Chronic Illness Tip: Plan Accordingly

Fatigue is perhaps one of the most debilitating symptoms for chronic illness sufferers. Your levels of fatigue can range from mild to severe. Some days, you will be able to resume your daily activities and other days, you will have a difficult time getting out of bed. Also, you will have days where you are energetic in the morning but extremely exhausted by the time afternoon rolls around. You can continue to participate in daily activities if you plan how to work these things when you are feeling better and this will also help you to avoid further fatigue and flare-ups.

• Lack of sleep is a major contributor to feeling fatigued. It is important to set a schedule where you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. If sleep is still a problem for you, talk to you doctor about sleep aid to help you to get a good night’s sleep.

• Making use of lists, schedules and calendar can help you to remember things. Memory problems and other cognitive difficulties can be problematic and making use of time/date aids can prove helpful to you. You can also purchase planners and calendars that fit into your purse or use the calendar/planner on your cell phone. It is also important not to fit too many activities into one day because this can tire you out even more. Prepare a “to-do” list to keep you reminded of what you need to do each day but be realistic and mindful about how you can do and handle. Cross of items that are done so that you can see how much you have accomplished.

• Rest periods are also an important part of planning because they help you to feel less fatigued. When you are rested, you are better prepared to take on and enjoy activities and tasks.

• Organization is key to planning. When things are within reach, you are not doing unnecessary reaching and sorting through cluttered areas. It might take you some time to get organized but it will be worth it in the end.

• Taking care of your body and health also helps you to stay energized and to keep fatigue at bay. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration because dehydration causes fatigue. Eat well balanced meals because lack of proper nutrition will rob you of needed energy. Exercise to increase your endurance and energy levels.

• Alternate between sedentary activities and strenuous ones. Also don’t do two strenuous activities in one day. For example, if vacuum in the morning, pay bills and respond to phone calls in the afternoon. Do not scrub floors and do laundry in the same day.

Planning can help you to limit the amount of activities you take on daily. It will also help you to keep symptoms at bay because planning makes participating in activities more enjoyable and less stressful. The goal is that you act with consistency during both rest and activity by doing similar amounts of activity each day and taking similar amounts of time to rest. Planning accordingly will allow you to live within your planning, to achieve more, to have a more predictable life and to gain control over your illness.


Taking Charge of Your Health

Ten years of looking answers and a diagnosis taught me two very important things: (1) how to advocate for myself and (2) how important it is to educate myself. Any time I come across newly diagnosed patients, the advice that I give them is educate themselves and advocate for themselves. This is something that no one can do for you. Furthermore, chronic illness and pain is a serious thing and if you do not believe that it is serious, then you are headed to a long road of complications. That is why it is so important to care of your body, educate yourself about your condition or conditions, and to work successfully with your medical providers. It is also important to be willing to make lifestyle changes and to take your medications and/or supplements. All of this starts changing your attitude and behavior and if you are not willing to take that first step, you are not going to be successful in your short and long-term care.

What things have done to take charge of your health?

What types of failures and successes have you had?

Do You Know the Benefits of Yoga for Arthritis Patients?

There was a time when doctors told people with arthritis not to exercise. They figured if something hurts, you are better off moving it. However, that belief has change in recent years because new research has shown that inactivity is the worst thing for a person with arthritis. If you are sedentary, you will get more degeneration and if you already have arthritis, joint pain and dysfunction is likely. To keep your joints strong and healthy, you have to use them. When joints are not used, they become unstable and there is a higher chance of injury and more pain. Regular and general movements help the joints to maintain their mobility and reduce pain. This also offers a benefit to the rest of your body’s systems. Regular exercise will help increase blood circulation (that also reduces swelling and pain) and promotes better functioning of the immune system.

Yoga is an excellent way to help you deal with the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis pain. Yoga can provide pain relief for arthritic joints by creating more mobility in the joints and increasing flexibility while stretching and strengthening the muscles around the joints. Yoga techniques also help to prevent and minimize the erosion of cartilage that causing joint pain and swelling.