Living with Chronic Pain
6 Tips for Dealing With Daily Fatigue
Source: WebMD, Johns Hopkins Medicine
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Dealing with fatigue on a daily basis is frustrating and can interrupt everyday life, such as work, relationships, and leisure activities. Fatigue affects individuals both physically and mentally. As chronic pain symptoms increase, fatigue symptoms tend to intensify and vice versa.
Simple lifestyle changes can boost energy and reduce fatigue. Six tips for dealing with daily fatigue include the following:
- Plan activities wisely. Perhaps you have more energy in the morning than at the end of the day. For others, fatigue may worsen at noon. Scheduling events and high-priority tasks during times when fatigue is at its lowest, and planning to rest when it is at its highest, allows you to make the most of your day.
- Exercise. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise when feeling fatigued, but physical activity actually boosts energy levels. Strenuous exercise can exacerbate pain; therefore, low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, and range-of-motion exercises, work best. Exercising builds muscles, keeps joints flexible, improves the efficiency of the heart and lungs, and creates more energy.
- Take a short nap. Taking a short nap can reduce fatigue and restore alertness. Naps should only last 10 to 30 minutes to prevent grogginess upon waking. Napping longer than 30 minutes or late in the afternoon can also interfere with sleeping at night.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and decreases concentration. You should drink enough water so that urine is pale yellow or the color of straw. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is recommended.
- Eat more frequently. Eating smaller, more frequent meals helps steady blood sugar levels and reduce fatigue. The brain needs a steady supply of nutrients throughout the day to provide energy. Small meals should include complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and plenty of protein.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Not sleeping well contributes to fatigue; therefore, quality sleep should be a top priority. Practicing proper sleep hygiene, such as going to bed and waking at the same time each day, keeping the bedroom cool and dark, and moving electronics out of the room, can help improve sleep quality, which decreases fatigue.
Additional source: Creaky Joints