3 simple ways to combat fatigue and reduce stress

Mental Health

by Baylor Scott & White Health

Aug 15, 2016

Fatigue. It happens. How do we combat it?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, fatigue is, “A reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.”

As we all know, fatigue can be something that stops us in our tracks. It can debilitate your performance and keep you from getting your workouts or activity in each day.

So, the question is: how do we keep the efficiency in our muscles going strong to reduce the effects of fatigue? Well, experts say that some ways you can combat fatigue are by doing things that reduce stress in the body. Below are three helpful and easy things to do to relieve stress.

De-stress with a massage and deep breathing techniques

Get a massage to help relax your body, ease your aches and pains, as well as reduce anxiety and relieve stress faster! Practice deep breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed or exhausted; this will tell your body that you are aware and present and will get fresh oxygen to your fatigued muscles.

More oxygen to your muscles equals better and faster recovery times because your body will use your oxygen as an energy source instead of lactic acid fermentation, which rends far less energy to your cells.

Try deep abdominal breathing. This type of breathing is one in which you take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, trying to make your abdomen move on inhalation/exhalation, not your shoulders.

Take 6–10 deep breaths every minute or so for 10 minutes at a time daily for mind-body awareness and happy musculature!


Add aromatherapy into diffusers in your home, directly onto skin (when indicated), or try aromatherapy sessions with massage therapy! Some of the best essential oils to use when you are fatigued are ones that boost energy such as: lemon, lime, orange, peppermint/spearmint and rosemary.

Stimulate the senses and inhale the goodness!

Organize and Prioritize

When you’re fatigued, it can feel like you have a never-ending-story-like list of things to do each day. Break them down into order of importance each night before you go to sleep so that you can get a good night’s rest, knowing you accomplished what you needed to do that day, and have tomorrow’s to-do list prepared. The big idea is to have things organized in a logical order so it doesn’t cause extra anxiety or stress. For example, I like to organize in the order below:

  1. Manage: Important and urgent
  2. Focus: Important but not urgent
  3. Avoid: Urgent but not important
  4. Limit: Not urgent not important

We all know life happens and things get stressful, but implementing some form, if not all of the above, may help you function at a more optimal capacity in your daily life!

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