Why Am I So Tired? 8 Tips to Boost Your Energy

It’s a hard time of the year to feel tired. You have tons of shopping, baking and wrapping to do, plus you still have to go to work, take care of your family and yourself, and attend all your holiday parties. And with the days so short, you may feel more tired than you’ve been all year.

But what if you feel unbearably tired? I’m not talking about just feeling tired at the end of the day. I mean that down-to-the-bone tired feeling where you could sleep all day and still not feel rested. The kind where you can’t get out of bed in the morning even after nine hours of sleep. The kind of tired where you’re searching for jobs down south where the sun shines all year.

Does this sound like you? If so, you may have Yang Deficiency.

Yang is the deepest source of energy in the body. It’s kind of like the pilot light that fuels everything. And if that pilot light is low, you’ll feel extremely tired. Not only that, you’ll feel really cold all the time too, like you can’t quite warm up. We call that Yang Deficiency. With Yang Deficiency, no amount of rest makes you feel better because your teeny, tiny pilot light is so weak that it runs out of energy.

If you have Yang Deficiency you may feel especially tired in the winter or have Seasonal Affective Disorder. We get a lot of Yang energy from the sun, and I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed these days that even at high noon the sun looks like it’s setting. So we’re not getting a whole lot of energy there.

If you can take a winter trip to a sunnier locale and soak up some sun that will help, but what if you can’t travel? What else can you do? Here are eight tips to warm your Yang and boost your energy in the winter:

  1. Take a nap. But not just any nap. Lie down between 1-3pm, the most restorative time of the day according to Chinese Medicine.
  2. Eat hot food. No seriously, your pilot light has to work overtime to warm up cold food so do your energy a favor and skip the salad. Eat soup, pot roast, and roasted butternut squash. Toast your sandwiches. Steam your veggies. You’ll have so much more energy after you eat!
  3. Eat hot foods like shrimp, lamb, trout, mustard greens, and walnuts. Wait, didn’t I just say that above? Nope, I’m referring to the effect that food has on you after you eat it. Certain foods warm you up regardless of whether they’re hot or cold when you eat them.
  4. Use warming spices to boost your energy. Cook with ginger, fennel, nutmeg, garlic and peppers. Drink ginger tea, black tea (instead of green tea, which is warming), and chai tea (which has warming spices).
  5. Take Vitamin D. You can get a simple blood test from your doctor to check your levels of vitamin D.
  6. Use a light box in the morning to boost your Yang energy.
  7. Wear long underwear and keep your feet and belly warm. You probably love Smart Wool if you’re Yang Deficient, but stop feeling bad about it and invest in warm under layers!
  8. While you’re at it, turn up the thermostat a few degrees. Fighting a cold house only makes Yang Deficiency worse.

In our clinic, here’s how our practitioners treat fatigue and Yang Deficiency:

If you’re sick of being tired and you suspect you might have Yang Deficiency, don’t hesitate to call or email us! We would love to help in any way we can.