by Cailin O'Hara, MAcOM, LAc, Dipl OM
It's such a common complaint.
Waking up tired after sleeping through the night
Energy crashing throughout the day
Feeling heavy and exhausted
A mental fog that makes it hard to think coherently
An emotional fatigue, like you just can't deal with anything else
Sleep doesn't fill your tank. Food doesn't seem to help. You're too tired to work out or take great care of yourself. You don't feel inspired. Your body aches.
Obviously, there is no single cure for everyone's exhaustion. We're all different.
But for many of us, there's generally one cause, and it may surprise you.
I've had a long relationship with fatigue.
A bout of mononucleosis landed me in the hospital for a week when I was 16. I was incredibly ill, and the exhaustion lingered for years. Then, the summer I turned 23, I was diagnosed with lyme disease. For months prior, I was so easily fatigued and in pain that I remember crawling up the stairs at night when I'd get home from work because walking was too hard.
I'm now in my mid-30s and those days are far behind me.
What being exhausted taught me is a) how to naturally improve my energy levels, b) how to continuously manage my energy levels and c) how to become aware of what is sucking my energy dry.
So, what's the #1 thing that's draining your energy?
No, it's not a diagnosis or a life circumstance or an outside force.
Actually, it's you.
I know, that feels like shit to read. And it's easily arguable.
But it's actually really good news.
What I've learned through healing layers of myself and helping my patients as they heal is this: what drains us most is ourselves... and more specifically, our thoughts.
Don't balk. :)
Our thoughts govern everything we choose and do. They are our motivating and driving force, which directly translates as our energy expenditure. It's literally cause and effect: align with a thought, make a decision, expend energy. The problem is, we generally aren't aware of the subconscious thoughts and behaviors that are dictating how we use our energy. We also struggle to understand what we can do about it.
So, I've compiled the top 3 ways you may be draining your own energy AND my 5 best tips for restoring your natural energy levels. Keep reading!
Dr. Cailin O'Hara, DACM, LAc, Dipl OM, is a nationally board certified Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, herbalist and coach. She is based in Phoenix, AZ.