Is Eating Your Relief For Tiredness?

26 March 2021 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Tiredness is something we all experience, it’s unavoidable. We can’t escape feeling tired from lack of sleep, staying up late or both.
Tiredness is probably one of the biggest triggers to overeating for most of my clients.
Why do we turn to food when we are anything from mildly tired, to absolutely exhausted?
Food gives us a boost of energy, it’s pleasurable and it’s there!  Eating distracts us from the discomfort of feeling tired, especially during that afternoon slump or late in the evening. Whilst eating provides momentary relief, it doesn’t cure tiredness.

How do we deal with tiredness so that we don’t turn to food each time?

How else can we take care of ourselves in these moments?

Recognise

Many of us take better care of our phones than we do of ourselves! When our phone battery goes low, we recharge it or we turn on save-battery mode. Our phones give us notifications that the battery is low. So do our bodies, but in our busy lives we don’t always notice this and we continue to push ourselves. We dread feeling tired. The first step to dealing with tiredness, is very simply: recognise and acknowledge that you are tired.

Re-calibrate

Once you are aware that you are tired, accept that your capacity to do things is going to be lower than you would like, so reduce your expectations. Slow down a bit. Think about it – if your phone battery is low and there is no charger around, you will probably save your battery for important calls. Save your energy. Focus on the most important things and aim for small wins.

Accept

Acceptance of the feeling is an important step to dealing with it. So often we resist feeling tired because we want to get things done and crossed off our to-do list. The resistance creates more tiredness especially if it’s accompanied by thoughts like “Ugh I am sooo tired!” – thoughts like that will make you even more tired.  Accept that you will probably have an urge to eat and you can if you want to but ask yourself: “What can I do in addition to eating?” Accept that you won’t be as sharp or as productive as you would like to be. It’s also important not to be hard on yourself or blame yourself for being tired, as this will only make matters more challenging.

Embody

Bring a gentle awareness to how tiredness feels in your body. How do your eyes feel? Perhaps your eye-lids are droopy. Is there a heaviness or tightness in your body? How do your muscles feel? If we could learn to stop fearing this sensation, we could start to allow ourselves to become familiar with it. Allow yourself to experience the sensation of tiredness in your body.

Practical things you can do in the moment to energise yourself are:

  • Stand up, stretch your arms and neck, move a little.
  • Go for a walk if you can.
  • Water – take a shower or drink water.
  • Go into nature, look at the sky.
  • Do a short meditation — here is one I have created for you. (Background ambience: Zapsplash)
  • Take deep breaths, bringing oxygen into your body energises you.
  • If you can, rest. If you can’t, make a plan to rest later. Plan a day of doing nothing.
  • Of course, you can always choose to eat. If you do, let go of judgement. Put the food on a plate and savour the experience.

Tiredness is a doorway, it’s an invitation to slow down, to take time to rest. Whatever you do, when you notice you are tired, try to treat yourself gently, in the same way you would care for a tired baby. Tiredness can offer us an opportunity to pause and give our frantic selves a break. Later, we can get busy again.

Wishing you well.
Xen

✨ Do you want heal your relationship with food? Book a free mini session. 

✨ Find out more about what my clients say about our work together.

✨ Download this free Tiredness Meditation.

✨ The next Food Freedom course will start in May, check out the details here.

“I reached out to Xenia because 2021 started on a tumultuous note for me. Between deaths, businesses suffering, hospitalizations, and job losses in our personal circle, I felt depleted and found myself being available for everyone but myself. Then I was hit with an unexpected health diagnosis, which was the last straw as it meant giving up “healthy foods” and workouts that I leaned on for my well-being and stability. Despite working in wellness (Yes, coaches and healers are vulnerable too!), I found myself reaching out to desserts for comfort. I like to live a life of permissions (not labels or deprivation leading to bingeing), so I wanted to work with someone who approached healing from a place of mindful compassion. I didn’t want to be my own client. Xenia was great in reminding me to be kind to myself. Working with her, brought me peace and helped shift my mindset. I love how desserts and I look at each other now.”

Sweta Vikram, New York, USA

“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating