Constantly lethargic? – Where it comes from and how to fight it

Photo montrant une léthargie constante - D'où vient-elle et comment la combattre ?


As many of you know, there are a hundred things to do. There are so many things you’d really like to do. But you just can’t bring yourself to do them. Instead, you feel tired and listless. You’d like to spend all day on the couch or even in bed. And then there’s that terrible fatigue that doesn’t go away, even after the second coffee. It’s more than just laziness, because you don’t feel good about yourself, and you may even feel bad about yourself. Sound familiar? Then you may be suffering from lethargy. In this article, you’ll learn what causes it and how you can get back on your feet.

Psychological Causes

The most common psychological cause of lethargy is stress. Stress can occur when we are overloaded with certain areas of our lives or when there is an imbalance between different areas of life. An example is the imbalance between the private and professional environment. These overloads and imbalances trigger our desire to relax, take a break or even sleep. We feel lethargic.

Other psychological causes may be:

  • A general frustration with life.

We unconsciously ask ourselves questions like: Why should I make an effort in what I do? Why should I set goals if I’m never going to achieve them anyway?

  • Excessive use of alcohol and drug.

They trigger short-term feelings of happiness. However, they do not encourage the pursuit of these feelings of happiness in other ways. On the contrary, alcohol in particular has a long-term numbing effect, while drugs such as ecstasy make us believe we are full of energy.

  • Schizophrenia and clinical depression

These illnesses can also cause lethargy. These serious mental illnesses must be treated therapeutically.

  • Burnout syndrome

This is not about feeling overwhelmed and drowning in stress. Rather, we suffer from burnout when we see no meaning in our work.

Physical causes

The most common physical cause of apathy is lack of exercise. Because the body is not sufficiently exercised, our muscles become lethargic. As a result, our strength and endurance decrease. Even the small obstacles of everyday life seem exhausting, because the body is no longer used to anything.

In addition to lack of exercise, the following physical causes may be responsible for your lack of energy:

  • Nutrient deficiency.

Certain nutrients are particularly important for the various functions of our body. A deficiency of vitamin B12, iron or iodine may be a key factor in your listlessness.

  • Thyroid disorders.

These cause a decrease in overall performance, making you tired and lethargic.

  • Cancer.

Depending on the type of cancer, people with cancer may no longer be able to structure their own daily lives. Lung cancer, on the other hand, causes shortness of breath, even with minimal physical exertion. Both can lead to lethargy.

  • Vitamin D deficiency.

If you have a vitamin D deficiency, it means you are not getting enough sunlight. The body reduces its energy balance.


For psychological causes:

  • Give yourself some peace and quiet every now and then. Take time to forget about stress and consciously enjoy the beautiful things in life!
  • Get out in the fresh air! Not only does this stimulate your blood circulation. Thanks to the daylight, you also get plenty of vitamin D. This vitamin is proven to improve your mood.
  • Plan ahead for the activities you look forward to! Use your time wisely and keep yourself busy so you don’t get stuck in a rut between the couch and the bed. Don’t get lost in a spiral of procrastination!
  • Set priorities! Don’t get overwhelmed with many small tasks, but do one thing at a time. Set small goals and delegate less urgent tasks to others.
  • Yoga, autogenic training, walks and light exercise can help you combat stress.
  • If you are not satisfied with life in general, you should ask yourself this question: What is bothering me in my life? What can I change? Once you find out, you should think about making a change. Not always, but sometimes it can be helpful to change jobs, move, end a relationship, or address dissatisfaction with your body. However, it can also be small things that you can change to end your constant lethargy.
  • Don’t let setbacks drag you down, but learn step by step how to handle life’s defeats! Also look out for your mental strength!

For physical causes:

  • If a physical illness is the cause, there is no other solution but to get it treated to combat the associated lethargy.
  • Get moving! Don’t let your muscles get rusty and do something good for your body! For example, stand up at work after a long period of sitting and continue to work standing. A standing desk can be a useful gadget.
  • Make sure you eat a balanced diet! If you eat the right nutrients, you can quickly put an end to your lack of energy.
  • Get enough sleep! This will give you energy for the day.
  • Drink enough fluids! It is best to drink water or unsweetened tea. Drinking lots of fluids is generally good for your body.
  • Combat your lack of exercise by exercising to get your underused muscles back in shape. Small daily tasks, such as walking up the stairs, do not have to be done.

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Constantly lethargic? – Where it comes from and how to fight it