As we head into the final month of the year, are you feeling like you are dragging your feet and hanging out for a holiday? While there may be the rare person that moves into December pumped and full of energy, I think end of year tiredness is reaching epidemic proportions.
For many it has been a big year and the stress from global and local events, increasing cost of living, home and job insecurity and a rise in health problems has created a toll.
Feelings of tiredness are not just due to lack of sleep. Many people who sleep 8 hours still feel they struggle to get through the day. Feeling exhausted can also come from a period of over doing it, resulting in adrenal fatigue; toxins and impurities from diet, medicines and pollution in the system that mask our natural sense of vitality; and deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals.
There can be interplay between these different categories. Emotional strain and over work can create imbalances in the body that contributes towards poor digestion. So even if you are consuming a healthy, fresh diet, your body is unable to optimise its nutritional content.
Likewise if your physiology is coated in ama, an Ayurvedic term for anything that hasn’t been properly digested, your body will struggle to absorb what it needs from your diet. Ama is caused by poor diet, weak digestion, toxins and even mental disturbances. Although you can’t physically see Ama, its effects are experienced in the form of stiffness in the joints, excess mucous or congestion, unhealthy weight gain and blocked emotions.
To regain vitality there is no magic bullet superfood. It is like putting top quality petrol into a car that is mechanically compromised. Attention has to be given to the vehicle itself.
Maharishi Ayurveda offers some practical tips to improve energy and vitality.
If your tiredness is caused mainly by over exertion then the key approach is rest. Take time out for yoga, meditation or have relaxing massage. Transcendental Meditation provides a state of rest twice as deep as sleep and is extremely effective to reset your physiology.
When you have been running on adrenalin and caffeine for an extended period of time, it can actually be hard to slow down. The body is set to be over active and there can be a resistance to slowing down and taking time out. By dropping into a deep state of relaxation, you can reset the physiology from over drive to a more natural pace. Think of how you feel after a relaxing yoga class or meditation session or a deeply nourishing massage. But you have to do it regularly or your body will default back to being busy all the time as soon as the pressure kicks in.
To resolve issues where the mind and body are feeling tired and foggy due to impurities, you will need to do some internal cleansing. If you are planning to take a deep dive in this direction it is best to do so with some experienced guidance but Maharishi Ayurveda provides some general advice that is beneficial to everyone. Take a 30 minute walk each morning, this will activate the metabolism and offset sluggishness that you may feel upon waking. It is also good for mental clarity and clearing stuck emotions.
Drinking plain warm water that has been boiled first can assist in loosening up the sticky deposits of Ama and enhance our digestion. Just the same way you clean greasy deposits of food from your pots more easily with warm water, slightly hot water can breakdown the Ama accumulated in the body. Going to bed before 10pm and sleeping between the hours of 10pm-2am maximises the purification cycle allowing for cellular detoxification and emotional release.
If your fatigue is caused by nutritional deficiencies, again it is best to determine what you need and work with an experienced health practitioner to ensure you are addressing this issue in a balanced way. If you don’t improve your overall digestion, supplements will not have much of an effect in boosting your wellbeing. In fact overdoing the supplements can create further imbalances in the body.
Taking some time to reset will stand you in good stead for 2024.
Rest well and I wish you all the best for the new year.