There’s going to be a lot of this about – people who used to be fine but who now need to manage their energy carefully. Fatigue is a common symptom of long covid. The psychological and emotional impact of lockdown is leaving people depressed, burnt out and exhausted. How do you cope?
My husband Tom recently had a stroke and went from being someone who could safely assume they had plenty of energy, to someone whose energy is unreliable. It’s come as a shock to him. So, be ready for it to be a shock and give yourself time and space to process that.
Often when people talk about poor energy they talk about spoons, and waking up in the morning and having to decide how to deploy whatever energy is available. Only in practice, you won’t know – especially not when you’re new to this – how far the available energy might go or how tiring any specific activity might be. Things that used to be easy will no longer be easy and you will, at first, have no idea how to budget for that. Learning how to assess the energy cost and to budget for it takes a while – try to be gentle with yourself while you figure this out, and know that you will get it wrong sometimes. It’s ok to get this wrong, this is a steep learning curve at a really unhelpful, under-resourced time.
You have to decide what’s most important. If you want any hope of getting out of your low energy state, you have to decide that your health is the most important thing, and the people around you need to support that choice. (This isn’t always an option, sadly.) You then have to start off in the morning with the things that will most help you with your health. That’s going to be personal and will also need figuring out. Budget in time to rest, move slowly, but try to keep moving because you will feel better if you’re able to get something done – that might be a shower, or an email, or a small walk – whatever works for you. Set your sights low, aim low, but try and manage something.
You’re going to need patience. You’re going to have to forgive yourself for what you can’t do and be ok with asking other people to cover for you. Give yourself time. Healing takes a while. Learning how to manage what you’ve got also takes a while.
December 8th, 2020 at 10:44 am
Interesting. Thank you. 🙏
December 8th, 2020 at 12:18 pm
December 8th, 2020 at 2:38 pm
As you may know, as soon as these words, “Manage my own Energy” came to me, (and I designed this t-shirt), the Universe brought me many ways (challenges) for me to ACTUALLY manage my Energy! LOL
I love playing that game with the Universe and know it’s supposed to be humorous! ❤️🦋🌀🤣
December 8th, 2020 at 5:55 pm
Best to laugh 🙂
December 8th, 2020 at 2:41 pm
And I do mean, managing my personal Energy as well as, for the last 9 months, our home Energy (living off grid in an RV).
I sure send your hubby well wishes and healing energies! ❤️🦋🌀
December 8th, 2020 at 2:53 pm
The most crucial thing is to have the right mindset, because that is what prompts you to get up and push on to have an optimum energy level.
December 8th, 2020 at 3:34 pm
I’m a big fan of determination, it gets things done.
December 8th, 2020 at 5:14 pm
Useful and timely post!
I saw some excellent advice along these lines recently that suggested that if a thing is worth doing, it’s better to do it badly than not at all. For example, even if you don’t have the spoons to clean your teeth for the prescribed two minutes, doing it for one minute or even half a minute is better than not doing it all.
December 8th, 2020 at 5:55 pm
Yeah, that is a very good point, thank you for adding it.
December 10th, 2020 at 5:02 pm
I first came across the concept of ‘energy accounting’ when I found out it’s likely I’m autistic and it has been soooo helpful in helping me avoid burnout a little better as I know I have to account for some things neurotypical people can cope with fine such as social interaction and travelling really zonking me out and arranging enough alone time in a safe space doing me things to make up for the energy drained. Yes, it does take a lot of learning, and I am only gradually making first steps.
December 10th, 2020 at 5:07 pm
That’s got to make a huge difference. I wish quiet spaces were more normal, especially around events.
December 10th, 2020 at 7:28 pm
I tend to go for a walk outside of the event so I can find the space I need as otherwise I would be worried about people (perfectly well meaningly) coming to talk to me.
December 11th, 2020 at 11:37 am
Oh Gods yes, although i think I probably need blinkers just to cut down on visual information. Can’t handle big comics events at all.