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  • Writer's pictureRuth Hull

Are your daily habits keeping you tired?

Are you constantly tired? Do you suffer from fatigue? Burnout? Exhaustion? Do you want to change how you feel but just don’t know where to begin?

The best place to start is by looking at your daily habits because it's often those little things you do everyday that add up and keep you tired.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” – Charles Duhigg

Daily habits can contribute to fatigue.
Big changes start with little changes. What small change can you make today?

When I was a teenager I had what most of my friends thought was a really strange quote written on my wall. It's by Samuel Beckett:

“Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit”.

I don't know what attracted me to this quote when I was young but it's still one of my favourite quotes and it often goes through my head when I reach for my coffee and at the same time turn to my husband and say "I'm so tired." I know deep inside that if I could give up coffee I would have more energy, but it really is so hard.

What I have learned with age is that we can’t change our habits until we understand why we do them, and we can’t really heal until we change our habits.

I started drinking too much coffee when I worked on the trading floor of a large investment bank in London. It was an incredibly stressful environment and I sat next to an espresso machine. Every time someone shouted at me or I felt unable to cope with something I would have an espresso. It got to the point where I was having 11 espressos a day before I Ieft that job (yip....I was really unhappy in it).

Now, more than 25 years later I still crave coffee when I'm stressed. Don't worry, I don't drink so much anymore but I have realised that when my coffee consumption goes up I need to look at what is causing me stress. When I cope with those stressors then I don't need so much coffee.

What daily lifestyle habits keep me tired?

If you keep asking yourself "why am I so tired all the time?" then try to become more aware of your daily habits and why you do them. I often find when I work with patients that they're “keeping” themselves sick, or tired, or unable to sleep through their habits and routines.

For example, snacking on biscuits makes our blood sugars surge and plummet and so gives us energy lows. Drinking too much coffee has the rebound effect of crashing our energy. Too much wine at night might send us to sleep quickly but often leaves us wide awake and unable to sleep later in the night and also gives us sinus problems.

Fatigue and brain fog are often linked not only to stress but also to certain foods and drinks. You'll find a list of them on my resources page, under the heading "Clean out your pantry". If you haven't already subscribed to my blog do so at the end of this page and you'll get access to my subscriber's only resources page.

If you've already cleaned these foods out of your pantry and are still struggling then your next step would be to do an elimination diet to find out if maybe something else you're eating is causing chronic inflammation in your body and depleting your energy. You can find out more about how to do an elimination diet in my blog Why do I bloat after eating? Do I have a food intolerance?

Where do I start if I want to change the daily habits that keep me tired?

I wish I could say to you that changing daily habits is easy. But it isn't. What does help is understanding why you do what you do. So here is a short, but surprisingly difficult, exercise for you to do: write down the habits you wish to change and then write down why you think you do each one.

For example:

  • Do I snack on biscuits every day because it takes me back to that warm, cosiness of my childhood?

  • Do I drink coffee every morning because I don’t believe I have enough strength to cope with my day?

  • Do I drink wine every night because I feel I can’t unwind?

These examples are just some ideas. Write down the habits you wish to change and think about them. By simply being aware of what you do and why you do it, you will be taking your first BIG healing step and when you feel ready to change that habit it will be easier than if you try to change it simply through discipline.

Best of luck!


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