Combatting Chronic Fatigue: 4 Ways to Cope with Physical Symptoms
Aside from the general knowledge of being absolutely exhausted all of the time, chronic fatigue is more than just feeling tired. In my personal experience it has brought on many other symptoms that I’ve had to learn to cope with over the last two years. Here are 5 things that have helped me deal with the physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.
I usually keep a bag of throat lozenges either in my bag when I’m on the go, or on my bedside table when I’m bed-bound. Many people who struggle with chronic fatigue have mentioned getting a sore throat, and it is something that I have lived with every day for the last two years. Throat lozenges have proven to be a quick and effective way to cope with the annoyance of a sore throat.
My poison of choice: Halls honey-lemon flavored lozenges.
These have been my saving grace over the last 6 months, and I genuinely can’t believe I didn’t think of getting them sooner. Earplugs come in handy for two reasons, the first being sleep quality. I know with chronic fatigue it doesn’t matter how much sleep you get because at the end of the day, you’re still not going to feel rested. But there is no denying just how important sleep is as a whole.
I’m a very light sleeper, so earplugs have helped me at the very least stay asleep through just about anything. Earplugs are also very helpful in terms of chronic fatigue as a way of lowering overall stimulation. Noise can really push me over the edge when I’m fatigued, so having my earplugs nearby can help prevent me from going into sensory overload and crashing.
My earplugs of choice: Loop’s Quiet earplugs.
Continuing on with the topic of stimulation, lighting can also impact chronic fatigue. Just like noise, screens and intense or bright lighting environments can increase stimulation in our bodies. When I’m in a crash-like state or just overall struggling with my fatigue, I will put my phone down, turn off any electronics near me and close my eyes. If it’s also necessary, I will shut off my lights and lay in the dark. After a while, I can feel the pressure lifting in my head. It may continue to be a bad day, but at least I am coping the best way I can.
Bonus: buy remote controlled LED lights off of Amazon. This has helped me so much! There are tons of color settings as well as changing the intensity of the lights. On my worst days I will set it to red and turn it to the lowest setting.
This is still a work in progress for me. I think it’s safe to say many of us struggle with pacing ourselves, but it’s important to try our best to prevent burnout. Every Sunday, I write “goals this week” and will try to coordinate certain things on certain days. For example, shower days can be a lot on my body, so I’ll make sure not to do laundry or write on that day. If it’s a no-shower day, I know I have a little more energy to work with.
Remember to be kind to yourself on the days you aren’t able to do something. If you planned on doing something one day but end up not doing well, you can always finish it another time.