Benjamin Franklin said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things." That's all well and good, but what can you do when your get-up-and-go has got up and left?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta asked people, "In the past 3 months, how often did you feel very tired or exhausted? Would you say never, some days, most days, or every day?" More women than men said they felt very tired or exhausted most days or every day. Women ages 18 to 44 were almost twice as likely as men to feel wiped out: 16% versus 9%.
The reality is most of us feel tired a good deal of the time. In our overscheduled, 24/7, hurry-scurry lives, energy is hard to come by.
Here are some energy-boosting tips that mommy M.D.s — doctors who are also mothers — use themselves:
"Want to boost your energy instantly?" asks Jennifer Hanes, D.O., an emergency physician and author of "The Princess Plan." "Make a big, lion-sized yawn. It's nature's wake-up call."
"I make a point to have an hour 'off' each day when I get home from work to relax and de-stress," says Debra Luftman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and co-author of "The Beauty Prescription."
"It's helpful to know the time of day when you're most energetic," says Deborah Gilboa, M.D., a family physician. "For instance, I know that I can't write at night because I have less energy in the evenings. If I try to write at night, it's total garbage! I do my best writing after breakfast."
Dr. Rallie's Tips
For most of my life, I've been bursting with energy. At a couple of points in my life, I found that I was drained and exhausted, and I couldn't accomplish as much as I was accustomed to, which in turn depressed me. That triggered a bit of a vicious cycle.
On both occasions, there was a valid physical reason for my drastic drop in energy. Once was after I had two babies in two years while finishing my medical residency, and I became a bit anemic. The other was when I discovered I had developed hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormones.
Women who experience sudden — or even gradual — but significant changes in their normal energy levels shouldn't attribute it to aging or think that it's all in their heads. It's really important to schedule an appointment with your physician to make sure there's not something serious causing the problem. It could be an infection, a metabolic disorder or anemia.
Now I pay close attention to my energy levels, and I don't take it for granted. I try to nourish my body with all the nutrients, sleep, exercise and water it needs for good health. If I notice that I'm feeling inexplicably tired or drained, I'll take a day or two to rest, relax and take better care of myself. If I don't bounce back within a week or so, I make an appointment with my physician to make sure there's nothing serious going on. — Rallie McAllister, M.D., MPH, mom of three, nationally recognized health expert and family physician in Lexington, Kentucky
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four, co-founder and CEO of Momosa Publishing and co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides. She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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