Combating Chronic Fatigue: 3 Different Types of Rest
Last updated: December 2021
As we all know, chronic fatigue is without a doubt one of the most challenging symptoms. It will outright stop you in your tracks and cause whatever balance you have in your life to crumble. In a perfect world, I would sleep my days away.
Unfortunately as we get older, the more responsibilities we have to keep on top of so there are few moments where napping is possible. We may not have the control to entirely rid of it, but what we can do is learn what different types of rest can be beneficial in helping us get through the day.
Try to lower your screen time
On the worst days, sometimes all we can manage is laying in bed and watching Netflix. However it’s in times like those where I find myself struggling to do even just that. When times like these arise, I’ve learned that instead of watching a movie or TV show, I resort to listening to a podcast or watching streamers on Twitch so that I can keep my eyes closed but stuff have something to pass the time.
In this day and age, it’s hard to entirely stay away from screens. Especially if you work remotely. If this is the case, you can get reasonably priced blue-light glasses to help your eyes and lower the burning-sensation from your fatigue. It won’t disappear, but it’s doing what you can with what you have.
Take a break from talking—virtually and IRL
A huge trigger for me is conversation, in almost all forms. Whether it’s reading lengthy text messages or having someone tell me an in-depth story, it causes lots of brain stimulation and overwhelms my body, causing it to crash. Of course we can’t deflect conversations altogether, but what we can do is create healthy boundaries with ourselves and those around us.
Lately I’ve become much better at addressing this feeling right away, so when I feel myself really starting to struggle, I’ll stop someone mid-conversation and ask that we pick it back up later on so I can take a break. Another thing you can do, and I almost feel is absolutely necessary, is taking a couple of hours every single day to be entirely alone. No stimulation, no talking—just you enjoying the peace and quiet. When I do this I can physically feel the pressure in my brain lighten.
Physical rest is just as important
Chronic fatigue triggers can stem from physical exertion. A person's definition for this varies solely on their own personal limitations as not everyone has the same experience with fatigue. I’m not here to determine for you what your limits are, but I will tell you from personal experience how I’ve learned to pace myself.
For example, I only shower twice a week now. On shower days I don’t do as much, as I know that because I am spending my energy on something more physical, I am more likely to crash earlier on in the day. I also have to pick and choose when I decide to go for walks, or go out and about to run errands. The most important thing is to make sure you carve out time to let your body rest after doing something physical, so that you don’t push yourself into burnout.
Have you ever had to take a leave of absence from work due to your symptoms?
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