Chill out and recharge | Sunday Observer

Chill out and recharge

24 October, 2021

With each new technological advance, life has become less physically taxing. Yet why are we feeling tired throughout the day? Both young and old people complain more of fatigue today than when laundry was done on a scrubbing board. You may have heard people complaining: “I’m exhausted at the end of the day … I’m so tired that I am unable to cook dinner … Even after seven hours’ sound sleep I get up feeling tired.” It is surprising to hear such complaints in an age of labour-saving devices and convenient transportation.

Fatigue can be purely physical. When you overwork your muscles, carbon dioxide and lactic acid accumulate in the blood and sap your strength. You might feel tired even after playing a game of cricket or tennis. But there is a cure for such fatigue. When you feel tired, give some rest to the body to get rid of the waste and restore muscle fuel. However, if you feel tired as a consequence of under-exertion than of over-activity, it has to be taken note of. Those who complain of sagging energy should increase their physical activities.

On the other hand, fatigue can be pathological. Sometimes you feel exhausted as a result of a physical disorder which needs medical attention. If you feel drained of energy, it is useless swallowing vitamin pills. You need a thorough physical checkup. There can be many causes for prolonged fatigue. If you have unsolved emotional problems or conflicts in the workplace or family, you are sure to feel tired all the time. Fatigue comes as a defence mechanism when you have to face depression or unhappiness in your job. Even an unhappy marriage can make you feel tired.

Emotional problems

When you allow such emotional problems to multiply in your life, fatigue will become a common manifestation. Dr John Bulette, a psychiatrist at the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia says, “Many people who are extremely fatigued don’t know that they are depressed. They’re so busy distracting themselves or just worrying about being tired that they don’t recognize their depression.”

Many housewives complain of fatigue. This is known as “tired housewife syndrome.” Even young mothers who are full of energy face the tedium of caring for their small children. If they are not going out for work, they feel that there is nothing interesting to look at or talk about.

Very soon they find their lives boring. The danger is that a tired housewife turns resentful or becomes envious of her husband’s job. Even working mothers have to deal with conflicting roles and responsibilities. In addition, they feel guilty over leaving their small children in the care of paid household employees.

Emotionally induced psychological fatigue may develop insomnia or the sufferer will see disturbing dreams. Any intelligent person can find the real emotional cause for their fatigue. When you pin down the real cause, half the problem is solved. If you are unable to deal with the problem, leave it in the hands of a trained counsellor. However, you should be able to solve your emotional problems without the intervention of friends and relatives who are not qualified to advise you.

Medical guidance

Some people subject to fatigue may try vitamins and tranquilizers without medical guidance. It has been confirmed that sleeping pills, smoking or alcohol will aggravate the situation. Doctors have repeatedly advised that you should have a balanced diet.

Many people ignore it and eat a hurriedly-prepared breakfast which has no nutritional value. A lot of office workers skip breakfast in order to catch a train or to get to their workplaces on time. It will definitely lead to midmorning fatigue. When you try to work without having breakfast, there will be a drop in blood sugar. For peak energy in the morning you need to have a wholesome breakfast. It should be low in sugar and high in protein. Never go for snacks while skipping well-balanced meals.

Some people have the false notion that exercises will sap their energy. However, exercises increase your energy. You need to take part in some form of exercise according to your age. A young person can engage in any form of exercise, but an elderly person cannot do so.

The best exercise for an elderly person is brisk walking. Those who do exercises will feel a tranquilizing effect which helps them to work in a more relaxed way. If you go for a walk in the evening, you will enjoy a good night’s sleep.

People have different sleep patterns. Some of them sleep well for seven hours a night. There are others who sleep for three or four hours a day. When you do not get enough sleep, you will feel tired all the time. If possible, go to bed early and enjoy seven hours’ sleep. If you feel tired in the morning, change your sleep pattern.

Morning people

If you have to write an important letter or essay, morning is the best time for it. Most writers are “morning people.” They get up early in the morning and keep on writing. However, there are others who prefer to work in the evening. In order to find the best time, know your energy cycles and biorhythms.

Even when you do an interesting activity for a long time, you feel fatigued. This is quite normal. The best way to beat fatigue is to take breaks in between your work schedule. Instead of the traditional cup of coffee and fishbun for relaxation, go out and fill your lungs with fresh air. Stretch your arms and legs and look at a tree swaying in the wind.

You will note that many well-known authors and painters have lived long. They did not get tired easily. Picasso, the world-renowned painter, used to stand before the canvas for three or four hours at a stretch. Francoise Gilot, his companion, once asked him if it didn’t tire him to stand so long in one spot. Picasso shook his head and said, “No, while I work, I leave my body outside the door, the way Muslims take off their shoes before entering the mosque.”

The message is loud and clear. If you feel fatigue, chill out and recharge.

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