When you just can’t get out of bed in the morning – gentle movement for morning fatigue

It’s a horrible feeling when you wake up in the morning feeling so weak that it’s almost impossible to get out of bed and get moving. When the fatigue is so extreme and the weakness so profound that you end up staying in bed all day eventually feeling even more depleted.

Understanding the root cause whatever it may be (i.e. the level of cortisol and blood sugar, disturbed circadian rhythm, imbalance of the nervous system etc.) and addressing it directly is what’s going give you lasting results in the long run.

In this post, however, we won’t focus on the treatment, but on the tools that can assist you along the way.

So while you are dealing with the root cause of your morning fatigue, these simple steps and practices can help you make your mornings more manageable:


Grounding exercises for stress, anxiety and fatigue

When we talk about grounding, sometimes we mean different things. But regardless of the exact meaning, the benefits of grounding for chronic fatigue and other chronic issues have been recognised by many researchers and patients.

What do we mean when we say ‘grounding’?

According to one definition, grounding, also called ‘earthing’, refers to direct skin contact with the surface of the Earth, such as with bare feet or hands, or with various grounding systems, which helps to reduce oxidative stress levels (high both in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia) and inflammation.

Walking barefoot on the ground is something you can do mostly when the weather is warm enough, and if you live in a big city, it may not be that easy to find a place where you can have direct contact with the ground. The health benefits of ‘earthing’, however, as noted by a number of researches, have been remarkable when it comes to treating chronic conditions. For more information, check The Earthing Movie – a fascinating documentary on grounding/ earthing and the science behind it.

Another definition suggests that “grounding is the act of connecting more deeply and completely to the body, strengthening the feeling of being inside the body and connected to the ground or earth. Many grounding exercises help deepen our connection to anything that is supporting the weight of the body. Other grounding exercises help deepen our connection to our 5 senses, using them to connect us with our body in general.” [1]


Building energy with Qigong and its therapeutic benefits

When we are well and healthy, we take many things for granted including our level of energy. It is not the case though when the fatigue is so extreme that you are aware of the slightest fluctuations in the energy level, or when the energy is so low that you can barely function.

But how does fatigue accumulate in the body to the extent that the body loses its natural ability to recover through rest and sleep? Here is an explanation from the point of view of Chinese medicine about the way our body builds, stores and uses energy, and about the factors that lead and contribute to fatigue (a summary of the conversation with Asis Vendrell):


Yoga Nidra for restful sleep

When it comes to inability to rest while being wired and exhausted at the same time, there are few practices that can be as effective as Yoga Nidra. This form of meditation guides you into a state of complete relaxation – a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, that can aid hugely for those of you with chronic and adrenal fatigue struggling with insomnia and disturbed sleeping pattern.

Cat Boal, a wonderful yoga teacher based in the South of Spain, who recorded this Yoga Nidra meditation specially for Back to the Body project, talks about her understanding of this practice and its benefits for people struggling with fatigue.

You can find the audio recording of Yoga Nidra at the end of this post.


Mindfulness Techniques for burnout and fatigue

Mindfulness, as a practice of maintaining awareness of thoughts, feelings and sensations in the present moment and accepting whatever is being experienced without judgement, has gained an increased popularity in the past decades. It’s been used in many different fields and has also proven itself being effective when addressing issues such as burnout, exhaustion, depletion, and fatigue. According to ebmedicine.net, “burnout can be prevented, treated, and even reversed with mindfulness training.”


How to rest when you are constantly tired – relaxation techniques for persistent fatigue

When you are dealing with adrenal and chronic fatigue, one of the elements that is absolutely essential for healing and building your energy is DEEP REST. The question is, however, how do you rest when you are chronically tired or exhausted?

As with exercising, there’s not just one solution, but rather several options. And sometimes, it’s about combining several techniques that work specifically for you.

Here, I won’t be discussing any treatments, but will share a number of self-help tools that you can use on your own.

Our mind-body connection is quite complex, but it can be summarised in one simple phrase: “where the mind goes the body follows”, although I believe that the opposite is equally true.

That is why it is important to relax BOTH the mind and the body so that you can experience a greater and deeper rest.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” —Thích Nhất Hạnh


How to reconnect with your body and find the right type of exercise for adrenal and chronic fatigue

Let’s be honest, any physical activity let alone exercising is a challenge when you have adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome! Yet it is possible to benefit from many movement and mindfulness practices when you understand your needs and your current abilities.

The first thing that is important to remember, and I’m not the first one to point this out – exercises are NOT a form of treatment! However, nourishing your body through safe and enjoyable physical activity and rest is a pathway to improving your symptoms (in addition to taking care of your diet, changing daily routine and much more).

It is possible that right now you are not ready for any physical activity, strenuous or not – that’s totally fine. Give yourself time, listen to what your body asks for, you will know when you are ready to start.

But if you feel that you would like to add some gentle movement and soft exercises to your daily routine, carry on reading!


Yin Yoga poses for kidney health and fatigue

According to Chinese medicine, there’s a connection between kidneys, adrenals and fatigue. Here you will find 4 static Yin Yoga poses that stimulate energy flow to the kidneys which are great for people with adrenal and chronic fatigue (CFS).

Connection between kidneys, adrenals and fatigue according to Chinese medicine

Yin Yoga, unlike other types of yoga, is based on a Chinese theory of meridians. In Chinese medicine ‘meridians’ are the energy channels or pathways that run through the body. They form a network, and if a network is disrupted or if blockages occur, the body and the organs will not function properly and imbalance arises. Each of the vital organs has its associated meridian. Since kidneys and adrenal glands are regarded as the body’s most important reservoir of essential energy, kidney meridian’s deviations and disruptions have major energetic consequences.

“When the kidney meridian is depleted, all the meridian energies in the body often become reversed, literally flowing backwards, causing you to feel utter exhaustion.” Donna Eden, author of Energy Medicine.


Breathe! to calm down – breathing exercises for shallow breathing

Breathing exercises to stop shallow breathing for chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue and burnout

Let’s talk about breathing. We never had to learn how to breathe. We always knew exactly how to do it from the very moment we were born and never had to question it. Until we grew up. We often hear the reminders from doctors, movement coaches, meditation facilitators: “Breathe deeply”, “Don’t forget to breathe”, “Don’t hold your breath”.

What happened to our breathing pattern?

As a reaction to our environment and daily stress, we develop something called shallow or chest breathing. During shallow breathing, we draw a minimum amount of air into the lungs through the chest without fully engaging the diaphragm. This type of breathing is very common in everyone who is under pressure or stress, but it can develop into a habit that leads to further tension and anxiety creating a vicious circle when our sympathetic nervous system is aroused and the ‘fight or flight’ response is activated.

In people with adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome, symptoms, such as lack of energy, mental fog, dizziness, irritability and stiffened muscles are closely linked to shallow breathing (you can read more about it here).


Yoga poses you can do in bed when dealing with insomnia and fatigue

Yoga poses you can do in bed for insomnia and fatigue

One of the nastiest symptoms of chronic fatigue is not even the tiredness itself, it’s a disturbed sleeping pattern and insomnia when even at night you can’t regain your energy through a restful sleep. And worrying about not being able to sleep is a whole other issue that adds to the problem.

The exercises I mentioned in the previous post work really well when it comes to reducing stress and winding down before going to bed, or even when you wake up at night. But here I’ll talk about something I’ve tried recently during yet another sleepless night and really loved it. It’s doing yoga in bed!