Why Women Are So Tired and Burned Out and What to Do About It
How your overall energy and health are affected by three powerful systems.
It’s no surprise that women generally live burned out and exhausted. With hectic lives that often include raising kids, working full-time, and caring for a home, burnout is a common side effect in my clinic and online practice. According to Maestro Health, more than 70 percent of females experience exhaustion in their day-to-day life and jobs. A Harris Poll study found 35 percent of women felt burned out at home, compared to 25 percent of men, and that 48 percent of these women couldn’t sleep at night due to exhaustion. Thanks to a global pandemic and current political events in our country, a Gallup poll concludes mental health is “worse than it has been in the last two decades.”
There has been a burnout pandemic parallel to the covid-19 pandemic for women. Unfortunately, we don’t learn in school or even the doctor’s office that there is a way to prevent AND treat this. The secret to feeling mentally and physically energized is balancing different parts of our health. I call it the “energy trifecta.” It’s a concept I created after doing lengthy research on women’s health.
The “energy trifecta” is an equilateral triangle (finally, something in geometry coming in handy) with gut health on one side, immune health on another, hormone health on the third side, and the brain in the middle. Your energy trifecta—gut, hormonal, and brain health must all be healthy and balanced to regain and maintain a healthy mind and body. If one of the three is not functioning properly, you will feel exhausted and have other issues. So taking care of your gut health is key to fixing this trifecta. Then comes adding in hormone-balancing foods and removing inflammation-causing foods and practices.
One of the first things I ask women to do to create a healthy energy trifecta is to sync to circadian rhythms. This means more daylight, more time in nature, more sleep, and circadian fasting.
Here are four simple ways to balance your energy trifecta and regain health.
Eat during the daylight and fast at night:
While this concept sounds basic, it’s rarely followed. People tend to eat very late into the night, even when they aren’t hungry. This affects the gut microbiome, which in turn affects the brain. I recommend timing your meals with the rise and fall of the sun by eating during the daylight and fasting when the sun goes down, which corresponds with surges and dips in cortisol. Try this five days a week (12 hours or more).
Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night:
Getting enough sleep every night and ensuring that you fall asleep and awaken simultaneously is essential for a healthy energy trifecta as it supports gut, hormonal, and brain health. Hormonal feedback controls our body clock, and the sleep and wake cycle influences several hormones. Therefore, your hormones are positively affected when you follow your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Eat a plant-based diet rich in vegetables:
The value of vegetables is huge, and I can’t say this enough. Vegetables are full of gut-promoting fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, which affect the health of all organs and systems in the body. Therefore, I recommend consuming at least 5-6 servings each day.
Incorporate brain health activities:
Once you have mastered these three things, I suggest moving to inflammation-reducing mental activities such as mindful meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises twice daily. This piece is essential in improving that energy trifecta.
These four steps can help you increase your energy and beat burnout.