I’m writing this just a few days before Christmas, and when I’m done, I’ll tick it off my ‘to-do’ list in the belief that I’m another step closer to getting some rest over the holidays. Like many working parents, I often find myself wondering whether as human beings we were ever meant to be living such hectic lives. The constant juggling between family and work commitments can leave us with little time left for self care, but in the long run there can be a hefty price to pay. So let’s look at what helps chronic fatigue.
Understanding Chronic Fatigue
In very simple terms, chronic fatigue happens when you’re overdrawn on your energy account. In other words, you’re spending more energy than you have, and if it continues, you can end up in very serious debt. This can take the form of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia or other chronic illnesses, all of which are wise to avoid. Coming back from more complex conditions like these takes far more time and effort than it would if you’d caught it early, so it’s important to understand what’s happening and take corrective action quickly.
Listening To Your Body
When we need water, our body makes us thirsty and we drink. When we need food, it makes us hungry and we eat. When we need rest, we tend to ignore the tiredness and keep going. Chronic stress not only costs us more energy to deal with, it can make it harder to get the good quality rest that our bodies need to repair. Over time, our body becomes stuck in a stress response, affecting our ability to control inflammation, energy metabolism, and a host of other processes. Over time, it becomes the perfect storm, setting us up for a range of chronic illnesses, some of which can be very serious. Our bodies cries for rest should always be listened to, but when life makes it impossible to get the rest we need, we need to take other measures to try and compensate.
How Do You Know You Have Chronic Fatigue?
The main symptom is obviously feeling constantly tired, but here are some other tell tale signs:
- Disturbed sleep patterns, particularly being wide awake in the early hours of the morning.
- Sharp pains between your shoulder blades.
- Mood changes – feeling low, apathetic, anxious or a combination of all of those.
- Loss of appetite, or feeling hungry but unable to eat.
- Brain fog, poor memory or concentration.
What Helps Chronic Fatigue?
Prevention is far better than cure, so I suggest a regular life audit to make sure you’re not overburdening
yourself with unnecessary stuff. Here are some other ways to start replenishing your energy account:
- Think about ways in which you can reduce the burden on yourself, such as investing in some help with cleaning, admin, childcare etc. List everything you do in a day and check that you’re only doing what’s absolutely necessary.
- Implement a bedtime routine, where you take 1-2 hours to wind down with a warm footbath, some journalling or a good book before lights out.
- If your circumstances stop you from getting a full 8 hours of quality sleep, aim to get some deep relaxation in a couple of times a day. Even a couple of minutes will help, and you can use apps or YouTube videos to help you.
- Make sure you fuel your body well. Food is medicine and it’s important to make sure that at least 80% of the time you’re eating foods which provide you with lots of nutrients. Top up with high quality vitamins and minerals, especially B complex and antioxidants.
Herbal Medicine For Chronic Fatigue
Whilst these measures will help to stop things getting worse, and go some way towards helping us get better, prescribed herbal medicines can really help to accelerate the recovery process. With my patients I often use a combination of adaptogens, which help the body back out of its stress response, and nervines, which take care of the nervous system. Together, they can help the body to return to normal, even when a stressful situation is still ongoing. There are lots to choose from, so it’s best to get a medicine made up especially for you.
Are You Struggling With Chronic Fatigue?
Book a free call now and tell me more about it.