For some months now, I’ve really been struggling with energy levels. It’s affected what work I can do, and how far I can walk. It’s also been depressing and worrying. I’ve been making a lot of changes in order to try and handle things better and in the hopes of being able to recover from this to some degree.
I notice that I tend to think of poor energy as a head issue. It’s one I’ve previously dealt with by applying willpower and pushing through. Like a lot of people dealing with fatigue, I have a history of not being taken very seriously and being encouraged to think of it as a personal failing, not a body issue. I find that when I treat low energy as something that is happening to my body – not as a failure to make enough effort – I can improve things. Mostly it’s about food and rest.
Increasing my food intake often helps. Even if it doesn’t solve the energy problem, it tends to ease the panic and depression that go with having run out of energy. Toast is my friend. Fruit is also good. Plant-milks are easy to digest and sometimes biscuits are the answer. I have to remind myself that comfort eating doesn’t make me a terrible person, and that I am allowed to do things that help me feel less horrible.
Rest makes a lot of odds, and as I’ve explored in previous posts (Doing Nothing) sometimes flopping in a heap is about the only option I have. I’ve established that how and when I rest makes a lot of odds. It is currently fair for me to assume that I’ll get three or four hours in a day with good concentration and scope to be active, and that I might get a few hours beyond that where I can do some things in a more limited way – reading or crafting perhaps. I can no longer just work flat out in the way I used to. To have four hours or so of good brain, I have to take breaks. Slow the pace and more becomes possible. I still have to be careful not to wipe myself out, but pacing is clearly key.
I have to prioritise. I have to say no to things. I have to make the time to stop and recover. It’s a lot to learn and is requiring me to identify and rethink a lot of beliefs I have about myself. I need to feel that I am allowed to rest, and I need to deal with the voices I have internalised that tell me otherwise. If I keep on as I was, I will likely get worse. If I can change things, there’s some hope of turning this around.
February 24th, 2021 at 12:14 pm
We are our own enemies and I have found beating myself up for not accomplishing things on my to do list has become an art form. But I now reward myself( maybe a bit too much chocolate or clothing shopping) and if I don’t get to some things that’s ok. I get the send love aspect the older I get. Listen to your body it knows ❤️
February 24th, 2021 at 12:14 pm
Should be self love sorry
February 24th, 2021 at 12:45 pm
Glad you’re getting some rest. It’s really hard, when you’ve got so used to pushing through exhaustion, to learn what your limits actually are. My energy levels crashed earlier this week and noticed that a symptom of that crash was intense feelings of guilt and shame about resting – ironic that it’s hardest to rest when it’s needed most. Wishing you lots of peace and gentleness in the process.
February 25th, 2021 at 2:14 am
Oh, that one has teeth and it is hard to fight it off. I hope things improve for you.
February 24th, 2021 at 2:06 pm
This sounds like a good approach for you. Long may it continue to help you!