Fatigue and Energy Management

by Mar 13, 2017

Why is energy management important?

If like me, you are suffering from an Autoimmune condition(s), then you will most likely know all about the frustrations of limited energy. In this modern world where we all seem to be pushing ourselves to the limit and beyond, energy management is a great tool for everyone.
I often wake up in the morning feeling totally exhausted after a good eight hours sleep. It then affects everything else in the day. I have come to realise that energy management is really important. On a good day I get overexcited because I am feeling better. Then I try to do everything that I have had to put off in the previous days. This leads to more exhaustion as I have done too much and I then suffer increased fatigue again. This vicious cycle is really unhelpful and one that can be avoided with practice and awareness.

How is fatigue impacting sufferers of auto-immune disease?

Here are some of the major findings of a new online survey of autoimmune disease patients conducted by the American Autoimmune Disease Related Diseases Association (AARDA), to examine the connection between autoimmune disease and fatigue.
● Nine-in-10 (89 percent) say it is a “major issue” for them and six-in-10 (59 percent) say it is “probably the most debilitating symptom of having an Auto-immune disease.”
● Three-quarters (75 percent) say their fatigue has impacted their ability to work; nearly four-in-10 (37 percent) say they are in financial distress because of it; one-in-five (21 percent) say it has caused them to lose their jobs; while the same number (21 percent) report they have filed for disability as a result of their fatigue.
● Fatigue impacts nearly every aspect of AD patients’ lives including overall quality of life (89 percent), career/ability to work (78 percent), romantic (78 percent), family (74 percent) and professional relationships (65 percent) and their self esteem (69 percent), among others.
“In this busy, busy world, it’s normal to be tired, but the kind of fatigue autoimmune disease patients suffer from is anything but normal,” said Virginia T. Ladd, President and Executive Director of AARDA.

Time and energy management:

Time management is, of course, a sensible and helpful practice. It can be incredibly useful for a busy person to see where they are wasting time and work out how to use it more effectively. The problem is that time is finite and comparatively irrelevant if you don’t have the energy to do anything in that time. This is where energy management comes in. If we can track the ups and downs of our day then we can start to see some correlations between the time of day and the energy available. This makes it possible to then plan our day around these peaks and troughs which will help conserve energy and avoid over-exertion.
fatigue and energy management

So what can you do to manage your energy?

I consider this to be divided into three areas: Building energy, Storing energy and Using it wisely.

 

Building energy stores:

If you are suffering from chronic illness I suggest the following ideas. However, it depends of course on your condition and situation as to what are the most helpful tips to implement.
Physical:
  • Rest as much as possible: see my post on resting well for tips.
  • Healthy diet: (Follow a protocol that will be most suitable for maximising your energy production. eg. AIP, Wahls, GAPS, Paleo, Paddisons etc. It is important to get professional help with this decision.)
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar as this can lead to crashes in energy.
  • Make sure you are well hydrated with good quality water.
  • Gentle exercise:  if your condition allows it can help boost energy levels.
  • Deep breathing: making sure that you are breathing to full capacity so that you receive the maximum amount of oxygen.
  • Energy Medicine Routine: follow a video of the energy routine here.
Emotional:
  • Practicing gratitude: try writing a list of gratitudes in a journal each day.
  • Practicing forgiveness: Read my post on forgiveness for help with this.
  • Energy practices to help release dense energy eg. EFT, Emotion Code, Theta Healing etc.
Mental: 
  • Letting go of stress and tension and accepting what is: see my post on surrender.
  • Meditation: Even 10 minutes a day will allow for a “reset” of your system Headspace
  • Avoid disturbing programmes/ films that have a negative affect on you.
Spiritual:
  • Follow your heart and do what you love or you will be running yourself into the ground.
  • Make a list of activities that feed your soul and leave you feeling energised. Try to do one every day.
 

Storing energy:

  • Get some help if you have anxiety issues as that type of nervous energy is very draining.
  • Follow The Four Agreements and you will avoid needless over-thinking and rumination on past actions which decreases energy.
  • Rest some more!!

Using energy wisely:

  • Pacing your activity so that you don’t overdo it on a good day. (This ME Diary app is helpful for anyone with chronic illness)
  • Track when you have most clarity in the day and scheduling your most mentally demanding tasks for that time. (Free tracking printable below).
  • Track when you have energy highs and lows over a week so that you can plan accordingly.  (Free tracking printable below).
  • Track your sleep patterns so that you see the connection between amount of sleep and energy the next day.
  • Also for women it is very important to reduce energy usage around the time of menstruation. Doing too much at this time just adds to fatigue and PMS symptoms.
  • Use a planner or Bullet journal to plan and prioritise your days wisely.
  • In the same way as we have cycles of sleep we also have daytime circadian cycles of 90mins. So it is important to schedule breaks in any period of work or activity. Ideally for 20/ 30 minutes every 90 minutes.
  • Focus rather than multi-task so that you are using your energy in an optimal way.
  • Rest ..again!

 “I’m not lazy, I’m on energy saving mode”

I hope that these tips will help you create, conserve and allocate your precious energy. If you only have limited resources it is well advised to be smart with your use of them.

Please do download my energy tracker and planner below.

Once you have tracked your energy levels for a couple of weeks, plan out your day using the energy management planner to maximise your high points and honour your low points.

Energy management
Fatigue and energy management

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