Low energy levels are a common complaint from women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Our energy levels are depleted from a number of reasons including low blood sugar, overweight, sleeplessness, emotional distress, insulin resistance and sometimes adrenal fatigue.
It’s really tough to get motivated to begin (or continue on) a wellness plan when you’re so dang tired all the time! I can remember a time when walking around the block would be too much work for me.
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can start doing right now that will help increase energy levels, regardless of whether you have PCOS or not. Many women do not realize their every day activities are the culprits behind their excess fatigue (these activities also contribute to poor health).
Here is a list of 3 things to implement into your life to feel the ZING of energy every day:
1. Drink more water. I know this sounds obvious, but most women complain that they don’t care for the taste of water. Here’s how I feel about that (this is going to sound harsh): You probably don’t care for the boring taste of water because you’re constantly drinking sugary, unhealthy drinks. Ditch the soda and start chugging water. If you’re really opposed to water, squeeze some fresh lemon, lime, or oranges into it. This will give it a different flavor and make it easier for you to ingest.
Our bodies are primarily made up of water, yet it’s the one thing most of us rarely drink. Thirst is the last sign of dehydration, so you need to be fueling up with water even before you feel thirsty. When you’re dehydrated, you will feel drowsy and fatigued – not to mention it slows your metabolism.
The best way to know you’re getting enough water is to gauge your urine (gross, I know). Urine should be a “lemonade” color; if it’s dark, you’re not getting enough and if it’s clear, you can slow down a bit.
When I feel tired mid-day, or if I have a headache (which is uncommon), I will literally chug an 8 oz. glass of water. I feel better instantly, almost every time. Start drinking water today and feel its amazing effects immediately.
2. Get more (or better) sleep. Here’s the rule of thumb: 7 to 9 hours of sleep (according to many different case studies) is the amount we need each night. Anything less or more is a direct contributor to hormonal imbalance.
If you’re having a hard time falling or staying asleep, there are natural herbs like Melatonin that help you naturally feel tired when the sun goes down. Our bodies already produce Melatonin, but many women with PCOS may be depleted of it. You can also try taking a Cal/Mag (Calcium/ Magnesium) fizz that can be mixed with hot water and drunk like a tea before bedtime. This mixture will help you sleep peacefully, and it’s also good for hormonal balance.
Also, be sure to check your surroundings when going to sleep. The TV should be off, your home should be cooled and there should be little light. Studies show that we stay asleep when we’re in a cool, dark and quiet environment.
3. Reduce stress levels. Adrenal fatigue comes from having an overproduction of adrenalin – over time the adrenals eventually grow tired from producing so much of this hormone. It’s not hard to believe that the majority of women are overworked or overcommitted. We stretch ourselves as we are wives, mothers, employees, business owners, and the general caretakers of everyone around us.
This excess stress is causing our bodies to overproduce certain hormones (including adrenalin and cortisol), leading to excess weight and serious fatigue.
It’s time to make some changes, ladies! First, I want you to start looking at your schedule and notice which activities are taking up the majority of your time and contributing to the most stress. Then, I want you to find a way to cut it back or cut it out. It’s usually the most stressful activities, that we take no pleasure in doing/participating in, that take up the majority of our time. Get real and create a plan to move away from this activity, or find someone else to do it for you.
There are also “brain dump” tools available today that help you get things off your mind so you’re less stressed and more mentally “free.” I personally use “Omni Focus” for my computer and cell phone. This program helps me type a list of all my “to-do’s” from work to personal, and categorize them (this takes no time at all), so I know what I need to get done and when. I only look at it each morning, and that’s it! I no longer have to be burdened with my to-do list anymore.
How can you dump the clutter from your brain? It’s likely another reason that you’re so fatigued all the time. These chronic, worrying thoughts can create emotional and mental overload, causing you to feel drained.
Get rid of the stressful activities and find a way to start “brain dumping” and you’ll find yourself happier and full of energy. Start implementing these 3 helpful hints today, and you will start feeling some energy coming back. If you’re thinking “Oh, this is way to simplistic,” you’re probably the one who needs it! Just because something is easy to understand does not mean it can’t give you dramatic results. Try doing one at a time, and see how you feel.