Has this happened to you?
- Your favourite sitcom is on... but you are dozing off fitfully in front of it...
- You hate those 20 stairs up to your second floor house!
- First half of the day: chirpy; after lunch: droopy.
- You can’t seem to want to get out of bed. What happened to the eight hours of rest you just had? Everything seems to tire you.
- Today you slumped on the floor of the Metro – your legs simply couldn’t hold you up...
You’re not alone. “I am just so tired” is possibly the most repeated phrase in urban cities. Between mild tiredness and chronic exhaustion, where do you fit in? And what actually is going wrong?
“Staying well hydrated and aerated are two essential requirements for feeling energetic,” says Dr Krishna Kant Dhebri, a family physician from Mumbai. “When it is hot and humid outside, more blood flows near the skin to cool the body down. As a result, less blood reaches the muscles, and this leads to lethargy.” Lack of water makes your system work harder, which again causes fatigue.
So during July-August (the wettest and sweatiest months), drink plenty of fluids and eat cooling foods. Drink a big glass of water as soon as you wake up, then finish two litres through the day. Go easy on caffeine. And if you are a coffee-before-I-open-my-eyes person, it is better to glug some water first.
Healthy energy production begins with healthy digestion. Instead of one or two large meals, eat lightly several times a day, including whole grains, oats, sprouts and enough vegetables and fruits. Vinegar also helps beat exhaustion. Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of chilled water and sip slowly. If you don’t like the taste, just add sliced cucumbers.
Of course the other rules for good eating hold true too: choose unrefined flour, low GI foods, and less sugar wherever possible. Food allergy can drain your energy too. If you feel fatigued right after a meal, get yourself checked.
“Keep moving to feel less tired,” says Nisha Varma, Reebok master trainer (North India). “When you are sedentary, your metabolic rate decreases and you burn fewer calories, so you feel exhausted.”
When you are bored, you feel tired. “Ever noticed how you don’t feel tired while cheering at a concert for hours together? But even sitting through a train journey leaves you fatigued?” asks Dr Madhusudan Solanki, consultant psychiatrist at Saket City Hospital, Delhi.
“Boredom sets in because of monotony of tasks. It affects your mood, and how you feel about yourself at that point of time. A negative self-appraisal reflects as physiological tiredness,” he explains. “So keep refreshing your environment, add diversity to your work, and take breaks,” he advises.
You know the drill: at least eight hours at night. Dr Manvir Bhatia, visiting senior consultant in neurology and sleep medicine at Medanta – The Medicity, Gurgaon, also recommends a mid-day nap. “Even if you don’t sleep, close your eyes for 10 or 20 minutes and listen to some soothing music or meditate. This will recharge your batteries.” Sleep apnea might interfere in your sleep and tire you out (snoring is a good symptom). “Get a sleep test done, if you suspect any such thing,” adds Dr Bhatia.
“Tiredness is often a manifestation of low haemoglobin levels from iron deficiency,” explains Dr Debri. “Look for accompanying pale skin, fast heart beat and irritability. Iron supplements and an iron-rich diet can help rectify this.” Vitamin B deficiencies also lead to a similar run-down and weak feeling, as does Vitamin D, so get some sun.
“Feeling tired in the morning is a hallmark of weak thyroid function,” says Dr Sudhindra Kulkarni, endocrinologist, Fortis hospital Mumbai.
If your fatigue lasts more than six months and is so severe that you can’t manage daily activities, see a doctor. Persistent, unexplained exhaustion may just be a symptom of something bigger.
LADIES, CHEAT TO CONCEAL
Feeling tired but need to put your best face forward? Charoo Chawla Anand, director at Blliis by Ravissant, Delhi offers makeup tricks:
* Rub ice on the face to sooth eye puffiness.
* Apply white eyeshadow or highlighter in the inner corners of the eyes and just under the lower lip.
* Use a pop of fuchsia pink or orange on the lips. Or go for neons, they give your face and personality a burst of colour.
* Cheek tints add a fresh look (and look better than creams and powders).
* Groom those brows. Use a soft brow powder to fill in gaps and aim for an arch at the highest point for a defined look.
* After you’re done, apply a drop or two of an ayurvedic eye drop into the eyes. This will give an instant brightness. And once you are done, flash your best smile and you are ready to go.
From HT Brunch, August 3
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