We recently did a work on 5 things that can make a woman tired of a man. Shawn described women as a patient kind; in the sense that they can endure all the heartaches of a relationship for a very long time till they then decide to call it quits.

Men always make the mistake of thinking that their ladies won’t leave them just because they take the entire ‘sh*ts’ men do for a very long time. Men get used to their ladies bearing all manner of atrocities they commit till it makes the man feel invincible.

But one truth is once a lady becomes tired, there is no going back; her mind becomes made up and she then gets tired of the relationship and an exit becomes the only option for her.

7 signs she’s tired of the relationship

1. SHE NO LONGER GETS AFFECTED BY YOUR ACTS

At this point, she no longer cares about what you do anymore; her feelings become dead to your acts; nothing moves her. Winning her back at this stage is as hard as watching the minutes hand on a clock all day long. Men should never allow their ladies feel this way about them. However, some men still don’t know that at this stage they have lost her; they are so short-sighted.

2. SHE EASILY BECOMES IRRITATED TOWARDS YOU

This is even worse than the previous one; at this stage, she becomes irritated towards everything that you do. They feel better when they are alone than with you. They even feel a huge relief whenever you are out of sight. At this stage, they are just waiting for the perfect moment to leave that relationship; though in their minds, they have left already.

3. SHE EASILY GETS ANGRY

This is the product of sign number two. When you are irritated about someone, you easily get angry. At this stage, everything the man does will provoke her. Trust me when I say, you don’t want to know the insults that she’s pouring on you in her mind. Guys, don’t act surprised when your lady starts getting angry easily. That is an anger that’s been piling for a very long time and it just reached its climax, so she looks for every opportunity to vent the anger on you.

4. SHE DOESN’T DO THINGS SHE NORMALLY DOES

This is only normal when she’s tired of that relationship. She stops doing things she normally does or maybe she gradually reduces the things she does for you. That’s just a huge sign that she’s tired of the relationship; she doesn’t feel any vibe and doesn’t see the need to do stuffs for you anymore.

5. I LOVE YOU BECOMES HARD TO SAY

She no longer finds it easy telling you she loves you; well that’s because she doesn’t. She even feels guilt when she says she loves you, because deep down, she doesn’t. Even the few times she says it, it would be quite obvious that it isn’t genuine. But on a general note, when she’s tired of you, she doesn’t deem it fit to tell you that she loves you.

6. SHE BECOMES ABSENT MINDED

This is also another huge sign that it’s all over to her. She barely listens to you, she doesn’t flow in conversations anymore, her mind is like a wood, she’s there but she isn’t there. She feels emotionally distant from you at this point; your deeds and talks sound so distant to her. So many ladies can testify of having this feeling with a guy they no longer care about.

7. SHE DOESN’T FIND YOU INTERESTING ANYMORE

I guess this is the worst thing that can happen to any man in a relationship; when his lady doesn’t find him interesting anymore. It’s easier to get a lady than regaining your lady when she feels this way about you. She prefers being with other people than with you; she doesn’t have any affection anymore and it becomes obvious.

So now you know it; 7 signs that a woman is tired of a relationship. I only have one advice for the men out there; never let it reach this stage; especially when you have got a good woman. Always make that love last.

S.O.Z

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I Love You, But I’m Tired Of Giving So Much More Than I Get

All relationships require work, but sometimes I wonder why I’m the only one who seems to realize that. I love you and I don’t want to leave you, but I’m exhausted and at my wit’s end. I can’t keep carrying the weight of our entire relationship. You’re going to have to start pitching in or we’re not going to last.

You use my love to your advantage.

I shouldn’t need to say this, but here goes: I love you so freakin’ much. I always have. From the moment I met you, I knew I wanted to be with you. Unfortunately, you’re completely aware of my feelings for you, and while you should return those feelings in full, I feel like you use them to take advantage of me.

You take me for granted.

It’s almost like since you know that I love you, you (naively) think that’ll never change and you can do or say whatever you want and I’ll still be there. I’m not a fool, though. I loved the version of you I met three years ago, but you’ve become someone completely different. Soon, enough is going to be enough, and I’ll walk away.

I always drop plans to hang out with you.

Whenever you need me, I’m there. Period. There’s no screwing around here. You’re my priority. You’re always the person I’d rather be with. But watch out, because that could so easily change.

You always act like you’re too busy to make time for me.

Okay, either you’re the busiest guy on the planet or I’m losing my damn mind over here. Why do you never have any free time? You used to have all the time in the world for me, but now you’re always busy AF. It’s not about ‘growing apart’ — it’s about you being a thoughtless jerk. Cut it out before I cut you out of my life.

When you’re feeling down, I’ve got your back.

I’ve always been there for you. I know that we all go through crap in life, so when you’re feeling a little low, I’ve got your back. I’ll listen to your problems and give you advice. All I ask is for the same level of support in return.

You’re never willing to help me through my problems.

Are you scared of people having actual emotions? When I have a problem, you hit the road faster than I can say “Hey, wait!” It’s not fair that you’re never there for me when I need it the most. When things start to get real, I feel more alone than ever. I need a guy who’s there for the good times and the bad, and you’re not acting like him these days.

You’ve changed.

You haven’t always been this careless, lazy guy. I should know — I wouldn’t have given you the time of day otherwise. I remember a time when you tried so hard to be a good boyfriend and do what was right. Either that was a BS act, or you’re slowly morphing into a guy I just don’t want to know. And, frankly, I don’t like either of those answers.

My love isn’t unconditional.

Who do you think you’re screwing with here? I’m not the kind of lady who will sit back and be treated this way. I have self-respect, and I’m not about to take your crap much longer. Yes, I love you — I’ll admit that much. But my love isn’t unconditional, and it’s wearing thin right now.

I’m giving you a chance here.
Relationships aren’t easy. When one person stops putting any effort into them, they wilt and die a miserable death. You’re the person screwing this up, not me. So, here’s your chance. Change. Be the guy I fell head over heels in soppy love with… or I’m out.

If this is who you are, then just leave.
If the old you is long-dead in the water, have the courtesy to let me know. I don’t like this new version of you. He’s a user who’s only in this for what he can get. It’s gross. If you’re honestly committed to having a one-sided relationship, you can have it… but it’ll be with yourself.

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7 Tips to Know If You’re Boring Someone

In a movie I love, a quirky documentary called Sherman’s March, the documentary maker’s former high school teacher tells him, “As people get older, they get more like themselves. And you’re getting more boring.” I’ve never forgotten that.

Like most people, probably, I have several pet subjects that I love to talk about – subjects that are sometimes interesting to other people, and sometimes not. Don’t get me started on happiness, or the screening procedures in airports and buildings, or children’s literature, or Winston Churchill, unless you really want to talk about it. (I do manage to be very disciplined about not talking about my children too much, except with grandparents.)

I made a list of signs to look for, as indicators that I might be boring someone. Just because a person isn’t actually walking away or changing the subject doesn’t mean that that person is genuinely engaged in a conversation. One challenge is that the more socially adept a person is, the better he or she is at hiding boredom. It’s a rare person, however, who can truly look fascinated while stifling a yawn.

Here are the factors I watch, when trying to figure out if I’m connecting with someone. These are utterly unscientific – I’m sure someone has made a proper study of this, but these are just my observations (mostly from noting how I behave when I’m bored and trying to hide it):

1. Repeated, perfunctory responses. A person who says, “Oh really? Oh really? That’s interesting. Oh really?” is probably not too engaged. Or a person who keeps saying, “That’s hilarious.”

2. Simple questions. People who are bored ask simple questions. “When did you move?” “Where did you go?” People who are interested ask more complicated questions that show curiosity, not mere politeness.

3. Interruption. Although it sounds rude, interruption is actually a good sign, I think. It means a person is bursting to say something, and that shows interest. Similiarly…

4. Request for clarification. A person who is sincerely interested in what you’re saying will need you to elaborate or to explain. “What does that term mean?” “When exactly did that happen?” “Back up and tell me what happened first” are the kinds of questions that show that someone is trying closely to follow what you’re saying.

5. Imbalance of talking time. I suspect that many people fondly suppose that they usually do eighty percent of the talking in a conversation because people find them fascinating. Sometimes, it’s true, a discussion involves a huge download of information desired by the listener; that’s a very satisfying kind of conversation. In general, though, people who are interested in a subject have things to say themselves; they want to add their own opinions, information, and experiences. If they aren’t doing that, they probably just want the conversation to end faster.

6. Body position. People with a good connection generally turn fully to face each other. A person who is partially turned away isn’t fully embracing the conversation. I pay special attention to body position when I’m in a meeting and trying to show (or feign) interest: I sit forward in my chair, instead of lounging back, and keep my attention obviously focused on whoever is speaking, instead of looking down at papers, gazing into space, or checking my phone.

Along the same lines, if you’re a speaker trying to figure out if an audience is interested in what you’re saying:

7. Audience posture. Back in 1885, Sir Francis Galton wrote a paper in 1885 called “The Measurement of Fidget.” He determined that people slouch and lean when bored, so a speaker can measure the boredom of an audience by seeing how far from vertically upright they are. Also, attentive people fidget less; bored people fidget more. An audience that’s upright and still is interested, while an audience that’s horizontal and squirmy is bored.

I often remind myself of La Rochefoucauld’s observation, “We are always bored by those whom we bore.” Perhaps unfortunately, I don’t believe it’s always true, but it’s often true: If I’m bored, there’s a good chance the other person may be bored, too. Time to find a different subject.

Have you figured out any ways to tell if you’re boring someone? If you’re worried about it, here are 7 topics to avoid if you don’t want to risk being a bore. What other strategies do you use?

* Looking for a good book? Please consider The Happiness Project (can’t resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller).
Order your copy.
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Photo-Illustration: Stevie Remsberg; Photos: Getty Images

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Dear Polly,

Why am I so lazy? As long as I can remember, I’ve always done as little as possible to still get the job done, to still get the A, to get the extra credit and be the teacher’s pet. I have always procrastinated everything from homework, cleaning, and even my job, which I’m doing at this very moment by writing you.

At one point, I reveled in my extreme procrastination abilities. Why spend all week working on a paper that I could write the morning of and still get a 3.5? Sure, I would fret over the hard assignments and easily could have avoided the stress that comes with waiting, but there was TV I wanted to watch. I’ve generally excelled at school and my selected extracurriculars. When I finally do get down to business, I consider myself to be fairly hardworking, if only for the shortest amount of time possible.

I was always comfortable with my messy room or apartment. Stepping over piles of laundry or suitcases I’ve yet to unpack. Cleaning was just time I could have spent on reading, or TV, or living life in more enjoyable ways. I’ve even joked at my status as being one emotional travesty away from going “full hoarder.” I keep everything, and everything is in its place; that place might just be the second pile under the chair next to my dresser. To be clear, this does not extend to the kitchen and bathroom; the counters might be cluttered, but the Clorex wipes are heavily used.

All of this is to say, I’m a procrastinating, type B, introverted pack rat who would rather sit on my couch all day than do the things I don’t want to do but know I really should.

And then I married a type A extrovert who loves being proactive, putting things away, and getting things done. In many cases, this is great. He’s on top of dishes and the leaves in the yard. But mostly he’s a constant reminder that I’m a lazy bum pretending to adult and “sort of” getting away with it. To his credit, he spends his days silently suffering his new life living with the sloth that I am, but I know this can’t go on forever. The honeymoon period will end, and my inability to come home from work and finally write our thank-you cards will catch up with me.

I want to change. To be the “adult” my life suggests. I have all the good intentions of a child making breakfast for their parents, but I just can’t follow through.

If it matters, I’m a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted young woman from a loving family, with no childhood trauma, and newly married to a wonderful man. I’m realistically positive, and while times are tight, I don’t want for much, except a dog.

Why am I lazy? Why do I put off everything I don’t want to do? And why can’t I flip a switch and just be a goddamn adult?

A Sloth

Dear Sloth,

Doing the bare minimum at the last minute isn’t lazy. It’s simply a choice, devoid of moral weight. It’s a strategy that’s mostly worked for you, up until this point. You’re smart and focused, so you can pull it off. Have you missed major deadlines? Have you flunked out? Have you had a panic attack while finishing a paper a few hours before it was due? No. You’ve sallied forth in life, somewhat messily, sometimes finishing things at the last minute, without experiencing any major failures or traumas due to your particular behaviors and habits.

But I do want you to notice how deeply and profoundly you’ve made messiness and procrastination part of your identity. You want to write the thank-you notes for your wedding, but you also really don’t want to write them, ever, and your excuse is that this is Just Who You Are. You want to clean up after yourself, but you also don’t want to clean up, and some small stubborn part of you thinks, “Why can’t I just do what I do the way I do it? This is ME!” And in spite of the fact that you always do exactly enough work to get the good grade, stay solvent, and avoid bad outcomes, you still call your methods “lazy,” as if there’s some very slow, hesitant, lackluster person at the center of your being who would rather never work hard at anything.

To be perfectly clear, you can form your identity however you like. If “lazy” and “introverted” and “messy” feels good to you, then go for it. But do you see how conflicted you are about these habits, even though you choose to view them as part of your core identity? Your days are filled with the sound of “Why can’t I just …” and “What’s wrong with me?” And you encounter each new task with a feeling of dread: “Here’s another pesky to-do item I feel ambivalent about because I Am Lazy.” “Here’s another pile of junk to step over because I Am Messy.” “Here’s another project I’ll think about for weeks without making any progress because I Am a Procastinator.”

As long as you’re deeply conflicted about your choices and the ways you’ve chosen to identify yourself, you have a problem. Maybe your habits used to work for you and now they don’t. Or maybe they never really worked, and you just liked the idea that you were someone who Never Worked Too Hard. Either way, if you say to people, “Yes, I’m a lazy, procrastinating mess” and there’s an edge of defensiveness in your voice, then you’re choosing both habits and an outward presentation that you feel insecure and unsettled about. This is what works, sure, but it’s also something that embarrasses you. This is how you are, for now anyway, but you spend your days telling yourself that you shouldn’t be this way.

Your letter suggests to me that you actually do want to change your habits. YOU want that, for yourself. It’s not about your marriage. Because getting shit done is never simple for you. It incites a major emotional response. And I would argue, given what I know from your letter, that your response is not merely ambivalent (which is unnerving enough on its own) but actually fearful. You are a fearful, avoidant person because you’re a little bit anxious about the world and the other people in it. Even though you seem relaxed enough to other people, the truth is that you privately expect way too much from yourself and from other people, too. Outwardly, you describe everything and everyone as wonderful. Inwardly, you’re preemptively disappointed to the point of wanting to avoid most people and situations. So you’ve chosen to hide. You will go to great lengths never to disappoint yourself, by clearing the lowest hurdles possible. You’re choosing a lifestyle of avoidance and low expectations.

I know that sounds a little bit dramatic and unfamiliar, but try it on for size for a minute. I believe you when you say that your family is healthy. But I’m also guessing that they’re a bunch of overachievers who gently characterized you as lazy and weird from an early age. You married a guy who matches your family, because that’s what feels like home to you. But you’re perpetuating the conditions of your childhood, and you’re telling yourself the same limited, unimaginative stories about yourself that your family did.

A big part of our jobs, as mature adult human beings, is figuring out who we are and what we value WITHOUT falling back on a million and one inaccurate and clumsy stories told by other people who know us about as well as a fucking squirrel knows the moon. The squirrel might say, “The moon is on fire, dude! Look, it’s lighting up the whole night! That’s white-hot fire, my friend!” And even though we have literally visited the moon (because we are experienced astronauts!) we listen to the squirrel and we tell ourselves, “You freak, you blocked all of that white-hot fire from your memory, I guess because you’re just someone who hates heat.” “Yeah, you can’t stand the heat, you’re always getting out of the kitchen just when things get fun,” the squirrel chimes in, then swigs his bourbon and trips over the throw rug and breaks one of your best highball glasses and it takes hours to fish the shards of glass out of the piles of stuff all over the floor.

Okay, that fucking metaphor ran away from me real quick-like, but it still works, because that’s exactly how confusing and stupid it feels to keep using other people’s bad observations as your own personal guide to yourself. I see this shit every day in other parents: “She hates to read!” “He’s lazy!” “She’s bad at math!” You are imprisoning your kid with your words, fuckers! I say this openly to the parents of the world now because I’m exceedingly judgmental. (See, that’s an observation I’ve made of myself and I know it to be true — resoundingly, repeatedly true. And I know it doesn’t always serve me, but I treasure my precious judgments so much!)

I’m making plenty of parenting mistakes, too, of course. No one has it all sorted out, and even when it seems like we’re close, we still surprise ourselves by waking up one day to find that the habits and identities we’ve chosen no longer fit. But in order to notice that, we have to notice how we FEEL and also interrogate THE STORIES WE TELL ABOUT OURSELVES.

Because all humans get told inaccurate stories about themselves by everyone everywhere. Even on the off chance that our parents’ stories are accurate, our culture’s stories are dead wrong and deeply fucked nine times out of ten. So you have to peel back layer after layer to figure out the truth. Why? Because otherwise you just keep slogging along, (1) doing the same things over and over and (2) pretending that you have no choice in the matter, while (3) beating yourself up for all of it.

You aren’t lazy. Lose that one first. You’re afraid. You’re afraid of investing your full self in anything, only to be disappointed. You’re afraid to show your heart. You’re afraid of trying to change your habits only to disappoint yourself. You’re afraid of feeling locked in by an overly strenuous schedule. You’re afraid of disappearing into someone else’s rigid structures (a very common newlywed fear, to be sure!). You’re afraid that if you play along, you won’t be honored and respected for who you are; you’ll feel silenced. You got attention when you didn’t play along as a kid. Even though you heard “You’re lazy” or “You’re procrastinating again” (in a good-humored way), that was better than being neatly folded into the herd with everyone else. You didn’t want to fit in.

So look. I know this sounds taxing, but you have to put every single thing that you think you are on the table and reexamine it. That’s what it takes to become an adult and start making active, organic, thoughtful choices about how you want to live. You have to dare to see that these things that you’ve come to view as FUNDAMENTAL TO WHO YOU ARE aren’t actually that profound or deep or rooted in anything that you care about that much. You CAN live in a completely different way, starting tomorrow, if you want to. Do you want to? Or do you just want to silence the voices in your head that say, “You lazy piece of introverted shit, why haven’t you written those thank-you notes yet?” (Or do you want to ask your go-getter husband to write some of those thank-you notes with you?)

Whatever you do, don’t just keep reacting to what came before, like a very simple machine. Simple machines repeat the same functions forever and ever, and the squirrels of the world can tell whatever fucking stories they want to about them, and it all feels broken and wrong. Actively choosing who you are and what you care about, outside of the limited confines of other people’s narratives about you, is what happiness is all about.

So what do you value? Don’t look at the failures of the past to answer that question. Look at what made you feel good. Consider what makes you feel good now. But also, consider what makes you feel bad. Do you feel bad when you start a task because it feels like giving in to someone else’s demands? Do you feel bad when you think about getting out into the world because there are too many factors you can’t control?

You know how they say “Scratch a cynic, find a romantic”? Well, scratch an underachiever and find a hard worker afraid of disappointing herself. Both the cynic and the underachiever are afraid of sticking their necks out and becoming who they deeply, passionately want to become, for fear of looking stupid or failing. I think you’re conflicted about your current habits because you’re not actually a person who wants to avoid work or avoid cleaning or avoid schedules or avoid the world. I’ll bet you’re not even an introvert at heart. You’re someone who wants to live out loud, share herself with the world, and stop overthinking and delaying and avoiding the pesky little tasks that make up a life. You married your husband because he’s a lot like your family, but you also married him because you admire him. He wears who he is on the outside. But your real self is still hidden.

I used to believe that I was a slacker. I thought it was efficient and cool to always do the bare minimum. I saw people who worked really hard and kept a consistent schedule and showered regularly as extremely uncool and rigid. I was cooler than that! I was impulsive and awesome! All of these assessments were about as sophisticated as a squirrel’s guess that the moon is on white-hot fire. And now here I am, writing this column two weeks in advance while I walk four miles on my treadmill desk. I got out of bed and did this, on vacation, because I know that I love to keep a schedule that starts with writing and walking, every goddamn day, even when I don’t have to, even when no one minds if I sleep late. THIS IS WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY. But it took a lot of questioning and experimenting and breaking through some deep shame to figure that out.

It’s not cool. The irony of cool is that things that are cool are only cool if they’re authentically felt. If you do something in order to avoid being uncool, that automatically makes you the least cool human in the world. Likewise, if you do something that you love even though it’s seen as disastrously repugnantly dorky (and I don’t mean nerdy in the now-cool sense of the word, either), well, I don’t know if it qualifies as cool, but it is authentic.

You’re conflicted because your current habits and your story aren’t authentic. Of course, you WOULD go and have this crisis AFTER you married a neat freak! This is always how it works: We choose the exact cauldron that will boil off our inauthentic self the quickest. Just remember that you won’t move through this challenge simply by being more like your husband, or by being less like him. That’s a child’s response. That’s the way a simple machine would do it. Instead, you have to dig deep: Locate your fears. Face them. Get a therapist. Experiment with schedules. Try on different behaviors for size. Get very organized (without piles of things on the floor). Try making new friends. Try vigorous exercise. Try leaving the house more. Try not leaving. Try writing your feelings down. Check in with your body when you do things that stress you out. Notice your feelings. Express your feelings. Be honest, be honest, be honest. Take notes.

You will dislike all of the hard work involved at first, because you’ll think that you’re someone who dislikes hard work, so that’s the story you’ll tell yourself as you experiment with working hard. But what you’re really feeling is not dislike. It’s fear. You’re afraid to fail. You’re afraid to disappoint. Do you feel that? Feel the full force of it.

Now open up your mind and your heart. Your future has never been cleared of bad messages and dumb stories and simple-machine reactions before. You’ve never been free to be your FULL authentic gorgeous brilliant self before. Can you feel that? This is the start of a whole new life for you. Whatever happens next is completely your choice. Doesn’t that make you want to cry, or dance, or run for miles without stopping? That’s because you’re not a sloth. You’re a stick of dynamite that’s been waiting for a spark for way too long.

Polly

Order the Ask Polly book, How to Be a Person in the World, here. Got a question for Polly? Email [email protected] Her advice column will appear here every Wednesday.

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Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?

I’m often asked, “Am I depressed or just lazy?”

It’s a legitimate question, in that many people who suffer from clinical depression will initially feel like they’re just being lazy, not wanting to get off the couch or out of bed. On the surface, the two — laziness and depression — appear to share some similarities.

But dig just a little deeper and you can quickly determine whether you’re depressed or just being lazy.

Depression is a serious, debilitating mental illness that impacts millions of Americans each year. It not only causes distress for the person suffering from it, but also for their loved ones and friends. For employers, it results in millions of hours, and billions of dollars, of lost productivity.

The Key Differences Between Depression & Laziness

The key point about clinical depression is that people don’t want to feel that way. It is completely out of their control. They didn’t do (or fail to do) something that brought about the depression. While episodes of feeling depressed may be brought about by increased stress, generally most people with this condition can’t trace it back to anything in their life.

That’s what so aggravating about depression. It hits a person from out of the blue, for no reason at all. (If there was a reason, at least maybe it would make some sense.)

Laziness, on the other hand, is a clear and simple choice. Whether we admit it or not, when we’re being lazy, we’re simply choosing not to do things in our life. “Oh, cleaning the apartment? I’ll get around to that tomorrow…”

Meanwhile, those people who suffer with depression don’t even notice their apartment is messy or in disarray. It doesn’t enter into the equation. The last thing they are thinking or worrying about is the cleanliness of their apartment. Or themselves.

So I Guess I’m Lazy?

Being lazy isn’t a crime. But it shouldn’t be confused with serious mental illness either. Just because you’re feeling particularly unmotivated one day to get out of bed, go to class or work, and do what’s expected of you doesn’t mean you’re depressed. It’s likely just a passing case of the “blahs.”

Depression doesn’t just last for a day or two. For clinical depression to be diagnosed, it requires you to feel that same, unmotivated way for at least 2 weeks (according to the American Psychiatric Association). Most people who suffer from this condition go weeks — and sometimes even months — feeling horrible, unmotivated, lonely, and in despair before ever seeking treatment.

That’s a key difference. Usually, if you’re just feeling lazy, it’s a passing mood that within a day or two, will pass. Soon enough, you get up, you go to class or work, you clean the apartment. You do what’s needed, and you have the ability to do so.

People with depression don’t have that ability. They’ve lost all concept of meaning in their life, of time, of responsibilities. It just doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.

How Can I Tell if I’m Depressed or Lazy?

You can quickly and easily tell the difference between depression and laziness by taking either our long depression quiz (takes about five minutes for most people to complete) or our quick depression test that takes just a minute or two to complete.

If either of these scientific quizzes suggests you may be suffering from depression, that’s likely a sign that it is not just laziness. Instead, it may be a sign of actual depression — something you should find a mental health professional to check out more thoroughly.

Being lazy once in awhile is normal — we all are. But when that laziness appears to span weeks — or even months, it may be a sign of depression. Please have it checked.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Alexandria, VA.

Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?

9 reasons you’re tired all the time that have nothing to do with being lazy

  • The real reason you’re exhausted might have little to do with laziness and more to do with health problems.
  • Anemia and hypothyroidism can cause tiredness among other things.
  • Mental health issues like depression could also be to blame for your exhaustion.

You might think it’s a Daylight Savings Time hangover, an insanely busy schedule, or feeling lazier than usual, but the real reason you’re exhausted could be one of these health problems.

You’re tired because … you’re anemic

When you visit your doctor and complain of feeling tired all the time, the first things they’ll often check for is anemia or thyroid disorder because you can detect those with a blood test, says Amy Shah, MD. “When a patient says ‘I’m tired,’ it’s such a broad term and could be so many things, but if someone says ‘I’m tired and feeling a little more short of breath,’ or, ‘I’m having trouble exercising,’ that tends to be anemia.” (Don’t miss these other silent signs of anemia.) Anemia is when your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body and the most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency. Anemics may also experience feeling cold, dizzy, irritable, or have headaches in addition to feeling tired. Try one of these eating habits for more energy.

You’re tired because … you have a thyroid problem

Women are more likely to experience hypothyroidism. 20th Television

If you have a thyroid issue, like an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), in addition to feeling tired, you might also feel like your skin is really dry and you’re constipated a lot, along with the lack of energy, says Dr. Shah. (Don’t miss these other surprising thyroid symptoms that could indicate a problem.) Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. While women are more likely to have hypothyroidism, thyroid function tests can diagnose hypothyroidism easily and if you have an issue, your doctor may prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone. Plus, you can always start these little habits that are good for your thyroid.

You’re tired because you … may have prediabetes or diabetes

When you have high blood glucose, your blood circulation may be impaired so cells can’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need and you feel tired, according to registered nurse blogger David Spero on Diabetes Self-Management.com. (Here are other silent symptoms of diabetes you might be missing.) Low blood sugars levels also result in feeling fatigued, because there is not enough fuel for the cells to work well, he says on the blog. If your high glucose is causing blood vessels to get inflamed by sugar, that chronic inflammation can also make you feel fatigued, according to research. Once you have a diagnosis, make sure to avoid these 9 worst food habits for diabetics.

You’re tired because … you’re depressed

If you feel like you’re tired all the time, don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, and/or have trouble sleeping, you could be suffering from depression. (Don’t miss these other hidden signs of depression.) You primary care physician should do a depression screening during a regular visit, says Dr. Shah. Your doctor can use a screening tool to determine if you’re experiencing an ongoing depressive disorder, or whether a life stressor or alcohol affects your emotional state. “Depression, alcohol abuse, and fatigue are very tightly knit,” says Dr. Shah. Sometimes people will treat depression with alcohol and then be tired, she says. If you think someone you love has a mental health disorder, learn how to help someone with depression.

You’re tired because … you have a leaky gut or food sensitivity

Eating poorly can cause leaky gut. killahchris/Flickr

Your gut is supposed to be a very tight tube of cells where nothing from inside of the gut gets into the outside—like a pathway where the body absorbs what it needs without having things enter the rest of the body, says Dr. Shah. “If you’re eating poorly, especially a lot of processed foods, the gut cells can become a looser, net-like structure instead of a tight structure, and proteins that aren’t supposed to be in our bloodstream leak into our bloodstream, which creates an inflammatory response,” says Dr. Shah. The inflammatory response can manifest as bloating, fatigue, moodiness, headaches, or weight gain. (Check out these other symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.) If you have food sensitivities (to foods like wheat and dairy) you can feel fatigued, get rashes, and experience bloating or brain fog. “There’s no real good test for food sensitivities,” says Dr. Shah. For instance, these are 7 conditions that you could mistake for gluten intolerance. Following an elimination diet of possible food culprits and then slowly introducing them back in may help you identify what you’re sensitive to. If you remove all wheat from your diet and feel great, and then add it back and feel lethargic, that could be a telltale sign of a food sensitivity to wheat, Dr. Shah says. Find out more about how an elimination diet can help you.

You’re tired because … you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue

“Adrenal fatigue isn’t a Western medicine term, it’s a functional medicine term, and a lot of Western doctors don’t recognize it as a medical ,” says Dr. Shah. There’s a disconnect because it’s hard to show with lab testing, she says. Most likely, it’ll show up on tests as adrenal insufficiency, or an endocrine or hormonal disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of certain hormones, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. These hormone imbalances could be brought on by a stressful situation in your life, like family problems, or it could a constant stress at work, lack of sleep, over-exercising, having a poor diet, or drug or alcohol abuse, says Dr. Shah. (Here’s how to stop yawning so you don’t look bored at work.) Those circumstances can push your stress hormones high and then eventually leave you exhausted and depleted, like a bank account that you’re overdrawing on and not putting money back into. Check out these other signs stress is making you sick.

You’re tired because … you have an infection

Doctors will often check for chronic infection as a cause of fatigue due to such infections as the Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis) or Lyme disease. Both of these medical issues can present with extreme fatigue. Don’t miss these other 18 silent signs of Lyme disease.

You’re tired because … you have sleep apnea

Check with a doctor about sleep apnea. Reuters/Dan Kitwood

If you have sleep apnea, your throat starts to close when you’re asleep, which is why people with the condition tend to snore. (Learn more silent signs of sleep apnea.) Not getting enough oxygen sounds scary, but your brain won’t let you suffocate. “The brain notices you’re not getting rid of your CO2, and it wakes up really briefly in an alarmed state,” Lisa Shives, MD, director of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, tells WebMD. Good for your breathing, but bad for your tiredness levels. Even though you keep waking up, those wakeful moments are too short for you to notice, so you won’t get why you’re so exhausted the next day. Try these home remedies for sleep apnea to get a good night’s rest.

You’re tired because … you have heart failure

When you have heart failure, your heart can’t keep up with body’s needs for blood, according to the American Heart Association. Your body will start to bring blood away from body tissues so it can keep vital organs fully supplied. With less blood in your leg muscles, even everyday activities can feel exhausting. (Here are more symptoms of congestive heart failure.) Plus, blood gets backed up in your veins leading away from your lungs and leaks back into them, making you lose your breath suddenly. When you’re asleep, it could wake you up and make for a restless night. Steal these 45 tips from heart doctors to keep your ticker healthy.

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Are You Actually Tired—or Just Lazy?

Photo: JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Start typing “Why am I…” in Google, and the search engine will auto-fill with the most popular query: “Why am I… so tired?”

Clearly, it’s a question many people are asking themselves every day. In fact, one study found that nearly 40 percent of Americans wake up most days of the week feeling tired.

But sometimes a different question arises-especially when you’re dozing off at your desk in the middle of the afternoon or hitting snooze five times instead of going for a run. Sound familiar? You’ve probably also found yourself (likely silently) wondering, “Am I really tired, or just lazy?” (Related: How to Get Yourself to Work Out Even When You Really Don’t Want To)

Turns out, both are a very real possibility. Mental fatigue and physical fatigue are completely different, says Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and executive director of Innovation 360 in Dallas. However, both play into each other and can affect each other.

Here’s how to tell if you’re truly exhausted, or just unmotivated-and what to do about it.

Signs You’re *Actually* Exhausted

The culprits behind physical exhaustion are typically either overtraining or lack of sleep. “Most people think of ‘overtraining’ as something that would only affect elite athletes, but that’s not true,” says Sheri Traxler, M.Ed., a certified health coach and exercise physiologist. “You can be a newbie to exercise and experience overtraining-especially if you’re going from a sedentary lifestyle to training for a half marathon, for example.” (Take note of the best workout recovery method for your schedule.)

Symptoms of overtraining include an increased resting heart rate, muscle aches that don’t dissipate within 48 to 72 hours after a workout, headaches, and decreased appetite (as opposed to an increased appetite, which usually occurs with increased physical activity), according to Traxler. If you notice any of these signs, take a couple days off for rest and recovery. (Here are seven other signs you seriously need a rest day.)

The other main reason is sleep deprivation-which is a much more common cause, says Traxler. “You may not be sleeping enough hours or your quality of sleep is poor,” she explains.

Still tired even after you’ve been in bed for eight or more hours? That’s a sign you’re not sleeping well, says Traxler. Another clue: You wake up feeling rested after a “good” night’s sleep, but then at 2 or 3 p.m., you hit a wall. (One side note: Hitting a lull at 2 or 3 p.m. is completely normal, due to our natural circadian rhythms, notes Traxler. Hitting a wall that makes you feel completely fatigued is not.)

Causes of poor-quality sleep can range from stress and hormones to thyroid or adrenal issues, says Traxler. If you suspect you’re not sleeping well, the next step is to see your primary care physician or endocrinologist. “Seek an M.D. who’s also a naturopath or functional medicine expert, so they can take a look more deeply into your bloodwork, nutrition, and stress levels to figure out what’s going on,” Traxler suggests. (More incentive to get it figured out: Sleep is the most important thing for your health, fitness, and weight-loss goals.)

In the Ayurvedic tradition (the traditional, holistic Hindu system of medicine), physical exhaustion is known as a vata imbalance. “When vata rises, the body and mind become weak and exhaustion sets in,” notes Caroline Klebl, Ph.D., a certified yoga teacher and an expert in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, this can arise from overactivity and lack of sleep, but also skipped meals, undereating, and overuse of stimulants, such as caffeine. (Related: 5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Ayurveda Into Your Life)

To overcome exhaustion the Ayurvedic way, it’s important to sleep regular hours-approximately eight hours a day, preferably going to sleep by 10 or 11 p.m., says Klebl. “Eat regular and healthy meals, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, without eating too much or too little, and reduce or eliminate caffeine intake.” So, basically, everything you’ve ever heard about eating healthy. (Which is also pretty consistent with what other experts say about how to get the best sleep.)

Signs You’re Just Bored or Lazy

Mental exhaustion is a very real thing as well, says Gilliland. “A stressful day at work or working intensely on a project can exhaust our mental fuel for the day, leaving us feeling worn down.” In turn, it can affect our sleep at night since our minds can’t “turn off,” continuing the harmful cycle of poor sleep, he explains. (See: 5 Ways to Reduce Stress After a Long Day and Promote Better Sleep at Night)

But let’s be real: Sometimes we just feel unmotivated or lazy. If you’re wondering if that’s the case, take this “test” that from Traxler: Ask yourself if you’d feel energized if you were invited to do your favorite thing in the world right now-whether that’s shopping or going out to dinner. “If even your favorite hobbies do not sound appealing, you’re probably physically tired,” says Traxler.

Having trouble with the hypotheticals? Another way to test whether you’re truly exhausted IRL: Create a minimal commitment, and stick to it, suggests Traxler. “Make a minimal (five- to 10-minute) effort to do to whatever you’re trying to do, whether it’s a workout at the gym or cooking a healthy dinner at home.”

If it’s the gym, perhaps your minimum commitment is to simply put on your workout clothes or drive to the gym and check in. If you take that step, but you’re still exhausted and dreading the workout, don’t do it. But chances are, if you’re just feeling mentally-not physically-tired, you’ll be able to rally and follow through with it. Once you’ve broken the inertia (you know: objects at rest stay at rest), you’re probably going to feel a lot more energized.

That, in fact, is the key for any sort of mental fatigue or boredom: Break the inertia. Same goes when you’re sitting at your desk, feeling your eyelids get heavier and heavier, during a dull Wednesday afternoon. The solution: Get up and move, says Traxler. “Stretch at your desk or in the copy room, or get out and walk around the block for 10 minutes,” she says. “Getting a dose of sunshine is another great way to beat the afternoon slump.”

In Ayurvedic tradition, laziness or boredom is known as a kapha imbalance, Klebl notes, and it arises from inactivity or overeating. The best way to reduce a kapha imbalance is, again, movement. (See: Here’s What You Need to Know About the Sleep-Exercise Connection) Klebl recommends three to five hours of exercise per week. Plus, make sure not to oversleep, she notes. “Set an alarm in the morning and wake up to practice yoga or go for an early morning walk.” Also, make sure you’re eating lightly in the evening, as well as reducing your sugar intake and your consumption of oily foods and alcohol.

What to Do If You’re Tired, Lazy, or Both

If you’re regularly feeling worn down, take a look at these five usual suspects before heading to a doctor, says Gilliland. “Evaluate how you’re doing in these five areas of your life, and then go to a doctor and run some tests,” he says. “We tend to go in the opposite order, running to our doctor first without evaluating the root causes of our tiredness.” Mentally run through this checklist first:

  • Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? Experts recommend seven to nine hours. (Find out exactly how much sleep you really need.)

  • Nutrition: How’s your diet? Are you eating too much processed food, sugar, or caffeine? (Also consider these foods for better sleep.)

  • Exercise: Are you moving enough throughout the day? Most Americans aren’t, which can cause a feeling of lethargy, explains Gilliland.

  • Stress: Stress isn’t always a bad thing, but it can impact your energy levels and sleep. Make time for self-care and stress-reduction techniques.

  • People: Are people in your life bringing you down, or lifting you up? Are you spending enough time with loved ones? Isolation can make us feel tired, even introverts, says Gilliland.

It’s sort of like that airplane oxygen mask metaphor: You have to take care of yourself and your body first before you can help anyone else. Similarly, when it comes to self-care, think of your mind as your phone, suggests Gilliland. “You charge your phone every night. Ask yourself: Are you re-charging yourself?” Just like you want your phone to be at 100 percent battery power when you wake up, you want your body and mind to be the same, he says. Take the time to recharge and replenish yourself each night, and you too will be functioning at 100 percent.

  • By Locke Hughes @LockeVictoria

5 Signs You’re More Exhausted Than You Realize—Plus Easy Ways to Get Rested

You don’t need a medical degree to know what being tired (even tired all the time) feels like. The symptoms are obvious, especially if you’ve had a bad night of sleep, worked through the night to get a project done, or crossed a time zone or two and are battling jet lag.

A little fatigue is even a normal part of almost everybody’s day. That’s because for about 45 to 60 minutes after eating, your body will naturally feel mildly drained. “Your body is redirecting energy to digest your food,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, a board-certified internist and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, and the popular free smart phone app Cures A-Z. Tiredness might even occur after a busy day at work or a tough workout.

While feeling rundown is an obvious end result of some of the above scenarios, there are some other symptoms of fatigue that may not be so obvious—just as some signs of stress aren’t always easily recognizable. In some cases, you could be putting your health in jeopardy if you don’t see a doc and start figuring out how to stop feeling tired. So when should you get checked? “If it’s interfering significantly with your life, get checked,” Dr. Teitelbaum says.

What symptoms might indicate you’re more tired than you realize—and that it’s not just lack of sleep? Here are five:

You fall asleep easily during the day.

If you’re falling asleep while watching TV or, worse, nodding off or dozing while driving, it’s time to change your ways. “This suggests you’re not getting adequate deep sleep at night,” Dr. Teitelbaum says. To address the issue, make sure you’re getting at least eight hours a night. If you are getting adequate sleep and you still have these symptoms, check in with your doctor; sleep apnea may be the culprit.

You feel achy.

Tight muscles plus fatigue? That could be a red flag. “When your body is having an energy crisis, it causes your muscles to get locked in a shortened position,” Dr. Teitelbaum says. Muscles, after all, are like a spring and require more energy to stretch them versus contract, one reason they get tight after a workout. The combo of tight muscles and fatigue could mean that there’s a problem keeping your body from making the energy you need. To lessen the aches, try soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts or lavender oil (or both). If you need a quicker fix, try a heading pad.

You have brain fog.

Surprise! Your gut microbiome, which some experts call your second brain, may be talking. “Forgetful moments can be a sign of an imbalanced microbiome,” says Raphael Kellman, MD, founder of the Kellman Wellness Center in New York City. The likely culprits are processed foods, antibiotics, sugar, and chemical fertilizers. To combat this, Dr. Kellman recommends loading your diet with pre- and probiotic foods—whole foods rich in inulin are great prebiotic sources and include asparagus, carrots, jicama, and leeks, while fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled veggies are probiotic powerhouses.

You get hangry and your sugar cravings are out of control.

You might blame this on your period, but there could be another cause, namely issues with your adrenal gland, which helps your body fight stress and fatigue. “This suggests that your adrenal stress handler gland is getting fatigued,” Dr. Teitelbaum says. Try avoiding sugar (easier said than done), or make it a point to get eight hours of sleep each night to reduce cravings, which can be triggered by too little sleep. A cup of licorice tea each morning can also help, Dr. Teitelbaum says.

You have nasal congestion or irritable bowel syndrome.

Gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and even nasal congestion outside of allergies or colds could mean that Candida or yeast overgrowth is sapping your energy, Dr. Teitelbaum says. Two solutions: Avoid sugar and talk to your doctor about whether a probiotic is right for you.

Why you feel tired all the time

Do you often ask yourself, “Why am I so tired all the time?” If so, this article may be the perfect read for you; we have compiled a list of some of the most common reasons for tiredness and what you can do to bounce back into action.

Share on PinterestThere are many reasons for tiredness, including a lack of sleep, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and medical conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 15.3 percent of women and 10.1 percent of men regularly feel very tired or exhausted in the United States.

Tiredness can cause an array of problems. For example, around 1 in 25 adult drivers report falling asleep at the wheel each month.

About 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries each year are a result of drowsy driving, and that’s not to mention the estimated 6,000 fatal crashes caused by drowsy drivers.

Everyone feels tired at some point in their lives — whether it’s due to a late night out, staying up to watch your favorite TV show, or putting in some extra hours at work.

Often, you can put your finger on the reason you’re not feeling your best, but what about those times when you can’t pinpoint the cause of your tiredness? What makes you feel tired then?

Medical News Today have researched the possible explanations for why you could be feeling so drained and the steps that you can take to feel re-energized.

1. Lack of sleep

A lack of sleep may seem an obvious reason for feeling tired, yet 1 in 3 U.S. adults are consistently not getting enough of it.

Share on PinterestTiredness increases the risk of accidents, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease.

People aged between 18 and 60 years need 7 or more hours of sleep every day to promote optimal health, according to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

Getting under the recommended hours of sleep each night is not only associated with fatigue, impaired performance, and a greater risk of accidents, but it also has adverse health outcomes.

These include obesity, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, stroke, and an increased risk of death.

If you struggle to fit in 7 hours of sleep, here are some tips to help you achieve a full dose of much-needed slumber:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning — even on the weekends.

  • Avoid naps. We need a certain amount of sleep within a 24-hour period and no more than that. Napping reduces the amount of sleep that we require the following night, which might lead to difficulty getting to sleep and fragmented sleep.

  • Limit time awake in bed to 5–10 minutes. If you find that you are lying awake in bed worrying or with your mind racing, get out of bed and sit in the dark until you are feeling sleepy, then go back to bed.

  • Ensure that your bedroom is quiet, dark, and a comfortable temperature. Any light that enters your room could disturb your sleep. Ensure that your room is dark and that light emitted from digital devices is out of sight. Cooler room temperatures are considered better to promote sleep than warmer temperatures.

  • Limit caffeinated drinks. Try not to consume caffeinated beverages after noon. The stimulating effects of caffeine can last for many hours after intake and cause issues with initiating sleep.

  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol before bed. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol before going to bed may cause fragmented sleep.

If you practice all the sleeping habits listed above and still wake up tired, it might be a good idea to contact your healthcare provider and discuss whether you have a sleep-related medical problem such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, or restless legs syndrome.

2. Poor diet

The easiest way to banish tiredness is to make adjustments to your diet. Eating a healthful and balanced diet can make the world of difference to how you feel.

Share on PinterestEating a healthful and balanced diet can help to combat fatigue.

To improve your health and get all the nutrients you need — as well as eliminate fatigue — it is vital to choose a healthful mix of food from the five food groups, which are: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

You can switch up your eating style today by implementing some of these small changes:

  • Eat the right amount of calories for your sex, age, weight, and activity level. Eating either too much or too little can make you feel sluggish.
  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Be sure to focus on eating whole fruits and a selection of vegetables.
  • Ensure whole grains make up half the grains you consume. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, bulgur, and whole-wheat flour.
  • Shift to low-fat and fat-free dairy to help limit your calories from saturated fats.
  • Vary your protein routine. Try to choose lean poultry and meat, limit processed meats, choose unsalted nuts and seeds, and select some omega-3-rich seafood.
  • Cut down on sugar. Sugar can give you a quick rush of energy, but it wears off fast and might make you feel more tired. Avoid foods and drinks that have lots of added sugar.
  • Never skip breakfast. Regularly skipping breakfast can lead to you missing out on key nutrients and the energy that you need to kick-start your day.
  • Eat at regular intervals. Sustain your energy levels by eating three meals per day and limiting unhealthful snacks.
  • Drink enough water. Drinking water can help to prevent dehydration, which results in fatigue, unclear thinking, mood changes, overheating, and constipation.

3. Sedentary lifestyle

When tiredness sets in, sitting on the couch and relaxing could seem to be the only answer. But getting up and moving may be the best thing you can do to re-energize and eradicate fatigue.

Share on PinterestExercising can help to increase energy and reduce tiredness.

Research by the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens discovered that compared with sitting quietly, one single bout of moderate-intensity exercise lasting for at least 20 minutes helped to boost energy.

An earlier study by UGA also found that when sedentary individuals completed an exercise program regularly, their fatigue improved compared with those who did not.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that all adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week and muscle-strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week.

This may seem to be a lot of time spent exercising, but you can spread out your activity across the week and, in total, it is just the amount of time that you might otherwise spend watching a movie.

If you have not exercised for a while, start slowly. Begin with a brisk 10-minute walk each day and build up to walking fast for 30 minutes on 5 days per week.

Brisk walking, water aerobics, riding a bike, playing tennis, and even pushing a lawnmower can all count toward your time spent doing moderate-intensity exercise.

4. Excessive stress

Many situations can cause stress. Work, financial problems, relationship issues, major life events, and upheavals such as moving house, unemployment, and bereavement — the list of potential stressors is never-ending.

Share on PinterestExcessive stress can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion.

A little stress can be healthy and may actually make us more alert and able to perform better in tasks such as interviews, but stress is only a positive thing if it is short-lived.

Excessive, prolonged stress can cause physical and emotional exhaustion and lead to illness.

Stress makes your body generate more of the “fight-or-flight” chemicals that are designed to prepare your body for an emergency.

In situations such as an office environment where you can’t run away or fight, the chemicals that your body has produced to protect you can’t be used up and, over time, can damage your health.

If the pressures that you face are making you feel overtired or giving you headaches, migraines, or tense muscles, don’t ignore these signals. Take some time out until you feel calmer, or try some of these tips.

  • Identify the source of stress. Until you can recognize what is causing you to create and maintain stress, you will be unable to control your stress levels.
  • Keep a stress journal to identify patterns and common themes.
  • Learn to say no. Never take on too much — be aware of your limits and stick to them.
  • Avoid those who stress you out. If there is someone in your life causing you a significant amount of stress, try to spend less time in their company.
  • Communicate your concerns. Learn to express your feelings and concerns instead of keeping them bottled up if something is bothering you.
  • View situations in a different way. Try to look at stressful situations in a more positive light. For example, if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, see it as an opportunity to have some alone time and listen to your favorite tunes.
  • Look at the bigger picture. Think about whether the stressful situation will matter in a month’s time. Is it worth getting upset about?
  • Accept the things you are unable to change. Some sources of stress, such as an illness or the death of a loved one, are unavoidable. Often, the best way to deal with stress is to try and accept things the way they are.
  • Learn to forgive. We are all human and often make mistakes. Let go of anger, resentments, and negative energy by forgiving friends, family, and colleagues and moving on.

Physical activity is a significant stress reliever and releases feel-good endorphins. If you are feeling stress build up, go for a walk, take your dog out, or even put on some music and dance around the room.

5. Medical conditions

If you have made lifestyle changes to do with your physical activity, diet, stress levels, and sleep but still feel tired all the time, there could be an underlying medical condition.

Share on PinterestMany medical conditions, such as anemia, can make you feel tired.

Some of the most common conditions that report fatigue as a key symptom include:

  • anemia
  • underactive thyroid
  • diabetes
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • urinary tract infection
  • food intolerance
  • heart disease
  • glandular fever
  • pregnancy
  • vitamin and mineral deficiencies

If you are concerned that you have a medical condition that is causing you to feel tired, arrange an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your worries as soon as possible.

Sleep and tiredness

Lifestyle causes of tiredness

In today’s 24/7 “always on” world, we often try to cram too much into our daily lives.

And to try to stay on top of things, we sometimes consume too much alcohol or caffeine, or eat sugary and high-fat snacks on the go rather than sitting down for a proper meal.

The main lifestyle causes of tiredness include:

Alcohol

Drinking too much interferes with the quality of your sleep. Stick to the guidelines of no more than 14 units a week for both men and women.

Read more about how to cut down on alcohol.

Exercise

Too much or too little exercise can affect how tired you feel.

Read more about the benefits of exercise.

Caffeine

Too much of this stimulant, found in tea, coffee, colas and energy drinks, can upset sleep and make you feel wound-up as well as tired.

Try decaffeinated tea and coffee, or gradually cut out caffeine altogether.

Night shifts

Night workers often find they get tired more easily. This is more likely if the timing of the shifts keeps changing.

Daytime naps

If you’re tired, you may nap during the day, which can make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Read more about how to change your lifestyle habits to boost your energy.

Why am I tired all the time?

Feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, TATT, which stands for “tired all the time”.

Dr Rupal Shah, a GP in south London, says tiredness is one of the most common complaints she sees in her surgery. “I see loads and loads of patients who complain of feeling exhausted, even though they’re sleeping well. Often it’s been going on for several months.”

At any given time, one in five people feels unusually tired, and one in 10 have prolonged fatigue, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Women tend to feel tired more often than men.

“It’s unusual to find anything physically wrong. Most of the time, fatigue is linked with mood and the accumulation of lots of little stresses in life,” says Dr Shah.

Dr Shah says she routinely takes a blood test from patients complaining of tiredness to rule out a medical cause, such as anaemia or an underactive thyroid gland .

“There’s more chance of a medical reason for tiredness if there are other symptoms as well, such as heavy periods , weight loss, a change in bowel habits, hair loss , extreme thirst and so on.”

If you want to work out how you became tired in the first place, it can help to think about:

  • parts of your life, such as work and family, that might be particularly tiring
  • any events that may have triggered your tiredness, such as a bereavement or relationship break-up
  • how your lifestyle may be making you tired

Physical causes of tiredness

There are lots of health complaints that can make you feel tired. Not just the well-recognised ones like anaemia and thyroid problems, but also more surprising ailments, such as diabetes , food intolerance and a sleeping disorder called sleep apnoea .

Read more about the medical causes of tiredness.

Being overweight or underweight can cause tiredness. That’s because your body has to work harder than normal to do everyday activities. If you’re underweight, you have less muscle strength, and you may feel tired more quickly.

Pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks, can also sap your energy.

Psychological causes of tiredness

Psychological tiredness is far more common than tiredness that’s caused by a physical problem.

One key reason is anxiety , which can cause insomnia and, in turn, lead to persistent fatigue. A survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that nearly a third of the population are severely sleep-deprived, often because of job and money worries. The Foundation’s report, Sleep Matters, suggests a link between insomnia and low energy levels.

The worries and strains of daily life can be exhausting – even positive events, such as moving house or getting married. Emotional shock, such as bad news, bereavement or the break-up of a relationship, can make you feel drained.

Mental health problems such as depression or anxiety can make you feel more tired. They can also prevent you from getting a proper night’s sleep.

If you think your tiredness may be rooted in low mood, try this short audio guide to dealing with your sleep problems.

Tiredness can often be attributed to lifestyle factors, such as drinking too much alcohol, or having a bad diet. If you drink alcohol in the evening, it tends to wake you in the middle of the night. If you drink a lot regularly, it can make you depressed and affect your sleep. “I’m always surprised to find how often patients who complain of tiredness are drinking far too much,” says Dr Shah.

If you have a disturbed sleep pattern – for instance, if you work night shifts, sleep in the day or look after young children – it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and you’ll feel tired during the day.

Read more about how to change your lifestyle to boost your energy.

How to tackle tiredness

It may be common to feel tired all the time, but it isn’t normal. If you’re worried, see your doctor for advice and reassurance. “We can rule out anything serious,” says Dr Shah. “Just knowing there’s nothing wrong can be reassuring in itself.”

Now read why lack of sleep is bad for you.

24 Signs You’re Not ‘Just Tired,’ You Have Chronic Fatigue

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

If you struggle with chronic fatigue, you’ve likely been in a situation where you’re trying to express how you feel and a healthy person responds, “Yeah, I’m a bit tired today, too. Mondays, right?” The problem with this response, and the reason it can be frustrating to hear, is because chronic fatigue is so much more than just feeling “tired.”

Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of a wide variety of chronic illnesses, and is different than chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis – a disease with its own particular set of symptoms. Chronic fatigue may involve feeling sleepy, but the weariness and exhaustion is generally more severe and debilitating than the tiredness a healthy person may feel after not getting enough sleep one night. Chronic fatigue can also give rise to other symptoms, such as pain, muscle tremors, sensitivity to stimuli or brain fog. This can make it difficult and at times impossible to go about your daily routine – whether that means going to work, cooking dinner or even taking a shower.

To better understand the everyday effects of chronic fatigue, we asked our Mighty community to share signs that indicate they are experiencing chronic fatigue, and aren’t “just tired.” Although others typically have good intentions when they try to empathize, a lack of awareness about the differences between fatigue and tiredness can actually leave chronic warriors feeling isolated and misunderstood. Share this with your friends and loved ones to help explain what chronic fatigue is really like, and check with a doctor for more insight if these symptoms look familiar to you.

Here’s what the community shared with us:

1. “It. Never. Ends. You go to bed tired and wake up tired. You feel like your bones are made of lead and your head of granite. And no matter how much sleep you get, it never goes away.” – Cat L.

2. “When your body feels like you’ve just run a marathon when in reality you just woke up from sleeping eight-plus hours.” – Marie A.

3. “When I start watching reruns of shows I’ve seen countless times before. My brain can’t handle any new information when I’m at my worst so I fall back on my favorite shows where it doesn’t matter if I space out or fall asleep for a bit.” – Kelly W.

4. “It often feels like the day before you get sick for me. Body aches, major fatigue, etc. When I’m tired, I can still push through and function. Fatigue completely knocks me out.” – Kristen E.

5. “Having to constantly lean against something or have something to prop against or I’ll just keel over! Not enough energy to keep eyes open or to even talk/type. Giving my life up to work and spending any ‘free’ time recovering.” – Mandy W.

6. “‘Coma naps.’ I call them that because my intention was just to rest for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. However, eyes shut and into a deep sleep I have gone. That turns into three to six hours… and it only feels like a five-minute nap. Because when I wake up, I’m still as exhausted as when I laid to rest from the first time and my body decided to go into a deep ‘coma sleep’ out of my control.” – Dee’Di C.

7. “When I start to feel almost feverish. Where I am exhausted and my body starts to ache and I feel kind of cold and hot. If I don’t lie down and sleep I will become so exhausted I can’t get up, literally.” – Ariel B.

8. “I don’t have the energy to raise my head, let alone my arms (or fingers). My eyes burn. The thought of a shower makes me want to run in fear. I don’t dress that day (or cook). I’d rather be hungry than use the energy to clean/cook.” – Anjuli H.

9. “When I get confused over the smallest things. When my speech becomes slurred. When I start losing grip and dropping everything. When my limbs feel like they are heavy and like they have 10-ton weights attached. When I can’t wake up in the morning. When I can’t stand in the shower or lift my arms to wash my hair. When no matter how much sleep I get, every part of me is exhausted. Tiredness is so easy to cure. Have a nap or a good night’s sleep and you wake refreshed and eager to take on a brand new day. Fatigue is never-ending and you can’t get away from it.” – Shireen H.

10. “When you are tired it’s hard to get going, when it’s fatigue it’s downright painful to do anything. You can down coffee till your heart feels like it’s going to burst but you’re still going to move in slow motion.” – Niki D.

11. “My muscles begin to twitch and my body begins to ache. If I don’t get in the bed, those muscles that were twitching begin to spasm. In addition to the spasms and body soreness, I begin to go very pale with my face being the first to lose color.” – Leeana C.

12. “When I can’t speak. The words are in my head but I can’t make my mouth say anything. Also dropping things and the tight-chested feeling caused by cramping type pains in my diaphragm.” – Sarah S.

13. “I start not being able to think things through. I’ll think of something simple I need to do, like going to more than one store, and my mind sort of shuts down, as if I can’t see from here to there. I’ll also get that feeling of fish hooks in my skin with lead weights pulling me down. And I’ll start feeling like something is crawling on my skin but will go to scratch and nothing is there. I lose my coping skills buffer zone, emotionally, so something that yesterday I could have handled, today reduces me to tears.” – Corey H.

14. “Sleep doesn’t refresh you. Even the little things cause a fight-or-flight response, even simple things you would normally enjoy doing. Being overwhelmed by everything, even fun things. A week feels like a day. Eating feels like too much work. You don’t feel like reality is anything more than a dream happening outside of your head. Cancelling plans is a relief instead of a disappointment.” – Sarah L.

15. “ go to bed at 10 p.m. and if I don’t set an alarm I’ll wake up at 3 p.m. the next day and still feel tired, even if I’ve done nothing the day before.” – Nae W.

16. “My brain feels like it’s shutting down. I can’t verbalize my thoughts, my neck can’t support the weight of my head and if I don’t lay down immediately, I will fall down.” – Shaun M.

17. “Getting that super exhausted feeling that seems to emanate from the stomach area; it gets so bad that I’ll have to sit down just after walking across the house because it feels like it’s sapped all my energy.” – Bonnie P.

18. “When I am about to crash it feels like a heavy pull. Starts at my chest then moves into the rest of my body until I cannot move or keep my eyes open. A severe fatigue episode is like being trapped in my body unable to move, unable to respond when anyone talks to me and I am doing everything I can to just keep breathing. To my family I look like I am sleeping but I am wide awake and trapped. My husband can now tell when I am in a fatigue because my breathing is so deep.” – Margaret S.

19. “Family members have witnessed what happens when I have had too much stimulation from a visit or have done too much. I can be attempting to engage in conversation one minute and the next, my eyes glaze over and I disappear, I am no longer me. I never realized it was so visible of a change. These are the few folks who understand that I am truly sick.” – Barbara L.M.

20. “When you have to have a five-minute pep talk to convince yourself to get up and go to the bathroom before you have an accident. Really. You are literally trying to convince yourself you aren’t as tired as you obviously are or that at least once you’re there you can rest without the danger of soiling yourself and having to shower, which is a whole new ordeal.” – Bin T.

21. “My body feels super sensitive, like I can feel every drop of water in the shower and if I hear a loud noise my vision gets brighter for a split second too.” – Kathryn R.

22. “When you wake up and your whole body feels like you’ve been in a major car accident or someone has come along and beat you with a cricket bat in your sleep…” – Steve H.

23. “Your entire body feels like there is cement running through your veins instead of blood.” – Donna-Jean I.

24. “I always know when I try to get ready to go somewhere. If I completely exhaust myself trying to do my hair or makeup, I know it’s chronic fatigue. If I can get through getting ready and still have energy, I know it’s ‘just tired!’” – Jordan T.

ME Association

From the Hunts Post, 23 March 2011 (story by Mark Shields).

IMAGINE not having the energy to get out of bed for more than an hour a day, yet being too tired to sleep.

Combined with impaired concentration, musculo-skeletal pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and intense, dizzying headaches, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – or ME – affects more than 250,000 in the UK.

The illness can affect anyone – as Michelle Fletcher, 17, has found out in the past two years.

She was a swimmer for the St Neots Swans, competing regularly at county championships, when she came down with what appeared to be a viral infection in June 2009. Her condition deteriorated rapidly, with her energy levels getting lower and lower, and excruciating headaches. In August, she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME.

Bed-ridden for eight months, and without the strength to sit up unaided, Michelle was getting no more than two hours’ sleep a night, and had to drop out of school before her crucial GCSE year.

“I had no energy, but I couldn’t sleep at night,” said Michelle, of Dovehouse Close, St Neots. “I was so tired and so ill for so long that there would be days I couldn’t remember what I’d done.

“My left eye closed up completely, and I could only open it with my fingers, and I became really sensitive to sound or light.

“There’s no test for CFS because it shares so many symptoms with other conditions – the only test is how long it lasts. I was actually diagnosed after 11 weeks, which is quite quick.”

Confined to her bed, she had to rely on her family – twin sister Beverley and parents Gill and Michael – to help do even the most basic things.

As her friends and her sister returned to Longsands College for their final school year, Michelle was left at home for weekly tutoring sessions.

“I had to study in short sessions, just 10 or 20 minutes at a time, before I needed a rest. I had to do it in sections, then take a break.”

As Michelle’s strength slowly began to return, she set herself targets to measure her progress. A change in medication alleviated the headaches, which had previously prevented her standing.

“I’ve always been a positive person, so I tried to be happy about what I could do, and not get frustrated at what I couldn’t do. My big goal was my Year 11 prom: I wanted a picture of me standing up by myself.”

Michelle worked out the stages to achieving her goal: standing with support, standing alone, walking with help, walking unaided.

Nearly a year after she began to experience symptoms, she went to her prom. Later that summer she collected an A* and four A grades in her GCSEs.

New physiotherapy and hydrotherapy treatment increased her energy levels and she began to leave the house every day, took up swimming again, and made the decision to return to Longsands for her A levels.

“I was still getting only two to three hours’ sleep a night, and going to sixth form was too much,” said Michelle. “I lasted three weeks, but then went backwards in my health.”

Keen to try alternative methods to help her condition, Michelle found research on the effects of acupuncture on CFS, and began treatment at the Godmanchester Osteopathic and Acupuncture Practice – with startling results.

“The biggest difference is that I’m now sleeping seven hours a night, and my energy levels are up,” said Michelle. “It’s quite subtle, but a couple of days after the treatment, I find I have more energy.

“Now I’m back to taking the dog for a walk, I’m swimming every week and I’m hoping to go back to my A levels later this year.”

Having discovered the difference that the treatment has made, Michelle now hopes that she can help others in a similar situation

“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a difficult condition to make people understand. I hadn’t heard of it before I was diagnosed. People think it’s just about being a bit tired, but it’s so much more than that.”

How to tell if someone is tired of you?

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