I have been feeling low on energy lately, so I started researching possible causes and came across a condition called hypothyroidism. The most common symptom is feeling exhausted no matter how much sleep you get. I started freaking out that I may have it and asked my doctor to test for it. I haven’t received the test results yet, but I thought I would write a post about things that could be draining your energy and you may not realize it.
Here are my top five:
1. Thyroid problems: Fatigue can be a symptom of something serious, so if you’ve been tired for weeks with no apparent cause, don’t ignore it. The thyroid gland releases hormones that control your metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the gland does not produce enough of the hormones you need. It is more common in women than in men. Symptoms include severe fatigue, thinning hair, and weight gain. You have to do a blood test that checks your hormone levels to find out if you have it.
2. Changes in lifestyle: I have to travel from Kingston to Montego Bay once a week for my new job at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. This four-hour journey each way through winding hills can be brutal, and is most likely the cause of my fatigue. Is there anything in your lifestyle that has changed significantly that could be depleting your energy levels?
3. Overactive brain: Since becoming a freelance consultant, I have started working part-time at the Branson Centre, taken on a project with a government agency, worked on two projects for medium-sized companies, and written a blog post once a week, in addition to finishing up my book. I use my brain a lot, and sometimes it is very hard for me to turn it off. Whenever this happens, I do a Buddhist meditation that focuses on the action of breathing, and takes my mind away from the relentless flow of thoughts. It works!
4. Inconsistent workouts: My new travel schedule has interrupted my workout regime, which has also led to reduced energy. I’m trying to get back on schedule to boost my energy levels and get in shape for carnival!
5. Too long without an inspiration break: About two weeks ago, I reached a point where writing each word of a post or a chapter was excruciatingly difficult. Usually, my writing flows freely. I realized that I had not read something fun for a long time, and decided to take a break from all the writing to read a well-written book for inspiration. I bought Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies and devoured it in two days. It worked! I can write again!
I read a post by Karen Salmansohn last week that declared whoever has the most energy, wins. I completely agree with her. If you’re exhausted, you won’t be able to accomplish everything you need to do to be your best self! Figure out the energy drains in your life and fix them as soon as you can.