Fight fatigue, boost your energy and handle your
Relationship break downs can lead to fatigue and make dealing with the situation even more difficult. You need to learn how to fight fatigue and get your energy back to walk that long road of recovery. When you are faced with the distress of infidelity; the discovery of cheating or the break down of your relationship your emotional energy takes a dive. You just want to crawl under the bed covers and cry. You don’t want to eat, you cannot sleep for worrying and the pent up anger you are feeling drains you of energy and leaves you feeling tired and stressed.
Facing the road ahead- understanding your fatigue and emotional exhaustion
You need to understand that your body and mind have both taken a hit and that the stress of relationship worries actually uses up your reserves of energy. If you are a parent, you are probably trying to keep going for the sake of the children. You will manage that for a while. We humans are amazing in our capacity to find reserves of stamina in a crisis. However, these reserves are not limitless and you will eventually start to experience tiredness, anxiety, overwhelming exhaustion and unless you fight fatigue of this kind you will cause yourself significant health issues. If you are trying to repair the relationship it will be a long road to recovery and you will need all the energy you can muster. If the worst happens and you are faced with the prospect of divorce and the end of the relationship; you will go through some extremely traumatic times where you will need to make very important decisions. If you do not learn to fight the fatigue of this emotional roller coaster your judgment may be impaired and the decisions you make may end up being poor ones.
How to fight fatigue brought on by a relationship breakdown
We have all experienced the tiredness associated with working late to meet a deadline; getting ready for a vacation; moving house and/or even working through the night on little sleep getting our house ready for visitors!! All of these scenarios are short term fatigue situations. When our relationships experience difficulties it is not just our physical reserves that are drained but our emotional capacity to handle these situations. The sleepless nights experienced worrying and wondering whether we know the whole truth and what lies around the corner are totally exhausting. This is a special kind of fatigue that eats away at our ability to cope with everyday life. Studies have shown that anything between 50% and 80% of the causes of fatigue are psychological factors. It then becomes a vicious circle; your mind becomes tired, not just your body and you become less able to tackle the causes of the fatigue.
Simple steps to fight fatigue – start here!
Whatever the circumstances of the relationship stress; understand that you are unlikely to fix them overnight! You therefore need to consider ways of tackling the physical fatigue to at least give yourself a fighting chance.
Step 1 – Diet – healthy food to fight fatigue
OK, so you don’t want to eat, your stomach churns at the very thought. or maybe, you are caught up in a cycle of comfort eating, putting on weight and therefore feeling even more depressed and fed up as your waistline expands.
- At this stage I would recommend a shift in approach – DO NOT TRY TO GO ON A WEIGHT LOSS DIET! This is not the time to put yourself under that type of pressure, at least not consciously…if you decide you will “give up” certain foods and try to lose weight when you are emotionally fragile; you will almost certainly fail. Yes, it is true that obesity can cause fatigue but if it is any comfort, many people actually lose weight naturally when going through emotional stress..not always an unwelcome side effect! However, you are not to focus on weight loss, focus on improving your diet to fight fatigue and increase your energy levels. For more examples of healthy food…see my post on Healthy Eating to Improve Emotional Well Being. At the early stages of discovering infidelity or relationship break down, how you eat can be the start of a pattern or habit that could be hard to shift later.
- Keep it simple! You need protein for energy, so ensure that you eat plenty of fish, chicken, small amounts of red meat, nuts and pulses. You cannot face emotional upheaval without some energy boosting protein to keep you going. Avoid fatty foods; they use up too much energy to digest and do not give you any sustainable nutrition.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables are crucial, you need those vitamins and minerals. If fresh is really hard to get, then tinned fruit in its own juices and frozen green vegetables will have to suffice. STEAM your vegetables to maximize the goodness and keep them crisp, not soggy or else all the nutrients will end up in the water!
- Nuts and dried fruit make energy giving snacks and some cereal bars are quick and easy sources of energy. Be careful to avoid foods with a high artificial sugar content as this only gives you a temporary energy boost and afterwards your body craves even more. Bananas are a good source of slow release energy and potassium.
Step 2- Get some sleep!
- I can hear the protests already..how do you get sleep to overcome fatigue brought on by lack of sleep? Make a ritual out of going to bed. If you collapse into bed after yet another stressful day without a bedtime routine you are likely to spend the night tossing and turning. If you can, drink some chamomile tea, about half an hour before bed. A bath with relaxing bath salts and maybe calming music is another good idea. Spend time on your routine; cleaning your face, your teeth, brushing your hair…changing into comfortable night time clothing..you would be amazed at how many people who are exhausted and miserable collapse into bed in their clothes!
- If you are removing make-up or cosmetics, then give yourself a face massage as you clean. It will drain your lymph nodes and help to ease headaches. Start at the forehead and massage outwards; circular movements round your temples are soothing. Don’t drag your fingers across your face, keep movements small and slow, it will help to reduce your heart rate too.
- To fight fatigue in the body, do some gentle stretching and roll your shoulders back again in circular motion. When you are really tired there is a tendency to hunch your shoulders and tense your body, making sleep impossible. You are aiming to increase your blood flow gently and unblock your circulation. Even if you find it almost impossible to actually sleep; lying down in bed is still good for you as you will at least be resting your body.
Step 3 – exercise fights fatigue
- It may seem difficult to do any exercise when it feels like your whole body is tense, exhausted and your mind is in turmoil. However, a walk in the fresh air does wonders for fatigue as it oxygenates your blood and helps clear impurities and toxins.
- It is not advisable to do really strenuous exercise just before sleeping as it is more likely to wake you up too much! Be kind to yourself; pumping iron at the gym may release some pent up anger but don’t overdo it.
- Follow any workout with a shower to clean away the released impurities and then allow yourself some further relaxation time, listening to music, reading a book.
- Exercise such as Pilates or Yoga are good for fighting fatigue as they require some control and focus while also being gentle enough not to exhaust you.