.

Testing: of cortisol, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, vitamin D, and markers of anemia, and potentially other tests may be relevant in your case.

CAUTION: Nothing written in this blog is intended as medical advice. Please speak to your naturopathic doctor or medical doctor if you are experiencing ongoing fatigue, recent unexplained weight loss, fevers or suicidal thoughts. We're here to help.

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