Hola la Familia? We’ve all had our fair share of insane, dumb and embarrassing moments. Funny enough, most of these moments happen when we are tired and just about to have our bodies shut down. Take it as the body’s way of telling you to slow down.
Before putting this piece together, I took the liberty of sampling some funny stories online and indulged some of my friends with kids. Gotta say, I knew parents with newborns had it rough, but I did not know that it was this hilarious. Read through and have a good laugh before we get down to business. Hopefully, you find solace and comfort in these stories.
When my daughter was going through her teething, she was cranky and fussy all the time. The nights were especially crazy. I could barely get my chores done. It had been three long days with very little sleep. So when I finally got her to sleep one night, and I couldn’t find some sleep, I decided not to count sheep backward (it never works anyway) but instead, have some coffee and get some work done.
Without putting much thought into it, I headed down into the kitchen poured some coffee into a bottle, added creamer and replaced the lid. It was only after I started drinking from the nipple that I realized just what I had done. But since I was beat, I simply removed the nipple lid and drunk the coffee right out from the baby’s bottle. In retrospect, I wonder why I did not just pour the coffee into a mug instead. Probably I thought I had to make another coffee from scratch.
I woke up one afternoon from a deep sleep feeling relaxed, well rested and ready to take on the world. It had been a while since I had slept for 6 hours without interruptions from my daughter. The sun was shining bright outside. I was craving a smoothie so I went into the kitchen to make one with some spinach, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, and melons.
As I started cutting the fruits to pieces, I started wondering how I could have slept for so long but more importantly, why the baby was not crying? I went to his room, his crib was empty. I went into panic mode and called my husband. I told him our baby had been kidnapped. He laughed and reminded me that grandma had taken him for the day to allow me some time to shop.
Guess the deep sleep had erased all my memories of that happening. It was embarrassing.
I am a stay at home dad. I am super dad. I am proud of it. But even Superman has his off days. Mine was in one afternoon when I was tired. I felt like Hercules with the weight of the world on his shoulders (only I wasn’t strong enough to support it any longer).
I called my wife and asked her to pick up some dinner on her way home from work. But instead, she suggested that we eat out. It would be a nice evening plus it was ages since I had been in a fancy family restaurant. I didn’t need much convincing.
I decided to jump into the shower before the baby got up. I turned on the shower and got in. but the problem was, I was still in my clothes. And it took me a while to realize it since my hair was already clean by the time I was removing my clothes. I told my wife this story and she couldn’t stop laughing!
Now that you have had a good laugh (I hope), let’s get into why fatigue and tiredness is a problem that should be taken seriously.
What Is Fatigue?
I will start by pointing out that it is difficult (almost impossible) to explain what fatigue feels like to a person who has never experienced it before – but I will give it a shot.
I will start with what it is. Fatigue is simply a feeling of being tired. It feels like you are being weighed down – like you are trying to wade through a muddy river wearing heavy and wet clothes.
That explanation didn’t help much did it?
Okay, how about a visual. Try and remember the worst jet lag you have ever had. How disorienting and exhausting was it? Did you feel sick? Were you really tired but just couldn’t sleep when you were supposed to? Gather everything about this memory and hold on to it.
Now recall your very worst flu. Remember how awful it made you feel? How it was a struggle just to get out of bed and how it made your thinking fuzzy? And how tiny things made it all worse?
Have you done that?
Now imagine you have the jetlag and flu all at once! It is just horrible.
Note that fatigue is different from the drowsy feeling one feels when they are sleepy (although these feelings might accompany fatigue). Other terms that have been used to accurately describe fatigue include:
- Lacking in motivation
- Mental and physical exhaustion (hence the impaired judgments that lead to the funny stories above)
- Little to no energy
Fatigue will affect the quality of your life and most often than not, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Causes Of Fatigue And Tiredness
It is worth noting that fatigue and tiredness are common occurrence in humans. However, more often than not, fatigue experienced is as a result of a disease. With that said, there are several causes of fatigue both medical and non-medical. These causes also include lifestyle and dietary habits.
Below are some of the top causes of fatigue and tiredness.
Lack of sleep
Yes, your fatigue problems could be sorted by simply adhering to the 8-hour sleep rule. Not having enough sleep could have a negative impact on your health.
In addition to ensuring you have 8 hours of sleep, you should ensure that you go to be at a specific time every night and wake up at a specified time in the morning. Have a schedule and stick to it. Ensure that the mattress you sleep on is comfortable and the room is cool and dark. Light interferes with how well you sleep. For this reason, if you are like me (you sleep with the TV and cell phone on), you should train yourself to have them off every night. Let sleep time be just that – sleep time.
Take note, sleep apnea is nothing like lack of sleep. It is a serious disorder that has individuals stop breathing momentarily while they are deep asleep – dangerous right? Now I am sure you are thinking that one would wake up feeling like they are choking. But on the contrary, most are not even aware this is happening to them. It does, however, cause daytime fatigue and snoring in some people.
Sleep apnea symptoms can be made worse by drinking alcohol, smoking and being overweight. Smoking and drinking alcohol are vices that can prove difficult to stop. Losing weight, on the other hand, can be painful and requires great determination and dedication. I usually say that gaining weight, for most individuals (not all), is the easy part. Losing is usually an uphill and painful task. But regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that you do.
Your family doctor might even recommend the use of a CPAP device to help in keeping the airways open while you sleep lest you find yourself dining in the Lord (God Forbid).
Not eating enough
Growing up my dad always told me, you are what you eat. Lately, as I have been reading on healthy living, I have noticed one thing; we are also what we do not eat – in the sense that what we do not eat can negatively affect our health. Take deficiency diseases for instance – not getting enough Vitamin C could end up in you having skin problems.
With regards to fatigue and tiredness, what you eat or do not eat can affect the quality of your sleep. Eating junk food or foods that cause a spike in your blood sugar levels will give you a jump and boost in energy. But this energy is used up as fast as it is generated. It is like paper fire. Once the energy is depleted, it leaves you feeling fatigued.
It is important to have a balanced diet of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Though it is the norm in this 21st century we live in, you should try your best to limit or avoid junk food altogether.
Anemia caused by a deficiency in iron causes fatigue in women. And actually, this is pretty common. Erythrocytes (I know I could have said Red blood Cells but what the heck) are responsible for carrying oxygen in the body. Iron is their main component. So consequently, without iron, the body does not get sufficient oxygen for metabolism. Pregnant ladies or those who have a heavier menstrual flow stand a higher risk of developing anemia.
Luckily, iron deficiency anemia is easily corrected by a diet rich in iron. You could have foods such as tofu, beans, meats, broccoli, potatoes, brown rice, nuts and iron-enriched cereal. If your doctor finds it necessary, you could also take iron supplements.
Depression results in anxiety and sadness. However, it can also result in physical symptoms that include insomnia, pains and aches, and adrenal fatigue. If you are depressed, you should talk to a health profession. Most times depression does not go away without proper treatment. There are lots of treatment options you can explore including medication and therapy to help with the symptoms.
We have too many parts in our bodies working together to make us functional humans beings. I bet even experts have not yet completed discovering some parts, especially those in our brains (the brain is especially tricky as it cannot be experimented with).
The thyroid is a simple gland tasked with the responsibility to regulate metabolism (how fast the body breaks down food and converts it into energy). A ‘lazy’ thyroid (hypothyroidism) results in depression, a gain in weight and fatigue.
Yes, not all weight gain is as a result of bad feeding habits. At times weight gain can be as a result of an underlying health problem like in this case. A simple blood test confirms this condition.
Some bit of good news though; hypothyroidism can be dealt with using essential oils.
Most people take caffeine to give them more ‘life’. Used in moderation, caffeine can be perfect for energy and keeping you alert. But on the flip side, a lot of it could result in an increased heartbeat rate and jitteriness, insomnia and high blood pressure.
Once the caffeine wears off, it can leave you feeling fatigued. If you take a lot of tea, coffee or cola, you need to stop. But do not make the mistake of stopping suddenly. Instead, slowly wean the caffeine out of your system. Drink a lot of water and less and less caffeine.
Some of the most common symptoms of UTIs include a burning sensation when you pee, pain and an urgent feeling to pee way too often. In addition to these symptoms is feeling weak and fatigue.
If you suspect you have a UTI (normally this is not anything serious), you should seek treatment from your doctor. Antibiotics should do the trick and have you cure in about a week or so. The resulting fatigue and other symptoms will disappear.
This syndrome causes persistent and unexplained fatigue which interferes with one’s daily activities for close to six months. The condition is usually chronic and most often than not there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to ease the symptoms. Some strategies that have been employed in the past to combat these symptoms include relaxation techniques, pacing yourself, excellent sleeping habits and adhering to a balanced diet.
Now let’s dive into how you know you have chronic fatigue
Signs Of Chronic Fatigue
You feel more than exhausted.
It is normal to be tired especially after a long day at work. However, as we started by explaining, fatigue is not just a normal feeling of tiredness. It is a lot more pronounced and intense. Fatigue drains your energy to do anything – even when it is early in the morning.
You cannot stay asleep or fall asleep when you need to.
Even though you are lacking in energy and your body feels like a heavy load you cannot get off the couch, you are experiencing trouble sleeping. And even when you do fall asleep, you are woken up by the slightest movement or noise.
This sign is the basis of the funny stories I’ve shared above. Fatigue causes you to forget, lose focus and get distracted easily. At times you might feel as though you are living a dream.
You are unstable
When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, standing up straight and being stable proves to be a challenge. This does not happen to all individuals though. But to those it affects, it is usually because of a condition known as orthostatic intolerance. This condition causes a reduction in the flow of blood to your brain when you are standing upright.
Your body aches all over
If you went to the gym after a long time of inactivity, you expect to have muscle soreness. But how do you explain experiencing it alongside joint pain and headaches when the heaviest object you lifted is your garbage can? This is often a sign of CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome). And like other symptoms, doctors are baffled as to why this happens.
Other signs of fatigue include:
- Craving stimulants
- Cannot seem to tolerate some foods
- Depend on drugs to get a quick fix
- You are overly sensitive
Can Essential Oils Help With Fatigue And Tiredness
The treatment of this condition depends on its cause. If the cause is diabetes or deficiency anemia, then treating these will get rid of your fatigue. If the cause is unhealthy sleeping patterns and diet, making lifestyle changes will help in getting rid of the fatigue.
When it comes to getting rid of fatigue, very few essential oils can beat rosemary, lemon, basil, eucalyptus, black spruce and geranium and a few others. These are excellent in overcoming tiredness and relaxation which relieves fatigue for the long haul.
Best Essential Oils For When You’re Beat
1. Bergamot EO
This is by far one of the most stimulating oils. It is commonly used by persons suffering from exhaustion and fatigue, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. It helps to give an energy boost and uplift your moods.
2. Geranium Oil
It is famed for its ability to balance hormones in the body and stimulate one’s mood. This EO can help with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Its ability to balance hormone levels also provides it with the ability to reduce stress hormones coursing through your veins and generally promote normal sleeping patterns.
3. Black Spruce EO
To recover from chronic fatigue, no EO comes close to black spruce. It helps to calm your nerves and promote a re-energizing and peaceful sleep. You will sleep like a baby with the help of this EO.
Speaking of sleeping like a baby, you never get to appreciate such kind of peace babies have while they sleep until you are pulling long hours at the office and burning the midnight oil trying to beat tight deadlines every other week. Black Spruce also helps in reducing chronic pain and inflammation.
4. Rosemary EO
This EO has a direct impact on the nervous system. It is because of this that it makes for a perfect solution against fatigue. It helps in stimulating the production of energy, improves concentration, focus, and memory and stimulates cognitive function.
NB: when using this EO, you should avoid using it at night as its effects can last between 4 and 5 hours.
5. Eucalyptus EO
To get rid of fatigue, two things have to happen – your mood has to improve and your vitality shoot through the roof. Eucalyptus EO achieves these two by promoting a healthy body through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. The oil is perfect in countering negative feelings as well as improving the flow of blood. Increased blood flow results in increased energy delivery to cells of various muscles and organs.
6 Essential Oil Recipes For Fatigue And Tiredness
For best results, I recommend using these EO and others in the form of a blend. This way, the EOs come packing more power and help in solving more than one problem.
Recipe 1: Meditation Diffuser Blend
What you need
- Sandalwood – 2 drops
- Frankincense – 2 drops
- Bergamot – 2 drops
- Cold air diffuser
Meditation has the ability to calm the spirit, mind, and body. Done right (though this needs some bit of practice), meditation can help you connect deeply with other worlds within and around us. In addition to this, it has significant physical benefits including lowering stress levels and the heart rate. But given the many distractions of life, completing a single meditation session can prove to be a challenge. This blend will, however, provide you with the calm and push you need to go through it successfully.
Simply add the EOs into the diffuser and add some water. Be sure to follow the cold air diffuser instructions. You can also opt to mix the EOs in a bowl and transfer them to the diffuser later.
Recipe 2: Lights Out Fatigue Formula
What you need
- Roman chamomile EO – 3 drops
- Lavender EO – 4 drops
- Sandalwood EO – 5 drops
- Lemon EO – 6 drops
- Fractionated coconut oil
- A 30ml roll-on bottle
Have you ever looked at a toddler sleep? They are peaceful and worry-free. They turn, toss, and mumble in their sleep with no care in the world. And some sleep for hours! It is amazing how some can sleep through anything. As an adult, it is hard sleeping for even 5 hours when you know you have tight deadlines to meet. But with this blend, you can give your sleep a boost.
After mixing the ingredients in a roller ball, close the cap and shake well to ensure a perfect mix. Roll the blend behind your ears, on the nape of your neck, on your temple and shoulders for a deep and peaceful night sleep.
Recipe 3: Soothing Bath EO Recipe
What you need
- Epsom salts – 1 cup
- Whole milk – 1 cup
- Lavender – 16 drops
- Cedarwood EO – 6 drops
- Vetiver EO – 12 drops
- Patchouli EO – 8 drops
A warm, soothing and relaxing bath is all one needs at the end of a long and tiresome day to clean off the tiredness. But if you are not into long baths, it wouldn’t hurt having them once in a while. This mix will take the edge off for you.
For this recipe, simply run a hot bath and add the Epsom salts. Let these dissolve. Once the bath is ready, add the Eos and the whole milk. Stir the water with your hand and hop in. Soak your body for as long as you like. Close your eyes and relax your muscles while you are at it.
Recipe 4: Relaxation Massage Oil
What you need
- Bergamot EO – 12 drops
- Lavender EO – 7 drops
- Sandalwood EO – 10 drops
- Frankincense EO – 5 drops
- Grapeseed oil – ¼ cup
- Glass dropper bottle – 4 oz
We live in a fast-paced world (you already know this). For this reason, we are constantly on the prowl looking for ways to make ends meet. With every passing day, we forget how it feels to relax. This is why the internet is full of relaxation techniques you can use.
Mix these oils in the glass bottle. When you want to use the blend, put 8-10 drops in your palm and rub them together. Later, massage your shoulders, back and temple with the blend (for your back you might need some help).
Recipe 5: Foot Rub for Tired Walkers
What you need
- Geranium EO – 10 drops
- Rosemary EO – 8 drops
- Ylang Ylang EO – 12 drops
- Olive oil – 50 ml
- Glass bottle (dropper bottle) – 2 Oz
The benefits of foot massages are numerous. Below are some of them.
- Better sleep
- Reduced blood pressure
- Faster injury recovery
- Alleviating migraines and headaches
- Reducing anxiety
- Improving blood circulation
All the above benefits are ingredients for getting rid of fatigue. If you have a foot massage regularly, fatigue will be a thing of the past. I guarantee you it will fade from your memory. You can use this like regular massage oil.
Recipe 6: Destressing Diffuser Blend
What you need
- Black Spruce EO – 2 drops
- Sweet Orange EO – 4 drops
- Lavender EO – 3 drops
- Cold Air Diffuser
We all hate being stressed. If there is a magic wand I could wave when I am feeling pressured and stressed I could. But there isn’t so this blend will have to do.
Mix the ingredients in a bowl and add it as a blend into the cold air diffuser. Don’t forget to add some water to the blend according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Final Word
Essential oils cure almost all problems I experience. With fatigue, however, you should be careful with the EOs and blends I have recommended above.
You should ensure that in addition to using the blends, you HAVE TO address the possible medical issues causing fatigue. If not, you will be fighting a losing battle. Always seek professional medical advice for fatigue problems and be ready to make some lifestyle changes for your own good.