Éric Simard, Dr. in biology and researcher, with the collaboration of Stéphane Migneault, psychologist.
In the first article, I covered:
- The importance of the psychological state in relation to our expectations,
- The effects of physical activity both on our ability to produce energy and on the production of neurotransmitters by our brain,
- The importance of managing chronic stress, and
- Some important eating aspects to consider.
We will now integrate the two other facets which are: the use of quality food supplements and the advice of psychologist Stéphane Migneault. As mentioned in the first article, the objective here is to emphasize that fatigue is multifactorial and should also be tackled by several simultaneous approaches in order to obtain the best results.
When it comes to supplements, beware. With fatigue being a common problem, many companies have invented all kinds of solutions. Remember that the quality in the field varies greatly. I will of course tell you about some Vitoli products (which I created with two specialized pharmacists and of which I am the president of the company: www.esimard.com).
As a first step, always consider improving your sleep (Vitoli Sleep and/or Vitoli Stress and Anxiety). It seems obvious, but also know that the use of chemical sleeping pills does not provide a sleep as deep and as restful as you would have with natural quality products.
The second aspect helps to increase energy capacities, concentration capacities, intellectual vigor, combat chronic stress or depression: Vitoli Energy. This product contains both ingredients to combat possible deficiencies linked to fatigue (magnesium, vitamin B6 and olive polyphenols) and an active ingredient which is the best scientifically documented plant extract for energy supply: a high-quality standardized extract of rhodiola. For momentary fatigue, it should be used sporadically, and for chronic fatigue, it should be used on an ongoing basis.
6. Advice from the psychologist
Anxiety. Depression. Unresolved grief. Boredom. All these factors can explain, at least in part, a feeling of fatigue.
Chronic stress can also end up causing fatigue. I believe it is good to understand the underlying hormonal mechanisms. Here is a preview.
When we are faced with a stressful situation (new, out of control, threatening our ego, etc.), then the hypothalamus, the brain’s master gland, releases corticoliberin. This hormone causes the pituitary gland to secrete ACTH in turn. This neurohormone stimulates the adrenal glands (located on the kidneys). The adrenals release hormones like cortisol (one of the stress hormones).
When we experience chronic stress, the adrenal glands can become fatigued. They fall into “hypo” (light or moderate). The results?
- The secretion of cortisol may be insufficient
- Getting up in the morning is more difficult (you need a certain amount of cortisol in the morning)
- Resistance to stress weakens (the adrenals are tired)
- There is a lack of energy
How to take care of your adrenals battered by stress? I’ll share my cheat sheet with you. It is very simple:
- Dramatize (undo your catastrophic scenarios, put humor in your life)
- Get enough sleep
- Relax your body (through relaxation techniques)
- Determine your values and priorities
- Say no, put limits
- Discuss, dialogue (confide)
- Ask for help and advice
- Delegate and share tasks
- Reduce personal demands
In terms of relaxation techniques, there are many choices available to us:
- Abdominal breathing
- Cardiac coherence
- Jacobson’s progressive muscle relaxation technique
- Self Hypnosis
It is beneficial to practice relaxation at least once a day. For mental hygiene. A ten-minute session can help us refocus, reduce stress and better deal with the vagaries of life.
In conclusion, fatigue deserves to be considered from a biopsychosocial perspective. Psychologists and psychotherapists can help you overcome some of your fatigue in several ways, depending on your personal situation. They can help you:
- Determine the possible psychological causes of your fatigue
- Manage your stress and anxiety
- Complete an unresolved grief
- Reconnect with your values, a briefing with what gives meaning
- Adopt behaviors and habits conducive to sleep
- Determine what draws you out of energy (e.g.: toxic relationships) and what gives you energy (e.g.: positive relationships, exciting hobby)
- Take into account your energy levels
- Set your limits and say no
To find a psychologist or psychotherapist, contact Le Service de référence de l’Ordre des psychologues du Québec (French only): https://www.ordrepsy.qc.ca/nous-joindre
A special thank you to Marie-Ève Lacasse, psychologist, and Julie Nadeau, social worker, who enriched my cheat sheet.
Other suggested articles:
- The Therapist’s Advice During the Pandemic
- Natural Products for Stress and Insomnia; the Researcher’s Perspective
- Lack of Energy While Aging – First the Cause
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