Feeling tired all the time is horrible. Especially when you don’t know what’s causing it.
I’ve been through this myself, and while there was nothing glaringly obvious causing it, it turned out that my fatigue came from a combination of little things.
And that’s probably what’s happening in your situation, too.
But you don’t have to live like this forever. Just as these small habits could be contributing to your overall lack of energy, small changes can greatly improve your quality of life.
So, if you constantly feel drained, these 10 “hidden causes” could be why:
1) Poor nutrition
From personal experience, I can tell you that one of the main causes why you might feel so tired and run down is lack of good food.
I lived on a diet of mainly pasta and potatoes for a long time. Sure I’d eat other meals if my mom cooked or I ate out. But in general, I was addicted to my comfort food.
As you can imagine, I rarely had much energy.
So have a good look at the food you’re eating. Are you getting enough nutrients and minerals?
Do you balance comfort food with veggies and fruit?
I used this guide to help me get better informed, and I have to say, since making small changes, I’ve noticed that I feel less drained and more active and alert.
Okay, so we’ve spoken about food, now what about your hydration levels?
I totally get it if you struggle to drink 2 liters of water a day (or 8 glasses). It’s tough.
But it’s important to consider that you’re feeling drained because you’re potentially dehydrated.
I actually had this show up on a recent blood test, and the doctor said even though I’m drinking water throughout the day, I needed to increase it in my food consumption.
Fruits like melons and strawberries, and veggies like celery and broccoli are all great for hydrating yourself.
You can also invest in one of those funky bottles that encourages you to keep drinking until you hit your target – see it as a little competition with yourself and have fun with it!
3) Negative company
Now, another hidden cause as to why you feel constantly drained could come from your friends or family…
Hear me out on this one:
If you’re always around people who are negative, moany, and miserable, you’ll start to feel the same way.
Energy is contagious.
On the other hand, if you invest in friendships with people who are active, positive, and fun, you’ll naturally start to feel more energetic too.
Think carefully about the company you keep.
4) Lack of boundaries
And leading on from that, it’s also good to think about the boundaries you have in place with your friends, family, and work.
Do you say “yes” to everything?
If so, you could be feeling drained by overexerting yourself.
Especially if you feel the need to work overtime every week, go out every weekend, and show up to every housewarming, wedding, baby shower…I could go on, but you get the idea.
By learning to say “no” once in a while, you might find yourself with a bit more downtime.
Time for you to relax, engage in your hobbies, and switch off from the rest of the world.
I think most of us tend to overlook just how tiring stress is on our minds and bodies.
When we’re stressed, we’re tense. And living like this for months and years can be totally exhausting.
So, don’t brush it off. Don’t kid yourself into thinking, “It’s normal, everyone is stressed these days!”
It may be normal, but it’s not healthy.
That’s why you need to learn some stress management techniques, such as:
- Exercising regularly
- Deep breathing
- Boundaries (as mentioned before)
Ultimately, we can’t predict when life will get stressful. But we can do things to minimize the stress and stay in control.
6) Lack of physical activity
Ironically, not doing anything can make you feel more drained than working out on a daily basis.
If you lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle, there’s a good chance this is a hidden cause for your feelings of exhaustion.
I can relate – since working from home (and not being one to do much exercise) I found myself constantly without energy or motivation.
I then started to do 15 minutes of movement every morning, sometimes yoga, sometimes a quick walk, or even a dance workout video on YouTube, and wow, what a difference it makes.
It really sets you up for the rest of the day. You’ll naturally feel more active, and I guarantee your concentration and productivity will increase too.
7) Hormonal changes
You might be surprised to hear this, but our hormones aren’t just something happening in the background, they play a very active role in our mood and energy levels.
Ladies – you’ve probably already noticed that around the time your period starts, you have less energy and feel way more drained than usual.
If there was a cure for this, trust me, I’d be the first to try it. But so far, it seems things like healthy eating, regular exercise, and good sleep should help.
And for men out there, and those who feel drained constantly, it’s highly worth speaking to your doctor and getting a full medical examination.
If you’ve got thyroid issues, for example, this can be easily overlooked but is usually a suspect in extreme tiredness.
8) Environmental factors
Another hidden cause as to why you might feel drained is your environment.
Are you living and sleeping in a dark, moldy, and cluttered environment? Do your surroundings depress you?
Look, sometimes we’re not in a position to move. I understand that.
But you can do small things to improve your living conditions.
First things first, declutter and clean. Let go of things you never use, clothes you hardly wear.
Clean your home, wash your sheets regularly, and air the place out.
Next up, address issues like mold, air and noise pollution, smelly drains, and whatever it is that makes your home feel uncomfortable.
If you’ve got bright and harsh fluorescent lights, consider changing them for warmer, softer light bulbs that create a cozy atmosphere.
Finally, a lick of paint in a light color, opening up the windows, and keeping your living space organized can all help you feel lighter and happier.
9) Poor sleep hygiene
Following on from the previous point, if you’re sleeping in unfavorable conditions, it’s time to switch that up.
Sleep might seem like an obvious cause of feeling drained, but what most people fail to consider is that it’s not just the quantity of sleep; it’s the quality.
And if the quality sucks, this is probably contributing to your lack of energy.
Also, not having a consistent routine, using technology before bed, drinking caffeine, or eating sugary foods before bed, can all have a negative effect on your sleep.
Instead, try adopting some good habits, such as:
- Avoid electronics for at least an hour before bed (you can use this time to wind down by playing with a pet, reading a book, or listening to some calm music).
- Sleep and wake up at a consistent time every day, even on the weekends.
- Avoid heavy, sugary, or spicy foods right before bed. The same goes for sugary or caffeinated drinks.
- Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature, it’s dark and quiet, and that your phone is on silent.
10) Alcohol consumption
And finally, a very typical yet hidden cause behind constantly feeling drained could be down to your alcohol consumption.
Which is strange, I know, since most people feel tired after a few drinks. I myself used to think that I slept better after a glass of red wine.
But ultimately, while alcohol might make you fall asleep quickly, it does nothing for the quality of your sleep (as I just mentioned above).
It interferes with your deep sleep and can cause you to wake up multiple times in the night (and struggle to go back into a deep slumber when you do).
So, if you’re someone who enjoys a nightcap regularly, it might be time to change your routine.
Avoid drinking a few hours before bed, and you should notice your energy levels increasing the following morning.
Hopefully, now you’ve got a better idea of why you constantly feel drained, and how to turn things around.
Remember, take it step by step, and keep a log of what works and what doesn’t.
And don’t skip that trip to the doctor – all of the above will be useless if you have got a thyroid issue or other underlying medical conditions.