What is Lethargy?

Tired, dog-tired, exhausted, run-down, strung-out, wiped-out, shagged-out, done. A nap by any name at all would be truly sweet. Some of us are “fatigued”, others of us “lethargic”, a lot are worried about “energy levels” but really, we’re all just completely worn out.

That feeling upon waking up that someone has rubbed sawdust into your face all night and played a trombone into your ears; when you stumble through the kitchen, give the baby a coffee, the dog an omelette and put the newspaper in the freezer. When you arrive at work and are not entirely sure how you got there but there’s half a post-box dragging from your exhaust pipe and all you can muster is a sneered grimace at the over-eager and cheerful office assistant as she choruses her sing-song hellos at you.

Your work day is spent watching the clock drag its hands across its face at a syrupy slow pace and jolting at the thunder-cracking tones of a telephone ring. You have a pent up explanation: you’re not lazy, you’re not idle, you really WANT to do something but your body just simply cannot muster enough strength to handle more than keeping your vital organs alive.

The peak of your energy hits as 5pm approaches -to the chorus of angels and glowing golden light- as you sprint through the door only to spend the next 3 hours in traffic, burning not only the last of your car’s fuel, but also your own.

You pull into your driveway, the inexplicable post-box still in tow, trudge zombie-like inside, and flop onto the couch. What your body needs is a home-cooked meal full of nutrients; what it’ll get is microwaved leftovers. In front of the TV. Where you’ll stay for the next 5 hours before dozing off with your neck bent as though you’ve been in a nasty snowboarding accident before you repeat the cycle again tomorrow.

So what exactly IS Lethargy? What it is, is extremely subjective and it’s not diagnosable. There’s no obvious rash, blocked nose or fever to confirm it’s presence, but you’ll know when its affecting you – and its affecting an awful lot of us. Lethargy or fatigue is a weariness – either mental or physical – with a range of causes which could be as simple as intense manual labour to those more complex such as depression. But the good news is, we’re not doomed to live in this slump forever. Lethargy can be helped – naturally.