Managing chronic fatigue in a busy world is nearly impossible. This is especially true when you’re managing a chronic illness. However, despite the challenges that chronic fatigue brings, there are things you can do to manage your time and get things done. Primarily learning how to identify triggers and make lifestyle modifications are integral tools for managing chronic fatigue.
1. Managing Chronic Fatigue Triggers
The trick to managing chronic fatigue is to address what’s causing it in the first place. Two primary triggers contribute to issues with chronic fatigue. The first is having a hormonal imbalance. When you have too many or too few essential hormones, it messes with your energy levels. Thus causing you to feel tired and depleted.
Additionally, hormonal imbalance causes issues with memory, concentration, and mood. However, you can balance hormones naturally via nutrition and making lifestyle adjustments. You can also work with a doctor to determine if hormone treatment is a good option.
The second trigger is experiencing chronic inflammation. It weakens the immune system when you have persistent low-level inflammation and contributes to oxidative stress. It also affects the brain and nervous system by decreasing activation in the basal ganglia, known as the brain’s reward center. Both of these outcomes increase fatigue and cause tiredness.
But you can decrease chronic inflammation by implementing an anti-inflammatory diet and reducing your intake of pro-inflammatory foods. Working with your doctor to manage and treat underlying chronic illnesses that contribute to chronic fatigue will also help.
2. Manage Stress Effectively
Stress is a significant contributor to chronic fatigue. Being stressed and anxious increases sleeplessness and sleep disturbances. Thus causing you to have low energy and feel tired. But there are some simple actions you can take to manage the stress of your daily life more effectively.
For example, taking time to implement relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Perhaps you create a proper evening routine that includes bedtime yoga, breathing exercises, and disconnecting from T.V. and social media. Maybe you set aside time to decompress after a long workday and take a walk outside or go work out.
Additional options for stress management include finding a hobby you enjoy, reading, journaling, and therapy.
Audit your schedule and your to-do list. Find the energy potholes that are present in your daily life. Where are you losing excess time and energy, and how can you do better? Perhaps you need to allow yourself extra time to complete and finish tasks and projects. It could also mean delegating tasks and chores in the home and asking for help. Look for ways to balance the activity that you’re doing with the rest that your body needs.
3. Stay Active
While it may sound counterproductive, staying consistent with your activity level can help fatigue. Exercise helps give you a natural energy boost, but it can also help decrease hormonal imbalances that contribute to chronic fatigue.
If you’re struggling to find the energy to work out, trade your high-intensity workout sessions for low-intensity workouts. For example, walking, yoga, and pilates are ideal low-intensity workouts. In addition, maintaining a consistent fitness routine in which you work out 4-5 times per week for at least 20-30 minutes can help with boosting your energy and decrease fatigue. However, before jumping into a workout routine, it’s essential to discuss with your doctor what type of exercise is best for you.
4. Adjust Your Diet
Making changes to the foods you’re eating and consuming may be beneficial in helping you to overcome fatigue in your daily life. Consume a diet rich in healthy fats, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. An excellent example of this type of diet would be a Mediterranean-style diet.
Additionally, decreasing your consumption of processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and sugary foods may improve your chronic fatigue. As a matter of fact, consuming these foods can negatively impact energy. Also, focus on consuming 6 small meals a day to maximize your energy.
But as always, discuss what nutritional changes would be best for you with a nutritionist or Registered Dietician. This ensures you’re not contributing to nutrient deficiencies and puts you on the right path to success.
5. Follow A Schedule
Utilizing schedules and routines provides structure to daily life. They also help with energy management. So you can get things done efficiently. The best part is it doesn’t require a massive overhaul. Instead, you can implement simple changes that significantly impact your time management.
For example, replacing your to-do list with calendar blocking. Instead of writing down a list of infinite tasks, focus on 3 priority tasks that need to get done and “block off” the time to complete them on your calendar. Of course, you’ll also want to include events and appointments so tasks don’t overlap.
Additionally, you can create productive routines that guide you through your day. Two of my favorite routines include having a morning routine and an evening routine. A morning routine helps prepare you for the day, whereas an evening routine helps you wind down and get ready for bed.
But these aren’t the only routines you can make. For example, you can create a cleaning routine to help keep your home tidy or a workout routine to help with boosting your energy. When it comes to routines the options are limitless and depend on your lifestyle and needs. But they’re a beneficial tool when managing chronic fatigue because they allow you to determine where you want to expend your energy.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic cure for chronic fatigue, especially if it’s due to a chronic illness. But, there are a variety of ways to manage and improve fatigue. The most important is to address what’s causing it in the first place. You can then address issues with triggers such as hormonal imbalance and chronic inflammation via medical intervention. Additionally, including lifestyle modifications with medical treatments helps manage chronic fatigue and find relief.
References and Related Reading
WebMD Tips for Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Healthline The Signs and Symptoms of Too Much Stress
Simple Easy Ideas for Movement That Don’t Require the Gym