Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Arthritis and Energy Conservation

One of the most common symptoms of arthritis is fatigue. That feeling of feeling tired all the time can get so overwhelming that you don't feel like doing anything all day long. Of course, that usually isn't possible, and you end up muddling through the day feeling exhausted and miserable. You can avoid that feeling, however, by following some simple energy conservation techniques.

First, make sure to get plenty of sleep at night. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, even if you don't have the same work or appointment schedule. Keeping your body on the same activity clock can help reduce fatigue.

Next, pace yourself through the tasks you have to do in a day. Don't try to get everything done because you "have to". This usually results in not being able to move the next day. Instead, make a list of the jobs you have to do, and plan short rest breaks between those jobs. Here is an example:

8:00 Wash dishes
8:20 Rest
8:25 Vacuum carpets
8:45 Rest
9:00 Clean bathroom
9:30 Rest

And so on. By planning rest breaks between jobs, your body has a chance to recover from the work it has done and prepares itself for more. You are actually able to get more work done. The time period it takes to get the work done is a little longer, but the fact that you are not able to work later on due to fatigue makes up for that extra time.

Another helpful technique is to sit to work when possible. Get a tall kitchen stool and sit at the sink to wash dishes rather than standing. Sit at the kitchen table to chop vegetables or peel potatoes. Sit or kneel on a pad to weed the garden. Sit while you are sharpening the lawn mower blades. There are numerous examples of jobs that can be done sitting just by changing them slightly. This saves your energy for the jobs that must be done while standing or walking.

Finally, if a task becomes too large, don't be afraid to ask for help. We all need it sometimes. If you don't have family or friends available to help you, approach your local church groups, schools, or youth organizations. Many teenagers are looking for community service hours to fulfill requirements for classes and are available to do work for people who need help with projects.

Following simple energy conservation techniques is an easy way to manage the fatigue that comes with your arthritis. You will get more done and feel better too. Try it and see for yourself!

No comments:

Post a Comment