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Help me be peppy!
December 2, 2011 7:23 AM   Subscribe

I need more energy - how can I stop being tired and have the strength and will to get more done? Tell me what I'm doing wrong and give me your tips for being energetic - lots of snowflake details inside.

I need to feel less tired all the time! I have so much that I want/need to do, and I consider the kids who are working and going to school, and I feel so lazy, plus I feel like I must be doing something wrong. Here's the scoop:

I work a full-time desk job which I enjoy. I bike commute and bike around town all year, riding about sixty miles a week when the weather is good and about thirty when it's extremely snowy/icy. I do volunteer work which requires one night a week and about four hours on Saturdays. I usually have one other volunteer commitment on another weeknight, and sometimes have one or two other evening things that are either social or political. I sleep a little less than eight hours a night.

And I'm tired a lot. When I got home from my volunteer stuff this week I was so tired I couldn't do anything except go right to bed. I can't get much done in the evenings after I get home from work/volunteering because I am just so tired. I spend part of the weekend resting.

I'm vegan and when I have time I eat a fairly high protein diet, but the tiredness is making it harder to cook (and the whole "cook on the weekend for the week" - I do that sometimes, and it's a four hour cooking slog to make a couple of bean dishes and something for lunch on Sundays when I already have laundry and cleaning to do)

I can't seem to get all my volunteer "homework" done right now - I need to send a lot of email and coordinate a lot of events, but I find myself putting it off because it's hard to stay focused. Is this ADHD or tiredness or something else?

Things I want to do but can't right now: get to the gym two or three times a week because my back and arms are sore and stiff; add one more volunteer project which would involve one more meeting a week, even if it means dropping a social evening; work on selling a bunch of vintage clothes; and finally answer all my emails.

To me this seems like it should be doable if I just didn't need so many down evenings.

My thyroid, per my doctor, is "normal" - ie, I don't have the actual numbers. I am not anemic, or at least I wasn't at the last doctor visit.

What tips do you have for more energy? What am I doing wrong? What might be wrong with me? (YANAD, I will be seeing my primary in a couple of months after I try homemade fixes)

(I am not interested in eating meat or dairy, so please don't suggest that.)
posted by Frowner to Health & Fitness (45 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
Things I want to do but can't right now: get to the gym two or three times a week because my back and arms are sore and stiff;

Going to the gym on a regular basis would probably help not only your energy levels but the soreness/stiffness you're experiencing. The body tends not to do very well if it isn't exercised frequently.
posted by valkyryn at 7:26 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I work a full-time desk job which I enjoy. I bike commute and bike around town all year, riding about sixty miles a week when the weather is good and about thirty when it's extremely snowy/icy. I do volunteer work which requires one night a week and about four hours on Saturdays. I usually have one other volunteer commitment on another weeknight, and sometimes have one or two other evening things that are either social or political. I sleep a little less than eight hours a night.

Maybe you should slow down a little. Some people get tired because they're doing too much. A few days/nights to yourself with nothing to do might do you a world of good.
posted by xingcat at 7:27 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Going to the gym on a regular basis would probably help not only your energy levels but the soreness/stiffness you're experiencing. The body tends not to do very well if it isn't exercised frequently.

I'll threadsit a little bit because I wanted to add something else anyway: the gym is because biking doesn't do much for my arms and shoulders, not because I don't exercise - I ride my bike at least six days a week year round, ~10 miles a day except in the dead of winter when I ride less, and have a good heart rate, lung capacity, etc.

I wanted to add that I am always cold. So cold right now, for example. And I get chilled easily and then feel sick and feverish and groggy for a couple of hours.
posted by Frowner at 7:35 AM on December 2, 2011


I have a friend who is about as busy as you are, and what's more is that she never takes a break. Her honeymoon was the first vacation she'd had from her high-stress, long-hour (probably equivalent to full-time plus volunteering for you) job in three years.

When is the last time you have taken an honest-to-goodness vacation? Away from the desk job and the politics and the email and somewhere you can sleep until you wake up and not have to bother with the world except? You probably can't take one right this minute, but you should probably start working toward getting your ducks set up in such a line that you can get away from everything for a week.

I know you find everything you do, especially the volunteer work, super-fulfilling, but there's a balance that needs to happen.
posted by griphus at 7:38 AM on December 2, 2011


As other posters have said – do take an honest look at whether you're scheduling enough relaxation time for yourself. Do you feel rested after you sleep? Do you start to get tired early in the day, or only after you've done a lot?

If you are good about knowing your limits, can't seem to sleep quite enough and get tired after not much effort, you sound like me before I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. Have you had a general checkup for any food allergies and intolerances? My gluten intolerance did cause some stomach issues, but nothing major when I ate it regularly (before my diagnosis). On the other hand, once gluten was out of my diet for a few months, I experienced such an amazing increase in energy and overall endurance that I honest-to-goodness wept about all the years I'd spent exhausted without knowing why. (Also, if I eat any gluten by mistake now, it does cause major stomach issues.) It's been about 10 years since my diagnosis, and the only times my energy gets anywhere near as low as it was before, are when I have the flu or am running way too low on iron (I'm a woman).
posted by fraula at 7:46 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about napping now and then?
20 minutes and no more.

And there is an app for that if you can't train yourself to fall asleep on command :)
Anecdotal but it worked for me.
posted by 7life at 7:47 AM on December 2, 2011


Have you checked your B12 and D vitamins? Some doctors still think that if you're not anemic you cannot be B12 deficient, but that's incorrect. The standard B12 test can also be unreliable, especially if those results are bordering on deficiency. Veganhealth has good info.

If you want to take a look at things you might improve in your diet Vegan For Life looks like a good book.
posted by davar at 7:52 AM on December 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd get those thyroid numbers from your doctor, and your iron levels as well, and chek them out. You may technically fall within the normal range but it old be a low normal - low for you, for hat you need.

If you sleep a little less than eight hours per night, you may have accumulated sleep deficit that is catching up with you. Most people need at least a full eight hours. I need more like nine. I'd add an extra half hour onto your sleep schedule first thing, or more. It could take a while for you to make it up if this is the problem.

Note that if you are getting plenty of aerobic exercise your sleep needs increase because (iirc) your body spends more time in stage 2 sleep and doesn't get to your REM sleep as quickly. Lack of REM sleep is what causes sleep deficit.
posted by bq at 7:57 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Frowner: "I consider the kids who are working and going to school, and I feel so lazy, plus I feel like I must be doing something wrong."

Frowner: "I work a full-time desk job which I enjoy. I bike commute and bike around town all year, riding about sixty miles a week when the weather is good and about thirty when it's extremely snowy/icy. I do volunteer work which requires one night a week and about four hours on Saturdays. I usually have one other volunteer commitment on another weeknight, and sometimes have one or two other evening things that are either social or political."

I think you need to readjust your definition of "I feel so lazy"! You are doing a LOT of stuff, no wonder you're tired! Instead of adding stuff to your schedule, it seems to me like you should be trying to reduce the number of things on your plate right now.
posted by Grither at 7:57 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Do you snore? Get checked for sleep apnea.
posted by flabdablet at 8:01 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


And if less stuff isn't an option.... how do you feel about coffee?
posted by Grither at 8:02 AM on December 2, 2011


In addition to checking for thyroid, if you're too tired to cook, as a vegan, you're finding yourself in a situation where you're likely not getting enough nutrients to get you through the day, especially with all that biking.

Are you eating processed vegan foods like stuff out of a box in the frozen food section instead of balancing out your grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits?

I'd really look at your diet and how and what you're eating. One can be vegan and be incredibly unhealthy by just eating a lot of processed crap. It takes attention to be a healthy vegan or vegetarian and now that our groceries stores have a lot of processed vegan/vegetarian foods, I find that a lot of new vegs rely on that instead of cooking and paying attention to balancing out their meals appropriately.

Add raw nuts to your diet, increase your lentil consumption, dark leafy greens, beans, vegetables, hummus, stuff like that. Eat more real food, eat less processed food (assuming this applies to you).
posted by vivzan at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Did your doctor check your Vitamin D levels? That's a problem that docs are seeing more and more because people spend so much time indoors now.
posted by superfille at 8:23 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Did your doctor check your Vitamin D levels?

This. My energy went way the hell up when I started taking Vitamin D supplements.
posted by griphus at 8:29 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sounds like your schedule is very full. Can you schedule a two-week vacation from not work but from your volunteer activities to see if that helps?

Anecdata: a work project has never made me sick (like antibiotics & nearly hospital sick) but over commitment to volunteer work has. Several times. I am finally starting to learn!
posted by pointystick at 8:47 AM on December 2, 2011


I'm tired just reading this. What do you do for fun? I'd think about cutting back on your volunteer work, and maybe taking the bus or a carpool (if possible) once in a while, so you can just listen to music or read or sit lost in thought on your way to and from work.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:56 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I needed a nap after just reading your schedule, I'd be surprised if you didn't feel tired.

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere I'd nth Vitamin D tablets as helpful and maybe worth looking into, I've found them helpful.

My SIL who lives to be busy and only sleeps 5 hours a night she has so much on swears by "Nana naps" as she calls them. She will suddenly just lay down and nap for 20 minutes and wakes up revived and she will nap anywhere. She can't nap any longer than that though. So if you need to power through what you've got on your plate now before you can take some time off I'd suggest power napping.

Stress and tension can also lead to muscular aches and pains, I always get sore shoulders, neck and arms when I am under stress.
posted by wwax at 9:04 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fellow vegan, heed my advice! B12!!! Take 3,000 mcg megadoses of the Methyl B12 sublingual lozenges, no less a dose and no other type of B12 will do!

For years I was an exhausted fellow vegan who was told my B12 levels were on the low-but-still normal side. My number was 209-- I was on the cusp of deficient by U.S. standards, but by international standards (Japan, Germany, etc.) anything under 500-ish is deficient, which I discovered after my physical last year.

So I wandered into the vitamin store and bought the expensive Methyl B12 sublingual lozenges (rather than the drugstore el-cheapo B12 pills I'd been buying) and I swear, within 2 days I started feeling better. BY A LOT!!!! Miraculously better, in fact.

So PLEASE give it a try, you have nothing to lose :)
posted by devymetal at 9:04 AM on December 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


And I was always cold, just like you-- low B12 will do this to a person, just sayin'.
posted by devymetal at 9:07 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nthing supplements. I'm vegan and I kept forgetting to take my supplements, for months at a time, and felt like it wasn't a big deal because I ate so well, ate lots of things fortified with B12 and calcium, got plenty of protein and iron (some of my very favorite foods are tofu, kale, and almonds) - but I was also tired all the time. I tried exercising more and that sort of helped, for a while (and obviously you exercise plenty) but it ended up wearing me out more. Then I started taking a daily women's vegan multivitamin. It took a few weeks to feel the effects, but now I have tons of energy! I felt so silly when I realized that was my whole problem. I have no idea what I was missing - I just read Vegan For Life (which I highly recommend) and couldn't see what I was doing "wrong" with my diet. But the supplements helped a ton.

If you already take them, I am at a loss.
posted by fireflies at 9:14 AM on December 2, 2011


I don't take supplements - might as well try some. I am fairly sure I don't have sleep apnea based on sleeping partner feedback (someone who knows what to look for and knows that it's not just snoring), but I think I could rearrange some of my sleeping habits.

These are great so far - more suggestions also welcome!

(Less stuff is not an option - believe me, for my social circles I am ridiculously lazy and I know that friends are wondering why I don't attend more events and am not more involved with activist projects.)
posted by Frowner at 9:19 AM on December 2, 2011


I have a question: as an objective measure, how much of your day is actually occupied by Stuff To Do, compared to other people in your social circle? I am only asking because I have been on the sidelines of activist communities myself and holy shit are the cheerleaders really, really good at making you feel like a lazy loaf for not showing up to every single thing. And that's good, because, well, that's a good way to get people to show up to stuff. However, you might cram in all the stuff you possibly can and there will still be people asking you why you didn't show up to this or that or this other thing. So take a measure of how much stuff you're doing, how much stuff other people are doing, and whether or not you're confusing hard-sell motivation for actual disengagement.
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


And PS, I'm assuming you already know this, but B12 is the one vitamin we vegans can't get anywhere else but supplements, at least not in the proper amounts. So unless you are eating TONS of B12-fortified foods, it doesn't matter how excellent your diet is, you will not be getting enough B12.
posted by devymetal at 9:37 AM on December 2, 2011


For me, when I have gone through stages where I've thought there MUST be some supplement, medical diagnosis, or concretely fixable reason for being tired and unmotivated, it's always turned out that I'm just pretty much somaticizing some emotional or intellectual issue going on in my life that I'm in denial about.

That said, you sound like a pretty balanced person who has high expectations for yourself (and on preview, maybe feels some of the external pressure griphus is describing), but as others have suggested, you may really benefit by giving yourself permission to get a good night's sleep a few days in a row, or sitting around literally doing nothing for a day. When was the last time that you took a WHOLE day and just had no responsibilities or expectations of what you would accomplish? If you can do that just once, (and I mean a WHOLE day, don't leave your house, and just sit and maybe read, write, or do some other low-energy activity, turn off the phone and computer, and go to sleep early), you may find that's all you need.
posted by gubenuj at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Try checking your serum ferritin in addition to just your hemoglobin (which is what the standard tests for anemia measure.)

It's somewhat controversial, but iron supplements may help fatigued female people with low serum ferritin (a longer-term iron storage molecule in the blood; hemoglobin is shorter term, so it's possible to have good hemoglobin levels but depleted long-term iron stores/low serum ferritin.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:40 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fewer commitments is always an option - especially if you're starting to make yourself sick or face burnout. As someone who also volunteers and has a social life, I understand the dilemma - but you know the saying?

"Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others."

The other groups will adapt and adjust without you. I'd strongly consider dropping or scaling back on one volunteer and one political activity, because the way I read it right now, you have almost no time to yourself, no decompression or down time. That has a psychological and physiological cost, and you ignore it at your peril. As a doc once said to me, "Listen to your body the first time, because you probably won't like the come back."

So either you'll scale back a bit and find the right balance for you, or you'll plow ahead, up to you.

In any event:

This leapt out at me:

I sleep a little less than eight hours a night.

Try sleeping a half hour more per night, and see how you feel after a week. It's amazing what a little more sleep can do.
posted by canine epigram at 9:57 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poster> Less stuff is not an option - believe me, for my social circles I am ridiculously lazy and I know that friends are wondering why I don't attend more events and am not more involved with activist projects.

Eh, someone has to be the laziest person in the group. I believe that you should consider cutting back on your commitments.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:12 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wanted to add that I am always cold. So cold right now, for example. And I get chilled easily and then feel sick and feverish and groggy for a couple of hours.

It sounds like your body isn't getting enough of something, so your metabolism is running slow in order to conserve whatever it is. Honestly, I think you need to eat meat.

If that's intolerable, start increasing various macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) and vitamins/minerals. If you're not hungry, do it anyway. You'll slowly be able to eat more.

In any case, you're not getting enough of something.
posted by zeek321 at 10:20 AM on December 2, 2011


Regarding the sense of obligation to do "more" or at least keep up with what your friends are doing... As a white, middle-class, queer, cis-gender woman with activist tendencies and a social-justice oriented professional path, I have, in the past, tried to process the guilt I feel for the oppression that I am part of by being SUPER engaged in the community. I am not saying that this is exactly what you are experiencing, but it rings true to my experience, so bear with me.

1. You cannot overcome your role in perpetuating oppression just by doing MORE.
2. Being super engaged in a public way doesn't necessarily mean accomplishing a lot.
3. There are many ways to undo/combat the oppression that you are a part of that are not in any way public. A lot of the work is internal, about attitudes, beliefs, intentions and accountability.
4. Your activist friends should not be your yardstick for measuring your worth or how much you are accomplishing. Competitive martyrdom is an insidious trope in activist communities, and ultimately, I think it undermines the quality of the work being done in the first place.

If I'm totally off base, forgive me. Obviously, it would behoove you to do all the things related to supporting your nutrition and your body's needs, but don't forget your brainheart and your soul.
posted by Betty's Table at 10:29 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Threadsit again!

1. My social circle is actually substantially composed of pretty hard-core activists - the folks who actually keep stuff running. Sadly, years of experience have shown me that these really are people who are out at meetings every night, often followed by benefits or informal meetings. I used to hope that it was all talk, but it's not.

2. About being cold: I've been colder than normal all my life, even as a child. But in the past five or six years it's gotten much worse (this predates veganism by ~3 years) to the point where I get really chilled if I'm outside for long periods or in a room where it's less than 60, and it takes me hours to warm up again, even if I just get right into bed. When I am chilled, my body feels cold to the touch, so it takes a long time to generate enough heat to warm up under the blankets. This makes things awkward with the bicycling, the going to protests, etc. What prompted this question: on Wednesday, I biked ~4 miles from work to my volunteer project and spent a couple of hours in a room that was about 58 degrees. When I got home, I was so tired that I literally could hardly stand.
posted by Frowner at 10:31 AM on December 2, 2011


A (nonvegan) friend who was frequently tired and always cold has resolved those problems by adding more fat and protein to her diet (she probably takes vitamins/supplements too). She is also insanely busy - working fulltime and getting a PhD, as well as teaching spinning classes at her gym at 6 am.

Try the easy changes first, for a month, say - add more fat and protein, start with the supplements, and keep a diary of what you're eating when and how you feel.
posted by rtha at 10:47 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nthing vitamin D and B12 supplements, I bet these will make a huge difference. Don't be shy about the vitamin D, there are lots of very interesting studies out there showing very little downside and a lot of potential upsides to taking doses that are well over the RDA.

Since you're not eating meat, you should also consider zinc supplementation - low zinc levels are associated with depression and fatigue, and my energy levels have practically doubled since I started supplementing with zinc. One shorthand way to very roughly guess at your zinc levels is to look at your fingernails - if there are little white dots on them, or faint white bands, that can be an indication of mild zinc deficiency. I actually had very faint white bands on mine marking my menstrual cycles, as well as a few white spots here and there. I cannot overstate how much better I feel after starting to take a dedicated zinc supplement (I don't take multivitamins, but that would probably work just as well).

I totally agree with rtha that eating more fat and protein would probably help; I'm not sure what constitutes a high-protein diet for you, but many people think the RDA is way too low, especially when you're exercising so much.
posted by dialetheia at 11:10 AM on December 2, 2011


You are extremely busy. Where on earth did you get the idea that you're lazy? With a schedule like you described, it's not realistic to expect that you won't feel tired. Rest is like food -- your body absolutely needs it. It isn't optional. Feeling tired is your body's way of letting you know that you need some rest, just like feeling hungry lets you know that you need to eat.

You say doing less stuff is not an option. Yes, it is. That's exactly what I thought before I got really sick. My body told me in a way that brooked no argument that all those useful productive, fulfilling, fun things I was doing were really NOT necessary to keep the world turning. Don't take this the wrong way, but nothing you do is that important.

And the coldness -- you're pushing yourself so hard that your poor body is struggling even to keep you at a comfortable temperature. It takes more energy for your body to just exist when it's cold. If you don't bite the bullet and adjust your expectations and your activities, your next Ask will about why you're getting dizzy and passing out for no reason. I know this isn't what you prefer to hear, but you did ask. Another inconvenient truth.
posted by Corvid at 11:36 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Coupla random thoughts.

1. Is your weight stable? Do you actually get enough to eat? Do you get enough fat? If you are too tired to cook and reaching for vegan staples it might be that you are not actually getting enough calories for your activity level. Try using coconut oil in particular, it makes you feel warm.

2. Your activist mates, with their social pressure, are a self-selected bunch of survivors. They are outliers as people who can maintain a high level of activity for a long period. There were others who couldn't, and they have dropped out. They may not be an appropriate reference group for you, just as elite athletes are not an appropriate reference for most of us. And anyway, are you sure they aren't tired and suffering as well? I bet a lot of them are. Maybe you could do your circle a great favour by modelling taking care of yourself and thus prolonging your ability to do good work in the long term.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:33 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


My social circle is actually substantially composed of pretty hard-core activists - the folks who actually keep stuff running. Sadly, years of experience have shown me that these really are people who are out at meetings every night, often followed by benefits or informal meetings. I used to hope that it was all talk, but it's not.

And why are you so bent on keeping up with them that you're willing to sacrifice your health?

This is not a rhetorical question. If you get grief for scaling back to sustainable levels of commitments, you may need new "friends." Because real friends understand that your personal health always comes first.
posted by canine epigram at 12:57 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]



And why are you so bent on keeping up with them that you're willing to sacrifice your health?


Because in the past I've needed to push myself to do things - not that I want literally to "sacrifice my health" but I want to maximize what I can do even if it means working harder and longer than initially seems comfortable. Up to a point, this stuff is like sports - you don't run a marathon by leaping from the couch and doing it, but you can run one if you train. Similarly, you can't sustain a busy activist schedule by overburdening yourself and freaking out, but you can train yourself/eat better/etc to give yourself more capacity.
posted by Frowner at 2:05 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well if you know all the answers why ask the question? You say you're too tired to do the other things you want to do. But if it is all a matter of training yourself then surely your problem will just go away, won't it? If, on the other hand, it has not gone away for a while or perhaps gotten worse over time perhaps all the people who are telling you to slow down may be on to something? Says she who is knackered because she's just worked the second very long week in a row...
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:50 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your doctor may be wrong or misinformed, particularly considering your remarks about being unfocused and unduly cold. It would be a good time to educate yourself about thyroid disease, recommended tests/test results and optimal care. You may need a new doctor at some point soon. See my previous answers about labwork, or feel free to memail me. I sympathize with the frustration you feel.
posted by vers at 3:16 PM on December 2, 2011


You're going out half of your weeknights and about a third of your weekend, every week; and on weeknights, that's after putting in an 8-hour (plus?) day and biking 8 miles. That's pretty tiring. (Even more so if one of those evenings is spent in a 58 degree room. Brrrrr.)

It seems like there's some good advice here about improving your health within your vegan diet (something I'm not remotely qualified to comment on), on getting more sleep, and on checking for other health issues.

If it were me, I'd drop one involvement, probably the one that's most tiring, and try out some of the other health suggestions. Then see how you feel in a couple of months, whether you're raring to go back to that involvement, to try something new, or whether you actually still need to cut back a little.

FWIW, I've been feeling exhausted all year, which I know comes from a bunch of stuff*, but the day I emailed one of my volunteer groups last summer and said I was stepping away at least for a while, I felt so light and happy I could have floated away. And it's a group whose mission I believe in, and I like most of the people.

I'm actually backing off on a lot of volunteer commitments, after spending a few years overloading myself -- while it looked like "everybody else" was doing so much more -- and I know it's the right thing for me now. If I'm tired and crabby and resentful, I'm not really helping.

Oh, and a totally random suggestion re being cold: hot showers! This time of year, my feet are often cold, even after I get into bed. The only thing that gets me really truly warm is a hot shower. Plus it's lovely "me time."

* I need more sleep in general, for one thing, and right now I'm dealing with post car crash issues. It was helpful to hear my therapist say that it's okay to tell everybody that I need a break, and not to take on anything new for the next month or so.
posted by epersonae at 3:38 PM on December 2, 2011


Hold on, I just reread the question again: you're going out almost every weeknight, definitely more than half. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
posted by epersonae at 3:40 PM on December 2, 2011


I am totally on board with the "gotta be busy doing things all the time busy style". I am going to strongly advise Vitamin D, sleeping 1/2 an hour more if at all possible, and taking hot showers in the winter. Seriously: hot showers in the winter.

Also: as someone who is a half-assed bicyclist in the wintertide, doing a couple 5 minute intervals of jump roping when cold/lazy will usually warm me up and make me feel more alive if I am hunching.

Also also: self-care is a revolutionary act. I am not super busy by activist standards but one of my very close friends is HELLA BUSY, and I find myself reminding this person from time to time that they have to take care of themselves so they can keep working. Just saying.
posted by beefetish at 4:21 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh! Also, Stumptuous has good information about complementary workouts you can do both in and outside of the gym. For me, amassing a cheapass collection of sandbag/medicine ball gear and making working out into something I can do at home allowed me to keep a 2-3x week workout schedule despite having a million stupid commitments.
posted by beefetish at 4:24 PM on December 2, 2011


And invest in an electric mattress pad for your bed-stepping into a toasty warm bed both helps we warm up fast and also lets me sleep longer and more deePly, especially because I love to sleep in a cold room with windows open.
posted by purenitrous at 6:37 AM on December 3, 2011


Just coming to reiterate the comment above about gluten. I could have written your question 18 months ago - cold, vegetarian and exhausted. After cutting out gluten, I'm not cold any more and I'm full of energy. I did a two week trial to see if it helped, and I knew at the end of it that I would never go back to eating wheat. It's worth trying, particularly since you've always run cold. This is the first time in my life I don't need to wear a sweater even during the summer. It's not definitely the thing that will make a difference for you, but 14 days isn't a long time to give something a try.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:55 PM on December 11, 2011


Rhodiola Rosea
posted by screamingnotlaughing at 3:44 PM on December 15, 2011


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