The Epidemic of Tiredness and 10 Things to Do
Yesterday I was talking to a friend and when I asked her how she was doing, she uttered the words we hear so much these days, "I'm tired." I immediately went into fix-it-mode because it was something I had thought about often and since I had recently told my own husband that if he stopped uttering those three words and he would soon feel less tired.
I know it sounds somewhat ridiculous because you have every reason to be tired! You wake up early, you meet the hundreds of demands placed on you throughout the day, you are dealing with a global pandemic and probably 50 other reasons why you may be feeling rundown.
I am so guilty of doing this too. Of saying I am tired over and over again.
But here are a few of the solutions I gave my friend as well as some herbs that may aid you on the journey to "I am full of life!"
1- Declutter your Life.
This one works for me! As a starting point to feeling less heavy and rundown, go through your house in a manageable way (i.e. Starting with one room or closet at a time) and get rid of anything you don't use, don't need, and don't need to store. Believe me, removing deadweight lying around your house is so freeing and liberating and that feeling will bleed through into your whole life. And when you are light and liberated, you have made space for newness, and that energy is uplifting as it invites creativity, play, curiosity, and room for new ideas.
2- Declutter ALL of your life!
Don't just stop at your home or your space, declutter the noise from your life. Declutter your social media, declutter your phone, declutter any relationships that are not giving you life but leaving you drained. Take breaks from social media and set clear boundaries around the time you spend in those spaces. It is so unhealthy to be on social media every single day. The more time you spend scrolling on and on, the more tired your brain will be. And with all that extra time you have when you set limits with your phone or any technology, you get to go outside!
3- Go outside.
Think about yourself in a very mechanistic way for a minute, because that is what modern society has made you, a sentient robot. But seriously, think of yourself as a battery and you are running out of juice. Our natural way to recharge, is to go be in nature. That is why it is called recharging in nature! Let your eyes feast on the outside world and all the vibrant colors, let your ears listen to the birds sing, let your breath be deep as you breathe in the oxygen from the trees around you or the ocean breeze, put your feet in the earth, and literally PLUG yourself back into your place on this planet. Once you stop being a mechanistic robot, you will immediately feel more energy. You will be charged with Earth energy, the best kind.
4- Ground Even More.
When I feel tired, I tend to also feel more melancholic and my mind starts trying to answer all the existential questions of the universe. To get out of my head and to invite a different type of energy into my body, I ground through breath and movement. I put on some tunes and I move my body in the way it wants to move, I stretch, I breathe intentionally and into my belly. I let out heavy sighs and with them my cares for the trouble in our world. Music and movement can usually change my mood and energy.
5- Be social.
Connecting with people, whether in person or over virtual spaces is so important. When I am with people, I enjoy good conversation, a feeling of mutual support and usually lots of laughs! Laughs are sure to wake you up and make you feel more alive! And energy begets energy.
6- Cast a spell around your space.
It sounds a little silly but I believe in intentionally protecting my space from energy that I do not want. Whether it be energetic, physical or emotional space. I love to burn herbal bundles that I create. I collect rosemary or lavender or mugwort or any aromatic non-endangered herb, and I dry it then burn it around the space I am trying to protect. Always open windows to let the unwanted energies out. I also like to drum and say a little mantra or prayer to invite in the energy you do want.
7- Be present.
Do you find yourself just moving through your to-do list or action items throughout the day without feeling grounded in what you are doing in the moment? I do all the time! I usually stop when I notice. Take one deep breath. And tune into the task I am doing. I try to do it with thought and care, rather than just rush through it to get to the next thing.
8- Take a nap (or a bath).
It's not just you! We live in a grind culture. It's not natural and you being tired is so justified and probably the reality of the situation. We don't reward downtime the same way we reward resting and rejuvenating. Normalize resting and taking naps if you need them. And if you can't nap, take a bath. Taking the time for yourself, will make you happy to take care of those around you when you feel rested and rejuvenated (and water is deeply healing).
9- Stop worrying.
I am a self-professed worry wort. But I have been working really hard to change it. I once saw this beautiful graffiti of a girl blowing on dandelion with the words "worry is a misuse of your imagination" blowing alongside the seeds. It stuck with me because it is so true. When we imagine the future, we tend to consider worst-case scenarios and many times those times spent worrying were unfounded and exhausting. Or sometimes we worry over things we simply cannot control. This is such a difficult practice to do, but letting go is so much easier and less exhausting.
10- Finally, stop saying you are tired!
It honestly is so easy to do and I do it allllll the time! But it becomes a mantra. Are you really tired? Or has this just become a thing you say? And again, believe me, I am tired all the time too. I often wake up tired! And we are not supposed to feel rejuvenated in this society we have created for ourselves, but also question your own habits. If you constantly say you are tired, you will act tired, and you will be tired!
Make sure as always you get good quality sleep, eat well and not too late, drink lots of water, exercise, get outside at least once and check your vitamin D, Zinc, Iron, B12 and inflammation markers.
Here are some herbs I would recommend:
Take your nutritives! Herbs like nettle, Red Clover, Red Raspberry, and Alfalfa are going to help you rebuild your reserves as well as provide you with many vitamins and minerals needed to feel energetic. Make overnight infusions for the strongest medicine and enjoy all day.
Take your nervines! I find that tiredness goes with stress, anxiety, and even depression. To help with that, I love herbs like Oatstraw, Lemon Balm, Tulsi, Chamomile, Lavender, and St. John's Wort. They will soothe you and give you that extra boost of calm to get on with your day.
Take your alteratives and lymphatics! Sometimes, we are tired because our bodies are fighting so hard to keep up with our modern levels of toxicity. You may feel tired because of allergies, toxic buildup, or because you are fighting an infection. By supporting your liver and blood and lymphatic system, you are supporting those processes to run smoothly and aid in healing. I love Dandelion Root, Dandelion Leaf, Nettle, Burdock, Milk Thistle, and Yellow Dock Root.
Take focus-enhancing herbs! Oftentimes tiredness comes with brain fog and general fatigue. To combat that, there are some amazing herbs out there! From Ginseng to Rosemary to Sage to Peppermint to Bacopa and Gotu Kola. These are some of my favorite herbs out there and they will help with focus and longevity.
Take adaptogens! Adaptogens are usually at the top of every list but I think that is mostly hype and that is not to say that they are not well studied and known to be AMAZING for you, but I think it's easy to just say take Ashwagandha without looking at root causes. Having said that, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Eleuthro, Cordyceps, Shisandra and tulsi are all going to support your nervous system in the long term, they are safe and they are effective! Take daily to really notice a difference.