Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, affecting around 80% of those diagnosed, and it can have a massive impact on day-to-day life. One of the problems is that fatigue affects everyone differently, and that can make it really hard to explain to others!
People with MS can be affected by fatigue both mentally and physically. It can range from feeling tired to having a complete lack of energy, which causes your body to feel super heavy. It can also make other symptoms worse.
Unfortunately, fatigue isn’t something that we can completely get rid of, but there are ways of helping to manage it. It's all part of our daily "Balancing Act".
► Video: What are the best ways to alleviate fatigue?
(Source: https://youtu.be/JQrYwxRaGIs )
► Video: The Lightning Talks: Heather - My 5 Tips on Fatigue
( Source: https://youtu.be/3gZt9PZHpYM )
Sleep, sleep and more sleep! It’s really important to get a good night’s sleep so that this does not cause an increase in fatigue. I find it helpful to ‘switch off’ an hour before bedtime, and to do something relaxing in this time, such as reading a good book - try staying away from that dreaded small lit screen too!
Don't feel guilty about taking daytime naps, as they can be a huge added bonus as well.
By prioritizing tasks and activities it can help reserve energy levels for the things that we want or that are needed to be done. This is a tricky one, if you’re like me you always want to be able to do more, but it’s important not to overdo it.
Making a list of the tasks you need to complete each day and deciding which are the most important can also help with this. Make a list, and feel a sense of achievement as things get marked off when completed - but be flexible and realistic, as things feel easier some days more than others.
Life is stressful for all of us, and living with a chronic condition can make it even more stressful. We can’t avoid stress completely but we can take time out to relax.
Stress can cause an increase in fatigue so having stress-free times throughout the day can help to give us a little more energy.
► Looking after you
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking lots of water are both important for helping with energy levels. Yes - keep hydrated.
For me, a lot of the time even the thought of exercising is exhausting. However, it has been proven that even a small amount of regular exercise can help to fight fatigue.
Sometimes it’s not always possible to do much, but even some gentle yoga or stretching can make all the difference. Even an easy walk is a great way to help blow the fog away, too.
► Keeping cool
Heat can cause an increase in fatigue. If this affects you then it is important to try and stay cool throughout the day, especially in the summer!
► Listening to your body
Listen to how your body is feeling and if you feel tired take the time out to rest. It can be really useful to have periods throughout the day to rest and have short naps (or two-hour naps if you’re like me…).
Listening to your body and taking time to rest when it needs to is so important, especially when it’s easy to get frustrated and keep pushing when you’re just not up to it.
This can help you to then have more energy during the rest of the day.
► Article: MS Fatigue: 9 Tips to Help You Feel Better
► Article: Exercises at home when MS fatigued
Bookmark this page: Managing MS Fatigue
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