An important question to ask ourselves is: “Is this mental fatigue or physical fatigue?”  When I hear myself saying, “I should go out for a walk or ski, but I’m tired so maybe I will go tomorrow;” I know, for sure, this is mental fatigue. At the end of the day, we are drained from work stress, or life encounters (family, friends, negative news, or the overall stress of the pandemic), and indeed we do feel fatigue. However, realize that this is not actually physical fatigue. In point of fact, the one thing that will create more energy is movement, especially outdoors.

A patient today, who normally walks daily, was going to skip her walk when a friend bailed on going with her; however, realizing the importance to her mental and metabolic health, she put on her coat and listened to a 30 minute podcast while she walked. How did she feel starting? She felt tired, low, and didn’t even want to be outside. How did she feel afterwards? She felt absolutely fantastic! 

You must fight through the negative self talk of being too tired, or telling yourself it’s too cold, or you can do it tomorrow. I guarantee you will feel so much better when finished (while maybe not so much as you begin)!

 Today, after a long day, one of my counsellors was absolutely spent, and was facing an evening of studying and chores;  she had no energy, and really just felt like avoiding everything and watching TV. However, a neighbour called and asked her to go for a quick skate; this was motivation to go, which she did. How did she feel afterwards? Exhausted? Spent? Not at all. Quite the opposite. She had more energy, more motivation to study and more drive to get chores done before bed.

 You see, movement creates energy and does not take it away.  Just as importantly, movement improves our immune function. Presently, we are all not moving enough. We are told to stay indoors which is counter to what our immune system needs.

 So, don’t listen to the voice that says you are too tired; I get it. However, I know that your health depends on you ignoring the excuse and forcing yourself to do some movement!

Obligate yourself for 10 or 15 minutes; or move long enough to listen to 4 on your playlist; or, listen to an audiobook or podcast; any little trick that will get you moving or outdoors.

You can do it. You are so much stronger than you think.  Never give up!

 

Dr. Doug