OVERCOMING FATIGUE: One Woman’s Journey to Find Daylight Hours

I struggle with the basic problem that many of you might have: I over-plan and plan to overachieve in my days. My “TO DO” list is a mile long and the perfectionist in me strives to cross off every single thing. You can imagine that this, in and of itself, will lead to mental, emotional, psychological, and, yes, even physical fatigue.

Enter a wiser Sara. After YEARS of counseling, I have learned to greatly reduce the number of things on my “TO DO” list and even be okay….well, mostly okay if I don’t get it all done. So I’m generally sleeping better.

But I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder…that thing where you get gloomy when the daylight hours shrink because of winter solstice? Yeah, sign me up. Less daylight hour potential and on top of that, the clouds are ever present…or so it seems.

To top it off this year, I had gotten a hormone shot to help combat another medical condition. A side effect I didn’t count on? Fatigue.

As you can see…the cards are just, as they say, stacked against me.

It’s more important than ever that I’m managing this fatigue or else I’m liable to spend November through February in bed. And I’m not exaggerating. The fatigue is that real right now.

So where did I get real with combating it? What helped when the rubber met the road?

MY HAPPY LIGHT

Do not discount the effectiveness of a happy light. This is one of those things that is in a box or shaped like a picture frame (mine is) or ipad that you sit in front of up to an hour twice a day (optimum) to get some of that light you are missing in the gloomier seasons.

Some things you should know. They have to be the correct brightness (recommended amount 10,000 lux) to do the trick. This is the one I chose: the Verilux HappyLight Touch.

Was it effective? You bet. I had to start at 15 minutes once a day and work up to 1 hour, twice a day, but I immediately felt I had more energy. And this was easy to fit into my life. I could work on my laptop or read, as long as I was diagonally facing the happy light.

ESSENTIAL OILS

I have shared before how essential oils have been a God-send in my life. And this is another instance where they really packed a punch. The oils, whether diffusing or diluting and rubbing on my skin, seemed to lift that heaviness that I felt. It then seemed more like I had a choice. I wasn’t compelled to sleep/nap/stay in bed. I could choose to get up and be productive. Does that make sense?

The oils I found most effective are (I used Young Living): Valor, Awaken, Brain Power, and En-er-Gee

ADRENAL SUPPLEMENTS

I know, I know….traditional medicine does not recognize “adrenal fatigue”….they don’t truly recognize adrenal malfunction until you have Addison’s Disease (at which point, your adrenals are pretty well shot). But other practitioners who do take a more integrative approach (practice both eastern and western medicine) know this is real.

How do I know my adrenals were fatigued? I started taking a supplement and I got better. The supplement recommended to me was Licorice Root. I took Metagenics Licorice Plus. It took two days for me to feel better. Two days. I had more energy and I couldn’t believe, overall, that people could feel so good.

WHAT GOES INTO YOUR BODY

Finally, what goes into your body makes a difference. Feeding your body the right types of fuels will keep your metabolism revved and going. Instead of sluggish and fatigued.

You know what I’m going to say. It’s not rocket science. Vegetables, limited fruits, lean proteins, and good carbs. These are the things that will give you energy without weighing you down and tiring you out.

CONCLUSION

It all makes a difference. Our bodies are a whole system working together and we need to address the whole thing. When one part is “hurting” (like the adrenals) we need to make sure it’s gears are running smoothly again. But other times, it’s about treating the system as a whole (what you eat, using oils, etc.). Things I haven’t talked about that also make a difference are your psychological and emotional health, your spiritual wellbeing, creating white space in your calendar for rest/rejuvenation…all of these are good and right things to do for yourself.

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