With the way of the world today, dealing with chronic pain and chronic fatigue has only gotten harder. Social distancing and avoidance of your normal social situations can make handling a chronic illness so much more difficult. Elongated hours inside can make us prone to spending more time in bed or on the couch, which can contribute to a number of things, which then FURTHER cause other problems leading to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Fun, right? But there are always ways to cope with the many pillars of chronic illness and get stronger - and it will always be worth it.
First, we need to understand what exactly Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is. CFS is defined as a disease characterized by profound fatigue, sleep abnormalities, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion. It has also been found that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is more common in women, and is often a comorbidity for those with other chronic illnesses (such as EDS/HSD and other connective tissue disorders). The primary cause of CFS is unknown, but researchers are led to believe that it may be due to environmental or genetic factors.
There is currently no cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but there are some therapeutic tools that can be used to help manage it. So, how can we cope with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Give yourself some credit! Did you wake up? Did you do what you could within your limitations? Then you are doing all that you can and that is all anyone can ask you to do, including yourself.
Find things to occupy your mind! Whether it is reading, or art, or even meditation if you can do nothing else that day. Staying home all day every day can wreak havoc on our brains. Find ways to keep your brain busy while you're at home, it will do wonders for your fatigue.
Ensure that you are taking vitamin supplements or medications if suggested by your physician and sticking with any prescribed exercise program. Remember that you cannot hope to be better if you don’t follow the suggested treatment plan. What if the treatment isn’t working?
If you're not able to see your provider due to COVID restrictions or other reasons, be sure to look into tele-health options. Actify is offering Health Coaching Sessions to all current and new clients. These consults can help with both #2 and #3 - giving you something to occupy your mind and ensuring you don't fall behind on your exercise program. We know chronic fatigue, through personal experiences of our staff, and we treat clients with chronic conditions regularly.
Find ways to hold on to hope! Whether it is your belief in yourself, and/or the virtual presence of good friends or family. Maybe it is your faith in a higher power, and maybe it would just be faith that modern medicine will catch up to help you. Hope is essential to staying afloat on this journey.
If you believe you have symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, be sure to consult with your primary care physician or other medical professionals in regards to your medical concerns. This text cannot and should not replace advice from the patient's healthcare professionals. Any person who experiences unusual symptoms or feels that something may be wrong should seek individual professional help for evaluation and/or treatment, or call emergency services.