I spent years feeling exhausted. In fact, more than once, I’ve said, “I’m so tired I feel like I have a brick on my chest”. What the heck?! How is that normal?? I was sleeping four hours a night and worrying about all the things I had to do, which looking back I should have just given myself some slack and taken a flipping nap!
Fatigue is a common concern for women over 50 and can have a significant impact on our daily lives. This can be caused by a variety of factors, both physical and emotional. Understanding the causes of fatigue can help women take steps to improve their energy levels and lead a more fulfilling life.
Now there are many causes for fatigue, but the following is a list of six common causes
1. Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to fatigue. Regular physical activity can help increase energy levels and improve overall well-being. A good goal is to aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week, such as brisk walking, yoga, or cycling. I have made this a priority in recent months as I found that I was spending long hours at my desk during COVID and have yet to get back to my pre-pandemic activity levels but I’m trying to get back to a healthy activity level.
2 Poor sleep quality is another common cause of fatigue in women over 50. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and leave you feeling tired during the day. To improve sleep quality, it’s important to establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid stimulants like caffeine and electronics in the evening, and create a relaxing sleep environment. Great advice but if you are anything like me, it is much easier said than done. I am notorious for lying in bed looking at social media. In fact, my best scrolling time is 2 in the morning. Ok, so it looks like I have something else to work on. How about you?
3. Chronic medical conditions can also cause fatigue in women over 50. Anemia, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and other health problems can leave you feeling tired and run down. If you have a chronic condition, it’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider to manage the condition and maintain good health. I’m personally lucky that I currently do not have a chronic medical condition to deal with but would like to hear any tips on how others deal with these types of issues.
4. Depression and anxiety can also cause fatigue. If you’re feeling persistently sad, hopeless, or overwhelmed, it’s important to talk to a mental health professional. Antidepressant medications and talk therapy can help improve mood and reduce feelings of fatigue. I made a big life change over a year ago by resigning from a really good job. I kind of had a plan but not a real solid plan and experienced depression. I also came to the realization that I’ve been suffering from anxiety most of my life. It was a difficult time and I found that I was always so very exhausted. I personally would recommend you reach out to friends or a professional if you think you might be suffering from depression or anxiety.
5. Side effects of medications and poor nutrition can also contribute to fatigue. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking and to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
6. Finally, hormonal changes are a primary cause of fatigue in women over 50, particularly during menopause. The hormonal fluctuations can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, weight gain and a decrease in energy levels. These changes can also lead to feelings of irritability and depression, further contributing to fatigue. Now I have experienced most of these symptoms, except for the hot flashes. Apparently, the guy upstairs decided to spare me this one symptom.
As we age, there are many reasons to just feel tired but in order to lead a fulfilling life we need to be proactive and take care of ourselves so that we can LIVE our BEST LIFE!
Action Step: Do some physical activity for 30 minutes 3 times a week.