Stuck on the couch? We’ve all been there. When motivation runs low it can be worrisome.

Motivation may not be the issue here.

If you are suffering from low energy to the point that it is having a significant negative effect on your daily life this article is meant to be a helpful guide to finding the cause for your fatigue, outlining a few steps that could be good options to pull you out and finally general case studies where I have seen people transform with simple changes.

Why Am I So Tired?

I get asked this question a lot. It is an emotional question because it brings up feelings of regret, disappointment, fear, anger and sadness.

It isn’t an empowering question if you aren’t in a medical professionals office. I do my best to make it empowering.

The goal is always to figure out the cause (physical, mental or emotional), remove any blocks, heal the cause and work to prevent future relapses.

With a disciplined but gentle plan most can regain their vibrant selves.

In this state of fatigue and lack of Motivation we often ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Why do I feel different?
  • Where is my energy?
  • When will this end?
  • This is normally when people come to see me and say “am I depressed?”
  • What happened to my mood?
  • What about my interests?
  • Why does nothing excite me?

If any of these sound like you do not worry. Read the rest of this article, take action this week to discover the cause and follow up with a disciplined self-care plan that is gentle (preferably without medications – although they are necessary in some cases) and begin to note the changes you see.

When things work keep them up. When they don’t move on to the next.

In this journey see your doctor but be informed about what depression really is and when medication is necessary (hint: when natural medicine, talk therapy and environmental changes aren’t enough).

When you are feeling this way and make it to your MD or ND consider the following tests. I’m not going to go through the reasons here but you can find reasons everywhere online.
low energy

Medical Testing for Fatigue

Here is where to start – get these levels tested:

  • Iron levels
  • Thyroid hormones
  • Sex hormones (saliva testing – multiple samples)
  • B12 levels
  • Vitamin D levels
  • CRP
  • HbA1C
  • Fasting glucose
  • Cholesterol
  • CBC
  • WBC

This list is not exclusive. This list can give you a much deeper look at your overall health even when you don’t have an overt pathology.

If you decide to go the testing route start there and then work with your doctor to make proper changes. If your doctor isn’t sure what to do find someone who can help.

While the testing is getting better and better it isn’t always the absolute let diagnostic tool. What is more important is your actual symptoms.

  • Are you tired at a specific time of day?
  • Do you sleep through the night?
  • Do you have any associated symptoms like rashes, runny nose, bloating and other digestive complaints?
  • Are you menstrual cycles regular and PMS symptom free?
  • Do you have energy after meals?
  • Are you vegan?
  • How much water do you drink?

The list goes on and on…

Often low motivation is simply a symptom of being run down. Does this sounds like you? Adrenal fatigue, frequent colds, everyday stress – these can wear on us.

In these cases the body often needs a “state change”. Amy frequently will say that we need to “shake things up” when life gets stagnant.

What To Try First – Simple Solutions to Jumpstart Your Energy

If low energy is causing your lack of motivation you may simply need to try the following:

1) Join a friend for a workout, walk, anything.

Need motivation? You aren’t alone. Ask a friend to do a nature walk, try a new activity or hit the gym. They will appreciate the motivation as well.

2) Stretch daily (just do it on the couch)

Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles, helps to detox the body, loosens the joints and can improve vitality.

Consider it if you sit or stand a lot at work, have muscle pain or just crave sitting or lying down.

3) Put something healthy in your body – Hydrate & More green leafy veggies – spinach, kale, lettuce, etc.

Bored? Hungry? Tired? Drink more water and eat some veggies.

Too often when tired or unmotivated we turn to sugar or carbohydrates. The brain is looking for some action. Instead of giving it junk food fuel it with healthy vitamins and minerals. You will feel better.

Delicious smoothies with a bit of spinach usually do the trick for us.

4) Make sure you are having a bowel movement daily

If you aren’t having a BM everyday your body is experiencing toxic overload. Make sure you are regular.

If this has been a chronic issue for you see an ND. We do very good work in this area. I make sure all of my patients are going this frequently (but not more than 3x per day) before doing any work with supplements, vitamins or minerals.

5) Find your inspiration – your kids, music, people you admire, colleagues. Get excited about something in life. What do you like? What do you find fun? Do more of it.

This sounds easy but you would be surprised how many people would say “I don’t even know what I like anymore. I don’t even know what fun is.”

We need to fix this. Simply make a list. Then do some of them. This is a simplified version of the deeper work I do around “the perfect self”, “childlike qualities” and finding your inner perfection. Start here.

Tighten up your lifestyle for 5 days:

It takes 21 days to create a new habit. It only takes a couple days of healthy activities to really feel good.

I find that after 5 days of a new lifestyle people find things that really resonate with them and make those permanent. That is a start.

I like to keep things simple in my practice. Simple things are often the most effective. If your energy is low, motivation is low and mood is low try some of these options.

What Have Been My Easiest Fixes in Clinical Practice

  • Low B12 in vegans
  • Low vitamin D status in people in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Adrenal fatigue cause by stress or stimulant overload
  • Low iron
  • Undiagnosed hypothyroidism
  • Chronic infection (such as Candida or other dysbiosises)

These can happen to any of us. They are common and unpleasant. Simple testing and questionnaires can diagnose any of them.

What motivates you? Have you felt stuck on the couch recently? What pulled you out of it? Let us know in the comments.

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Dr. David Duizer is a co-founder of and a Naturopathic Physician practicing in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a passionate, driven, motivated leader in integrative medicine focused on optimal wellbeing, holistic healing and natural health.

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