Tired of Feeling Tired?

A primary care doctor shares tips to increase your energy

A physician at Scripps Health offers tips on how to beat everyday fatigue.

Our everyday habits can play a powerful role in how we function and feel throughout the day. If you’re often tired, try these tips from Paul Brydon, DO, a family medicine physician at Scripps Clinic Rancho Bernardo, to help fight fatigue and energize your battery.

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Dehydration zaps your energy levels and is one of the most common causes of fatigue. Always drink when you are thirsty and always have water readily available. Foods that naturally contain water include yogurt, carrots and juicy fruits, like watermelon and oranges.
  • Eat nutritiously and often.
  • Include a balance of protein, fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats in your daily diet. “Some people may benefit from eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day to help maintain their blood sugar levels,” says Dr. Brydon. For an energizing snack, nibble on nuts and seeds, like almonds, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts, which can provide sustained energy. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain crackers, can give you quick energy without the fluctuations in blood sugar.
  • Take a break from digital screens.
  • Take a break from checking your phone or the internet all the time. “While constant access to technology can be useful and fun, it can also be distracting and create a sense of false urgency,” Dr. Brydon advises. In addition, visual fatigue caused by staring at a digital screen for hours at a time can cause headaches, tired eyes, difficulty concentrating and neck or back pain. Obesity and irregular sleep have also been linked to too much screen time.
  • Exercise regularly, even if it’s in small doses.
  • A 10-minute walk will increase your energy and boost your mood. Physical activity improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs and muscles, which can give you more energy overall. Yoga, swimming, walking and biking are good low-impact workouts.
  • Get outside during the day.
  • Sunlight and vitamin D are an energizing duo that can also generate optimism. But when it comes to the sun, there’s definitely “too much of a good thing.” After a few minutes, be sure to layer on the sunscreen, to minimize exposure to harmful rays and reduce the chances of sunburn.
  • Turn on the tunes.
  • Listening to music can decrease tension, increase energy and distract you from feeling fatigue. Listen to your favorites when you need a pick-me-up.
  • Go to bed on time.
  • Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining energy throughout your day. If the alarm is the only way to wake you every morning, you are not getting enough sleep.
  • Smile with sincerity.
  • Smiling makes people happy — you and those around you. Choosing to genuinely smile — not fake smile — can help you relax, which contributes to good energy and a stronger immune system.