Chronic Fatigue is a debilitating illness which will change your daily life completely. Some days you may feel on top of things and managing your symptoms well, however there will also be bad days when you struggle to move, are in pain and feel like you just don’t know how to go on. I’ve put together a few tips I’ve come across in the nine years of being diagnosed, with the hope these will help you when you’re having a bad day.
Managing Your Senses
I find on a bad day my senses are all over the place and I can be hyper-sensitive to small things. Bright lights, loud noises and different temperatures can all affect how I am feeling so I have learnt to have things I can access to help with that. If I am stuck in the house I manage these by making sure I have warm clothing and blankets at the ready, and the ability to remove layers if I start to get too warm. I would also try and keep a hot water bottle or heat pads close to hand as not only do they help increase your temperature fast but they are also soft and comfortable. If you can, sit in a room that doesn’t need to have the full light on and either keep the lights off altogether or put on a lamp that provides a softer light. Also ask others in the house to keep the noises down as much as they can and don’t have your TV on too loud.
Making sure the area I am as comfortable as I can really helps me feel more at ease. As well as keeping soft cushions and blankets around me, I like to have candles lit which provide soft lighting but also smell lovely. I try to have things I’m going to need close as hand, such as the remotes, a book, medicines, tissues, snacks and drinks so I don’t need to get up too often, meaning I don’t have to move around too much. If you are struggling to get around the house mobility aids such as sticks, a walker and even a stairlift can really open up areas of the home that were previously off limits.
Trying doing some relaxation can help you manage your emotional symptoms and calm your nervous system down, and so help reduce your physical symptoms. Clearing your mind and quietening those thoughts is a huge thing to a chronic fatigue sufferer as our busy minds are one of the largest causes of our exhaustion. I have several apps on my phone that I use for this which include Relax, Headspace and Buddify. I also search youtube if I just need some relaxing background music if I can’t face an actual guided meditation and that can help just to feel more at ease.
It can seem in those harder days that you are never going to get better. I have found that tracking my symptoms helps, as they are often related to my hormones. Try writing down how you feel, or perhaps starts a gratitude journal where you list the positives you can think of. Trying to focus on the future and give yourself some perspective can really help clear your head and feel emotionally better and ready to tackle to bad days,