Today’s post is about how to heal chronic fatigue symptoms with yoga and self-awareness. Through my own experience and learning I hope to help any of you dealing with fatigue symptoms to feel better. I shared a couple of months ago about my experience with insomnia and fatigue and my path to healing. I can honestly say I feel like a new woman, grateful every day to feel “normal” again. Finally not a half-woman-half-zombie like I did for most of the last few years.
Since we moved to Greece and I took a break from my full-time job, things have got much better. Finally I am happy to report that most of my fatigue symptoms have now healed. I am sleeping at least 8 hours most nights and waking up feeling energised and motivated. Working on my business and teaching yoga classes feels exciting again. I finally feel like I can enjoy my hobbies again and conversations with loved ones without feeling like I am just going through the motions.
Today I taught an online yoga class with the theme of “self-awareness”. It really got me thinking about the role of self-awareness in healing from fatigue symtpoms. As well as a lack of self-awareness as part of the cause of fatigue. Not paying attention to how you are feeling internally, both physically and emotionally, makes it extremely easy to cross your own boundaries. To not know when you are over-doing something or when something is lacking in your life.
It’s easy to keep giving and meeting the demands of others. Or to keep striving towards a goal and not even realise your cup is empty until you totally crash and burn. When you are simply unable to do all of the things you used to because the fatigue symptoms are so intense. In my case, crashing and burning didn’t even stop me. I continued trying to keep up with my work. Instead it was my social life and other fun things that suffered instead.
Self-awareness in healing fatigue symptoms
Self-awareness can mean lots of things but in the context of healing fatigue symtpoms I see it as:
- Paying attention to your energy levels throughout the day and noticing which activities boost your energy and what depletes you. Getting honest with yourself about any habits that you have which are stealing your energy. Maybe excessive use of social media, drinking too much coffee or not going outside all day and seeing if you can gradually let these go. Then consciously including energy building activities such as yoga, deep breathing and meditation into your day.
- Tuning into your physical body sensations. Listening to what your body needs whether it’s something as simple as being cold, hungry or thirsty. Or whether you need a break, to rest or move and stretch your body. Not sitting in front of your computer ignoring all the signs from your body because you are “too busy” or “there’s not enough time”. Instead giving your body what it needs to feel good in the moment. Working in partnership with your body rather than against it.
- Being aware of your mood and emotions and asking what you need to bring yourself back into balance. Finding ways to express any emotions that come up and release any stuck energy. Especially anger or sadness as these emotions can really drain us if we don’t acknowledge and express them. I find dancing or just shaking my body like crazy is a great way to get energy moving. It helps to release stuck emotions stored as tension within the body.
- Observing your thoughts and mental state. Noticing any unhelpful thought patterns that send you into a spiral of anxiety, fear or stress. Often we play out the same patterns that come from the same root wound. For example a fear of not being good enough or not being liked by others. We tend to over-think things, catastrophise and think of the worst case scenario. This includies when it comes to any fatigue symptoms we are experiencing!. Becoming aware of our thoughts and questioning whether they are true and helpful is the first step in creating a more healing mental state.
How yoga helps to develop self-awareness
My yoga practice has helped so much with building this self-awareness. It has allowed me to finally arrived on the path to healing my fatigue symptoms after years of drifting around and jumping from one thing to another. Yoga gives us that safe space to shut out the world and turn inwards. We can get really get quiet and pay attention to what is going on inside. Yoga encourages us to be with our breath and body. To move at our own pace and rest whenever we need to.
In yoga we learn not to push and force ourselves into postures but to keep a beginners mind. We accept that we are gradually moving along the path and we will get there in our own time. Getting on the mat every day (or at least a few times a week) helps us to observe the changes in our body and mind over time. We can notice if we’re feeling more tired or energised, more anxious or calm. It’s clear when fatigue symptoms such as tension or tightness in our body arise. We can also intuitively know what to do to feel better.
How yoga helps with fatigue symptoms
Unlike other types of exercise, yoga can actually increase our energy reserves rather than leave us feeling more fatigued. After a class people talk about having that “yoga glow” where you feel blissed out and super chilled. Well this is also a really healing place to be! It puts our body into the parasympathetic nervous system state e.g. rest and digest rather than fight or flight.
Certain yoga postures are great for improving circulation, gently stimulating the nervous system and boosting energy levels. When I’m feeling sluggish, some twisting postures, back bends and inversions really help to wake me up and get energy moving in my body again. When you are feeling run down or exhausted, it’s better to go for the more supported postures. These allow you to deeply relax and let go help to calm the nervous system and build energy reserves. See my yoga for your period sequence for some examples of relaxing postures for when you are feeling fatigue symptoms.
If you want to join me for online or in person yoga classes, check out my current class schedule. Or I offer private yoga sessions online or in person if you would like more individual support with the practice.
Over to you…
If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.
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