Why does doing less make me tired?

I don’t know about you guys but I am struggling to be motivated. The less I do, the less I want to do. I find myself yawning mid-morning, struggling to sit up and watch a programme on TV to the end and just lacking in energy. Lockdown which initially seemed so cool, i.e. more time to chill and watch Netflix has become a complete drag.

I struggle to exercise and I have had to be especially strict with my routines to ensure that my home workouts don’t grind to a halt. It seems a bit of a mystery that now I am getting so much more rest, I seem more tired and I know I am not alone, many of my family and friends seem to also be struggling with this as are many people on social media. So what is going on?

Why are we more tired from doing less?

Well, the first thing is that with the current going-ons all over the world with the Covid Pandemic, many of us are mentally and emotionally exhausted. Mental and emotional exhaustion can cause us to feel drained and lacking in energy. Our thoughts affect our feelings which in turn affect our actions so if we are thinking about and focusing on all the negativity going on and let’s face it; it is very hard to avoid the negativity, then its not a surprise that our feelings are not going to be very positive which in turn means we feel demotivated, fed up and lethargic.

In addition, the less movement and motion we take, the more tired our bodies actually become. The science behind this is simply to do with blood flow. Our blood cells do the very important job of moving oxygen and other nutrients around all of the cells and tissues in our bodies. The less active we are, the more sluggish our blood circulation will be and inherently, it follows that we will not be getting delivery of oxygen and nutrients as fluidly as when we are more active. This is why when we spend all day sitting on the couch, it seems extremely difficult to get up to do even the smallest task. In addition, many of us are struggling to sleep with all the additional worries about jobs, finances and health and of course, less sleep means more tiredness.

All is not lost though, there are ways of combating this or at least of minimising the effect of the lockdown lethargy. The first and most obvious thing is to move more. Yes, we may not feel like doing it but if we can force ourselves to go for a walk, go outside for some fresh air, do some exercise be it gentle movements, some weight training or yoga then we will definitely feel better and if none of that appeals, put on your favourite song and dance around the room!. I definitely feel much more energised and more motivated once I have completed either my workout or my walk for the day.

To make this easier try to develop some sort of routine for your daily movement. I try to do a workout or a walk each day through the week and take Sunday off as a rest day. Once you’ve committed to a routine, its much easier to just get up and do it. If you can find a workout buddy to help you be more accountable then that will also help you to stay on track.

The final thing is to do some work around your thoughts. if you find yourself feeling tired and lethargic, as well as adding some movement into your day, spend some time analysing your thoughts. If you find you are mainly focusing on negative thoughts then try to change that narrative and remind yourself of things to be thankful for even in these difficult times. Replace what if negatives with what if positives e.g. If you have a thought such as “what if I cannot find another job” then replace it with “what if I find a better job than what I had before ” and try to ground yourself by reminding yourself that you are safe and you are okay currently as you are even if things are hard.

I hope this helps you. Do send me a message and let me know what helps you cope during these difficult times.

Tayo xoxo

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