“Why am I so tired?” was the 8th most googled health question of 2018. Part of me was blown away when I saw that and then once I thought about it, actually it made perfect sense, especially given the line of work we are in at Next Evolution Performance. There are very few people that we meet who initially feel that they have all the energy they require. Of course they have a lot a more after working with us!
It’s hard to do everything
It’s no wonder people are feeling more and more tired. Technology certainly helps us to be more efficient (assuming you aren’t getting distracted by it), but we find it only raises the bar for us to feel like we need to do more to stay ahead of the game. And when you’re a high performer, this pressure often comes from within.
Being tired is a vicious cycle
Science tells us that being tired unfortunately decreases our ability to cope with potentially stressful situations. And of course if you can’t deal with a stressful situation then your view of the situation becomes worse which increases your chance of mental health problems and burnout. And we’ve all no doubt heard that burnout is now a thing according to the World Health Organization. Unfortunately all of these issues lead to an increase in not just everyday tiredness, but general fatigue.
This all puts more demand on us physiologically which means that your immune system is under stress so that you are more likely to be susceptible to colds, flu and even worse. Then of course we see people try to continue working while they aren’t at their physical best which leads to the vicious cycle of even more tiredness and fatigue.
So what to do about it?
We’d like to say that there is a silver bullet to having more energy. Unfortunately there isn’t. Everyone is built differently. According to our “Mental, Neural, Physical” approach, different people see the cracks (causes) in very different areas. And if these aren’t dealt with, they lead to symptoms appearing in other areas. But here are a few general tips to get you started……
Work to your natural pace – This is gamechanger – the average attention span is around 40 minutes, but that’s average, so depending on your natural pace it will be higher or lower than 40 minutes. It’s important to understand what that is for you and how to work with it instead of against it to maximise your energy. Contact us if you would like to take our pace indicator to explore this more accurately.
Master your natural biorhythms – Not a morning person? Stop trying to be – it takes a lot of energy to be something you’re not and neuroscience doesn’t say that you have to be a morning person to be awesome, it’s about using your energy credits properly when you have them. Make sure you do tasks that take more of your cognitive load at the time you have the mental energy and then make sure you do lighter tasks when you have less mental energy available.
Sleep more – There are some people who have the gene that allows them to survive on less than 6 hours sleep a night. Unfortunately you have more chance of being struck by lightning than having that gene! And sure everyone is different in terms of how much sleep exactly that they need – but if you’re not sure, best to err on the side of caution and assume it’s more sleep than you are actually getting. If in doubt – read “Why we Sleep” by Matthew Walker and you’ll definitely start to prioritise your sleep a little more.
Eat more foods that serve your immune system – Again increasing energy has a lot to do with increasing your immune system, so eating foods that increase your macronutrient intake is super important. Green vegetables are a great start.
Move more – This increases your happy hormones which will reduce the incidence of your stress hormones building up to toxic levels and reducing your immune system so that you have more energy and become less susceptible to colds, flu and other nasties. Be careful not to overtrain as this will deplete your immune system by causing more physical stress on your body.
Drink more water – Your pre-frontal cortex is the part of the brain that we need to work efficiently at work. It is responsible for all the executive function and emotional regulation that happens in the brain and it needs conditions to be just right – and one of them is enough hydration. Again everyone is different, but ideally you want clear wee to show you are hydrated enough for great brain function and to remove toxins from your body, as well as reducing your chance of developing Alzheimers disease.
Work in your optimal stress zone – Again the pre-frontal cortex is fussy and one of the conditions is having the right amount of stress. And again everyone is different so if you’re not sure how on this one do get in touch.
Master your mindset – Feeling down? If so, you’re more likely to view your external situations less positively than when you are feeling upbeat to start with. That’s an annoying little conundrum isn’t it?! And whether you think you can or not, you’re right! So practice helpful thoughts to build more helpful neural wiring.
So again, not everyone is built the same and so mastering your energy and therefore performance is very individualised. If you would like to truly master your energy performance please do get in touch.