In the fight against Fibromyalgia, fatigue is one of the most challenging battles to face. How can you regain energy, or find new sources of energy to access. How can we find extra spoons to put in our pocket? There are several things that can be done, but every person is different. What works for some may not work for another person. Here are some suggestions of some ways to fight fatigue.
Ways to fight fatigue
Be protective of your spoons
The idea of spoon theory is a great way to explain the realities of Fibromyalgia. In short, spoon theory says that you have a certain number of spoons to use everyday (think of them as units of energy). When finding ways to fight fatigue, the most simple answer is conservation. Try to protect the energy stores that you have. This means learning to say no to things. Sometimes, pain sufferers have to say no to things that they want to do, so it is important to also say no to things that we do not want to do, or don’t have the energy to do. If you are trying to do activities that take your spoons, simply because you are trying to protect someone’s feelings, then you may need to evaluate some priorities. Is it more important to keep your body functioning, and to have energy left over for your loved ones? Or, is it more important to protect a person’s feelings, and agree to do something that you may not have energy to do? It may be important to you to make that person a priority, and that is a choice that you have to make for yourself. Conservation is the most obvious and conservative way to maintain your energy.
This is a subcategory of protecting your spoons, but planning ahead can be a great tool. There is a certain amount of life that you can not plan for, but you can try to set yourself up for success instead of failure. It may mean using the motorized cart at the grocery store, avoiding activities that will drain you too much, or setting aside your idea of what you should be capable of. Planning ahead just means looking ahead and planing the most energy efficient way to perform the tasks of your day. The ego can be a big enemy of utilizing the most energy efficient means to perform a task. You may not look as cool as you would like, feel like you are not operating at the level that you should be able to, or damaging another person’s view of you. Is it more important for you to operate from ego, or is it more important to have the extra spoon available to you to give to yourself or a loved one?
The food that you consume is one of the biggest ways to fight fatigue, even if you do not suffer with chronic pain. It would be great if there was a “fibro diet” that worked for everyone, but that is not realistic. The diet industry is so huge in America because different diets work differently for different people. Finding a diet that works to bring energy to your body takes experience and experimentation. It can be frustrating to try several diets and not find the right one for you, but you have to take note of the things that do work. When you start compiling info about what works for you, you can start customizing your nutrition to your needs. It is worth trying to dial your nutrition in, because if you are eating junk, then your energy will never be optimum.
This is a hard thing to start when you have no energy and deal with chronic pain. It can feel like using energy that you don’t have, and may feel counter productive at first. Getting started and building momentum is always the hardest part, but once you start it gets easier to keep going. Exercise does not always mean pushing, grinding, sweating, and using every last ounce of energy that you have in your body. You can take short walks, do some yoga poses, or swim a few laps. Try doing exercise that only uses one “spoon” at first, and try to do it on a regular basis. If you find that your energy is increasing, great. If it is having the opposite effect, then do what works best for your body.
When looking for ways to fight fatigue, many people find supplements help them increase their energy. A great place to start the supplement search is by getting a blood test from your doctor to see if you are short on any essential vitamins or minerals. Vitamin D, Iron, and B vitamins are commonly used to increase energy in fibro sufferers. There may also be some other compound that your body has a shortage of that can negatively affect your energy. Melatonin is also a supplement that may help you sleep more restfully, and in turn, give you more energy. There are several vitamin supplements that are specially formulated to help fight fibro symptoms. Find the one that works best for you.
Protect Your Sleep
Sleep the chief of ways to fight the fatigue, period. It is not always an option to climb into bed in the middle of the day, and tuck in for a long nap. However, it is possible to plan ahead and protect your sleep to ensure that you are getting as much as you can. It may mean going to bed early; taking a sleep aid; finding pillows, sleep masks, black out curtains, sheets, mattress toppers, etc that you need to have the most restful sleep possible. If sleep is the most important thing that your body needs to perform optimally, then make a good amount of restful sleep a priority. Protect your sleep.
In dealing with human ailments from cancer, M.S., Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or chronic fatigue, mindset is always the most important thing. It is incredible to research the stories of what people can accomplish with the power of the mind. If you are constantly focussing on your symptoms and fatigue, then it will rule your life. Obviously, this is easier said than done. You will have to condition your mind over time to be selective of the thoughts that you dwell on. The practice of redirecting your mind will strengthen your cognitive function as well, and Meditation is a great way to practice the redirecting of your mind. Mindset will also make it easier to stay motivated to overcome ego, plan accordingly, stay consistent with exercise, and manage your nutrition as well. Keeping a determined mindset is a great way to set yourself up to make the best choices for keeping your energy levels up.
These are some suggestions of ways to fight fatigue related to Fibromyalgia. The most important thing is to find what works best for you. What are some ways to fight fatigue that work for you? Please share them in the comments.