Have you ever been through a period of time where you just feel super tired and lethargic and you don’t ever feel like doing the things you really love to do?  Well here is some interesting information that can help you to create a great personal makeover.

First let’s talk about fatigue.  Fatigue is a lingering process that is constant.  It also highly limits your level of productivity.  If you have ever experienced the flu or have ever missed a lot of sleep, then you would probably have a good idea of what fatigue is like.  According to WebMD, with fatigue, you have unexplained, persistent, and relapsing exhaustion.  It might be time to check with your doctor if you are indeed struggling with ongoing fatigue.

People who deal with fatigue regularly wake up in the morning and feel like they have not slept at all, find it difficult to take care of business whether it be at the workplace or at home, and feel too exhausted to even take care of routine daily affairs.

Here are some tips from Cathy Wong, writer for about.com*, for ways to boost your energy.  First try diaphragmatic breathing.  In Chinese Medicine, energy is often referred to as “qi” [pronounced “chi” (chee)].   There is positive qi and negative qi. Deep breathing helps us to relax and thus produce positive qi.  Stress, poor posture, a snug waistline, and lack of good breathing habits inhibit our full breathing capacity so our breath does not make it down to the bottom of our lungs.  According to Wong, diaphragmatic breathing (Tip #1), which is also called belly breathing by many, is a simple way we can increase our positive qi energy and improve our stamina.

Here is how to breathe with your belly:
Step 1: Calm your mind. Get rid of all distractions and negative thoughts, worries, and stressors.
Step 2: Improve your posture. Sitting up straight definitely gets air into your lungs and helps with proper energy flow in your body.
Step 3: Place one hand flat against the abdomen with your thumb close to your navel.  Breathe in through your nose at an even rate.  Allow your abdomen to expand, rather than your upper chest.  You should feel the hand on your abdomen being pushed away as your abdomen rises.  Slowly count to yourself.
Step 4: Breathe out slowly and evenly through your mouth.  Again count slowly and try to make sure your count on the exhalation is about twice as long as your count on the inhalation.
Step 5: Repeat twice.

Tip #2 is to get a good night of sleep.  Okay, we all know that getting those eight hours of sleep is great, but knowing the actual time you fall asleep holds a great deal of weight too.   What many people don’t know is that sleeping from 1 am to 9 am is not the same as sleeping from 10 pm to 6 am, for example.  According to Wong, the reason why those two eight hour time periods are not the same is that hormone secretion, body temperature, digestion, and other important restorative processes follow a 24-hour cycle that is linked to natural light exposure.  The later in the evening we hit deep sleep and the later in the morning we wake up, the more out-of-sync our cycle becomes.

Growth hormone is a hormone tied to those restorative processes I mentioned earlier.  80% of growth hormone which is a must for lean-muscle development, favorable immune function, and strong skin, is secreted during sleep between the hours of 11 pm and 1 am.  So try to go to bed before 10 pm.  It might be difficult to get used to hitting the sheets at an early time, but you will see your reward in the form of increased energy.

Tip #3 is to eliminate “energy-sappers.”  Make sure you eat foods that are alkaline forming, avoid excess sugar, take in plenty of protein, try to cut back on coffee if you are a coffee drinker, and try to get in a milliliter of water for every calorie you eat.   Avoid taking in fluids at night though as this might result in waking up during the night to urinate and that leaves you with unrefreshing sleep.  (Avoid drinking at least two hours before bedtime.)  Try to stay organized.  The less disorganized you are, the less you’ll stress out about trying to take care of important things.  Make time to do the things that fuel you, not deplete you.  Then, keep a positive attitude through it all.

Tip #4: Take at least a half-hour each day just for you.

There is no miracle formula for revitalizing your body and spirit, doing the above takes time, but once you get into the swing of things, you’ll see an improvement in your overall health and wellness.

* (Note: All About.com content focusing on diseases, conditions or containing health claims is reviewed by a team of board certified physicians and certified health professionals from leading institutions. The Medical Review Board was formed in October 2006 and all content created from that date forward has been closely reviewed for medical accuracy and consistency with source material.)