9. Not Enough Iron
Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen around in your blood. Healthy cells need oxygen to survive. If you’re running low, your cells are suffocating and you’ll feel grouchy and unable to concentrate. Boost iron-rich foods like spinach, liver, kale, kidney beans, peas, eggs, and nuts. Eating iron-laden foods with vitamin C improves absorption; leafy greens have lots of both.
Aspiring for perfection is admirable in the abstract but only along with the expectation that it is literally unattainable. People who approach every endeavor with the goal of perfection have been found to experience chronic fatigue.
It’s hard work trying to being perfect; because it is an unreasonable expectation, we end up dissatisfied and feeling inadequate. Try to put things in perspective, set reasonable goals, don’t take on more than you can handle, and establish the best way to get there before you start. Striving for excellence is preferable to perfection.
11. Skipping Breakfast
When you wake up, hormones are released to get everything up and running. After an hour or so, all systems are go and your body needs fuel for them. Not eating breakfast within ninety minutes of waking can leave you feeling tired and unable to concentrate. Skip the doughnut or sugary cereal.
A protein, a nutritious fat, and a fruit combine well for short-, medium-, and long-term energy availability. Eggs, oatmeal, nut butter, banana, grapefruit, berries, Greek yogurt, salmon, or a smoothie are all good choices to nourish your morning.
12. No Exercise
Sometimes you just have to plow through it. When we feel tired, we may be very tempted to skip a work-out. This is actually counter-productive: regular vigorous exercise–even twenty minutes, three times a week–will help blood circulation to deliver oxygen and nutrients around the body, improve muscle tone and efficiency, boost the immune system, and help you sleep better. If it’s time for a work-out, put on some energizing music and start moving; after a couple of minutes, you’ll start to feel better–really.
13. Staying Up Late on Weekends
Much as we would like to remain party animals for life, having a different schedule on weekends than during the week can disrupt sleep so that you start off tired Monday morning and never quite catch up.
Something to try: after a late night, get up at your regular weekday time, then take a twenty- to thirty-minute nap in the afternoon. It may be enough to allow a bit of rest and make you feel re-energized without preventing you from falling asleep at the regular time later that night.
14. Working Through Vacation
Vacation is vacation, work is work, and never should the twain meet. But so very often they do, sometimes to the point that they are almost indistinguishable. You need down-time–it’s not a luxury. Your work is of better quality and you are more productive if you’re rested and not stressed.
Make conscious efforts to really leave work behind while on vacation–even if that’s puttering around the house: limit carrying or checking electronic media to once a day (at most), put obstacles in your own way if that’s what it takes to force you to relax. (Sounds strange, but these are the mind games we sometimes have to play with ourselves to do what’s best.) If you find that you are bombarded with work-related issues while on vacation, you’ll have to address how to delegate to others before your next day off.