We all feel a little flat sometimes. It may be from a few too many nights burning the midnight oil, or eating a little too much processed food and drink. But sometimes tiredness seems like an utter mystery. Try these top tips to get you back to your fighting best.

Break out of routine

While routine is good, nothing sucks your motivation more than being in a rut of boredom, says Gary Bertwistle, author of Who Stole My Mojo.

No need to take off on that sabbatical just yet, because there are easy ways to regain your pizzazz and get your imagination cranking. He recommends watching an inspiring documentary, listening to uplifting podcasts or even just sitting under a tree or in a different coffee shop without technology.

Snack to beat the slump

Eating smaller portions and healthy snacks can help stabilise blood sugar levels, which is critical for mental performance, mood and to help maintain energy levels, Diet Biz nutritionist Boris Kazakov says. Think dried fruit and nut mixes, low-fat natural yoghurt with fresh fruit, wholegrain crackers and low-fat cheese or smoothie of fruit, low-fat natural yoghurt and low-fat milk.

Work with your peak energy times

Night owls and morning larks obviously prefer different schedules. But according to procrastination expert Piers Steel, there are some similarities. For one thing, everyone tends to perform at their maximum efficiency within a few hours of waking. And for those who feel the tiredness creep on in the afternoon, he says this is the period when we should shift to less creative, routine tasks.

Eat magnesium-rich foods

A diet chock-full of healthy foods, as well as staying well hydrated, is a must if you want to feel sprightly and happy. David Pelusey, Mt Lawley Nutrition and Family Health nutritionist says low magnesium levels in particular can cause fatigue. Good food sources of magnesium include nuts, pumpkin seeds, spinach, salmon and legumes, he says.

Get moving

Personal trainer Alice Round says if you’re sedentary and start exercising, you’ll notice your energy levels improve within days. “Pick an exercise you enjoy. Begin with 10 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day to improve your mood and energy, and decrease fatigue.”

Depressed? Do the opposite of what you feel

A lack of energy is a symptom of depression or dysthymia — a long-lasting low mood. Although it may feel better in the short term to do nothing or wait until motivation shows up, try doing the opposite. Get It Done When You’re Depressed author Julie Fast suggests making just a small start.

Ditch the sedentary lifestyle

As much as people may not want to admit it, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles may well be a factor for low energy. A 2010 Swedish study found that just four weeks of low activity and a greatly increased calorie diet negatively affected the lives of the previously healthy young participants. Low self-esteem, unhappiness, tiredness, low motivation and weight gain were all reported.

Check your iron levels

You may have heard it all before, but it is worth getting your iron levels checked regularly. “Low iron levels can cause fatigue, so lean red meat helps ensure adequate iron intake. Those who do not eat meat can get their iron from wholegrains, nuts, seeds, beans, and spinach, ” David Pelusey says.


© The West Australian

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