Do you have chronic pain and fatigue? If you do, you are not alone! Chronic pain and fatigue are two common symptoms of many chronic illnesses. These conditions can make it difficult to live a normal life, work, or participate in activities with friends and family. This blog post will provide you with some tips on how to reduce your pain and fatigue levels so that you can enjoy living again.
Rest, Relaxation, and Sleep Recommendations:
- Avoid blue light exposure for a full hour before going to sleep. Red light filters on technology, red tinted glasses, and red light bulbs in your reading lamp can all help with this.
- Minimize caffeine intake, especially before bed.
Avoid going to sleep under the influence of alcohol. This can lower the quality of your sleep.
- Develop habits that don’t have you eating 4 hours before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom well ventilated.
- Ensure that the thermostat is set comfortably.
- Set a hard and fast “wake up” time to ensure that you become tired at the appropriate time.
- Avoid heavy exercise before bedtime.
- If you can’t fall asleep, go to another room and do a relaxing but engaging activity until you become tired.
- Remove sources of distracting noise, play white noise or rain sounds, and/or consider installing soundproof curtains.
- Avoid watching TV in bed.
- Try using nasal strips if you snore or have trouble breathing out your nose.
- If you find yourself waking up late at night, try having a small snack filled with fat and protein before bed.
- If sleep is difficult for you, consider having a sleep study done. They may prescribe you a CPAP.
- Take steps to making your waking hours more restful as well. Listen to your body’s needs.
Exercise and Movement Recommendations:
It’s hard to overstate the importance of exercise when it comes to managing fatigue and pain. Along with reducing fatigue and pain, it also prevents muscle wasting, boosts your mood, improves your body’s ability to cope with stressors.
Combine many forms of physical activity into your day. Some of these will be dedicated exercise routines, like yoga, weight training, and running. Others should be sprinkled throughout your normal day. Walking the dog, taking the stairs, and playing physical games or sports.
But, as important as exercise is, be careful not to overdo it. Being fatigued from a previous day’s exercise can throw off the healthy routines you are trying to build.
Remember that the best kinds of exercise programs are “graded” ones. This means that you can start small and achievable, but increase the difficulty as you grow. This not only keeps you safe, but allows you to build the habit of exercising without dreading a workout that is too hard for you.
Good examples of this are walking programs that involve a longer walk each day, or push-up programs that involve one more push-up each morning.
Exercise will build your body up so that the pains and challenges of daily life come more easily.
Ask anyone who has healed their chronic disease how they did it, and their answer will likely involve dietary changes. Adjusting the chemical input that goes into your body is a very direct way to improve its functioning.
Before you get into the complicated stuff, make sure you’re doing the simple things right, as they can be the most important.
Make sure you’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables. If this is something you are not used to, try changing your ideas about what counts as a snack. In a hurry? Try just grabbing a bell pepper or head of broccoli and eating it on the way. Need a quick meal? Throw a package of greens in a bowl and smother it in yummy olive oil.
Many people assume vegetables always taste better when prepared, but learning to enjoy them in their simplest forms can be rewarding, healthy, and delicious.
Even with a balanced diet, supplements may be helpful for filling in the cracks. A functional medicine healthcare provider can be invaluable in helping you find which supplements will bring you the most benefit.
Pain and fatigue cause stress, and stress causes pain and fatigue. It’s a vicious cycle, but that also means they can both get better at the same time. Improving any one area improves the others.
Much work has been done throughout history on the problem of stress, and because of this, there is so much good advice that it’s difficult to boil it all down. That’s why one of the most important things you can do when it comes to stress reduction is pick up a book.
The insight you can gain from books about stress management — whether they be fresh-off-the-press self help blockbusters, or ancient spiritual texts — will be invaluable. And besides, reading itself is a wonderful stress relieving activity.
Don’t suck the fun out. Trying to avoid stress because it’s hurting your body is a sure-fire way to get stressed out. Instead, you should try to avoid stress because stress feels awful.
You owe it to yourself to be happy and healthy. Take the time to learn how you can cut needless stress out of your life, and the suffering that comes with it.
Like stress management, relationships are important for healing chronic pain and fatigue…but they are also just important.
Spend time with people you love and people who give you energy. Spend time with people who make you feel understood and safe.
If you have a hard time finding people like that, don’t be quick to blame yourself. Seek out support groups, congregations, and professional help. Everyone needs and deserves support.
No one can do it completely on their own.
You deserve to feel healthy again! Let us help you find the treatment that will work best for your needs. Contact MaxWell Clinic today at 615-370-0091 to learn more about how we can help you live a life with less chronic fatigue and pain.