Avoid the “quick fix”

At one time or another, we all go for a quick fix to the signs and signals that our bodies present to us.  I’ll provide an example.  Let’s say that you’ve had an extended period of stress and as a result, you feel tired.  You have two options.  If you’re like most of us, there have been times when your solution to that sign from your body is to “treat the symptom” rather than to “treat the problem.”  Treating the symptom would be to increase your caffeine, nicotine, or resort to energy drinks.  Maybe you’ll opt for a sugary snack.  This is the “quick fix.”

The result in this case is that you have really only caused the problem to linger even longer.  You’re body is saying, “I need rest.”  But instead of addressing the problem, the symptom is covered up.

For tiredness that is the result of prolonged stress, you really need exercise, better rest, and better fuel (good nutrition and plenty of water).  This is “treating the problem” instead of covering up the problem by “treating the symptom.”  When you give your body what it needs, it is not a “quick fix.”  It takes extra time to take care of yourself.  But it’s also important to realize that you may actually be more productive if you take the time to address the problem rather than ignoring the problem with a “quick fix.”  The reason is that you will have more energy, feel better emotionally, and have a clearer mind.

Some people may feel “amped up” at the end of the day, and may be tempted to use alcohol or pills to relax or sleep at night.  Some may resort to comfort foods.  Again, this is a quick fix that does not address the problem, and indeed causes the problem to be continued and to likely worsen (in addition to the risk of addiction–another source of stress).  The problem may be better addressed by taking a walk, exercising in other ways, or engaging in peaceful and relaxing activities (such as relaxation techniques, reading, listening to music, taking a warm and relaxing bath).

Here is another useful tidbit on the “quick fix.”  Quick fixes to problems result in short-term gains, but long term losses.  Addressing the problem requires a short term loss (either in effort, time, etc…), but results in a long-term gain.

Note:  It’s important to realize that chronic feelings of tiredness may be signs of a medical condition, and it may be helpful to consult with a physician about this.