Written for people living with chronic fatigue, seeking self help therapy that do live in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Santa Fe
Living with Chronic Fatigue: after a long night of sleep, most of us awake feeling refreshed or at least somewhat recovered from the fatigue we felt before going to bed. For those who have chronic fatigue, waking up feeling rested would be a miracle because most of the time, they awake feeling just as exhausted as when they went to bed.
This constant fatigue often creates depression, for it is difficult to feel optimistic when one can hardly stay awake. How does anyone with chronic fatigue or any chronic illness manage to find ways to feel good in order to help heal the illness? The best approach takes into consideration the whole person, nurturing the emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental.
Gratitude is one of the most powerfully healing attitudes available to us. There is always something for which to be thankful: the unexpected song of the bird outside your window, the spouse who gives you a hug when you need it, the sun that breaks through the clouds of a rainy afternoon, or the fact you are simply alive another day. The attitude of gratitude is a choice. For one moment, you choose to believe that a simple thing you usually take for granted is worthy of attention. Ending each day by making a list of those things for which you are grateful is an affirmation that there is good in life beyond the fatigue and pain.
Probably one of the most difficult problems related to chronic fatigue is finding a way to exercise. It’s difficult to be motivated when you have no energy; yet, according to most studies, even minimal exercise increases the blood flow to all the organs. The result is that you feel better, but overdoing it can wreck havoc on an already overloaded immune system. Begin with a five minute walk, and when that becomes comfortable, gradually increase the time. Ideally, you need 30 minutes of non-impact or low impact aerobics like brisk walking repeated 3-4 times a week. Other activities that have been proven to be beneficial are yoga and Tai Chi because they improve the mind/body connection and create a feeling of peacefulness as well as balance energy in the body.
People with chronic fatigue almost always experience some amount of sleep deprivation. Some people have trouble going to sleep, others wake in the middle of the night for long periods. Sometimes adjusting your schedule is helpful so that you work or plan when energy levels are higher then take a nap when energy is lower. Furthermore, making lists and writing everything down to help cope with the brain fog that often occurs is useful. If having trouble relaxing is a problem, listening to soothing music will help calm you and releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain.
Nutrition is the basis of good health so it is especially important to pay attention to what you eat when ill. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars and flours, and foods that contain preservatives, additives, or artificial flavoring or artificial sweeteners. If possible, eat only organic food and mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and hormone and chemical free poultry or fish. Eating three well-balanced meals with healthy snacks in between will also help keep blood sugar, moods and energy level.
What you inhale is just as important as what you ingest, especially for those sensitive to mold, mildew, pollen and chemicals. Exposure to these can be a constant drain on the immune system. Although it isn’t possible to avoid exposure when you go out of the house, there is great benefit keeping a high quality air purifier operating in the house around the clock. The cost is minimal. It is particularly beneficial to keep it in the bedroom at night where you can breathe pure air for several straight hours. Awakening to the fragrance of clean, fresh air is almost as uplifting as breathing fresh air, when you can find it, out-of-doors.
Because chronic fatigue may be caused by many different factors, the best treatment involves individual care from a physician, but regardless of the causes of your chronic fatigue, using these tips to take care of your mind, body, emotions, and spirit will improve your well being and lift your spirits. That’s always good for your health.
Still want support? Call The Center for Growth at 215-922-5683 Ext. 100. We offer therapy in Philadelphia, PA, Ocean City, NJ, Mechanicsville, VA, and Santa Fe, NM. We also offer virtual therapy in Delaware, Georgia and Florida.
Facts about Chronic Fatigue System:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a long-term condition characterized by extreme fatigue that cannot be explained by any underlying medical condition.
- The exact cause of CFS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to a combination of factors, including viral infections, immune system dysfunction, and psychological stress.
- CFS is more common in women than in men, and it typically affects people in their 40s and 50s.
- CFS can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, as it can make it difficult to work, socialize, and engage in daily activities.
- Symptoms of CFS include extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, and cognitive difficulties such as memory problems and difficulty concentrating.
- There is no specific test to diagnose CFS, and the diagnosis is based on symptoms and exclusion of other medical conditions.
- Treatment for CFS typically involves a multidisciplinary approach, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, stress management, and sleep hygiene.
- Some people with CFS have reported improvement with alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal supplements.
- CFS can be a difficult condition to live with, and it's essential for people with CFS to have a strong support system in place, including friends, family, and a healthcare team.
- Research on CFS is ongoing, and scientists are working to understand the underlying mechanisms of the condition and develop effective treatments.