When we are really tired, we just want to sink back into bed and burrow under the covers. While that may sound nice in the moment, this approach often traps us further in a cycle of exhaustion. Unless you aren’t getting enough sleep. Then you should change your habits or your lifestyle to ensure that you are getting the amount of sleep that you need to function well. 7 or 8 hours per night is suitable for most people, but this varies person to person so everyone should experiment to find what’s right for them.
That being said, so many people suffer from chronic tiredness even with enough sleep. If you ever get too much sleep, you will see clearly that lack of sleep is not your cause of exhaustion. There will be such a feeling of heaviness when you have overslept. If you look at ancient advice from Chinese and Indian medicine, they encourage people to wake up with the sun. This seems obvious. It is natural and shows how it aligns with our natural circadian rhythm, which is our internal clock. The later you wake up in the morning, the heavier you can feel. Though consistency in sleep patterns is important, more sleep is not necessarily the answer to why you feel so drained.
There are many contributors to chronic tiredness beyond sleep, but we’ll just leave you a couple pointers. When you don’t feel like moving, that’s when it is time to move. This doesn’t mean you need to go run a marathon. Simply take a walk with a little pep in your step. Choose any movement that brings you joy. Ideally, do whatever you choose outside in nature. Nature brings us vitality.
If you are up for it, a more intensive yoga class or jogging or swimming or sport also brings another level of benefits. We often arrive in such a pleasurable state when we find a rhythm in more strenuous exercise, a feeling of being in the zone or in a flow state. Vigorous exercise can induce a balanced nervous system which turns into a wonderful rush of endorphins. You may or may not feel this pleasure when you work out, but anything that stimulates the blood flow through the muscles and joints will help create this positive rebalancing of your nervous system.
If you are having trouble motivating yourself to engage in some movement, try this breathing exercise to get out of your loop: First, come into supported Setubandhasana, commonly known as bridge pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor, then press up through the heels to raise your hips up. To support yourself, you can place a yoga block or pillows under your sacrum to make the pose more restorative. This will help lengthen the front body and open up the chest. From here, lengthen the breath, particularly with deep inhalations to bring energy into the body. Do this for several minutes and see how you feel.
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