Do What You Love and Take a Nap!
Do you ever feel completely exhausted, beat, drained, worn-out and just plan ole out-of-gas? You’re not alone. Me too! If you have MS, you’ll also be fatigued. Daily, I find myself resting or taking that power nap to continue with my day! Works like a charm!
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), “around 80% of those diagnosed with MS will experience fatigue, at some point, during the course of the disease. However, the exact cause of MS-related fatigue remains unknown.”
We are fortunate to have many different options to help manage fatigue. Let’s explore and please share what works for you:
· Exercise ~ So important to keep moving to the best of our ability. Keep those happy endorphins a flowing. OT/PT can be very helpful in accessing our needs and making good recommendations. An exercise regimen will build stamina and lessen fatigue. It’s not always pretty when I’m exercising, but I’m doing what I can. What I found to be key is to pace myself and not over do it – 10-15 minutes is enough to keep my fatigue quiet. No nap required when complete! 🙂
· Prioritize and Plan ~ Make a prioritized list of things to be done. The morning seems to be the time when I have a lot of energy to tackle the list. Sometimes, I find myself planning time to plan…lol! We all have our gifts, right? Remember not to be discouraged if you don’t complete the entire list! The good news here – “the list” will be waiting for you and can be completed another time!
· Conserve Energy ~ Rest when needed, ask for help and listen to your body. Save your energy for the things you enjoy and love! It’s all about balance.
· Sleep ~ What I’d do to sleep for six hours straight! Good communication with your neurologist will help address other MS symptoms that may interfere with your happy slumber, such as, spasticity, urinary problems, pain, etc.
· Temperatures ~ Heat has been linked to worsen MS symptoms (I can confirm that). Luckily, there are also remedies to manage heat issues to comfortably enjoy the great outdoors and daily activities: cooling vests, cool pools/showers, ice packs placed under your hat, fans, air conditioning, remain indoors, to name a few. Some patients even struggle with cooler temps. Another example of no two patients are alike!
· Medications ~ Could be a nice addition to your management regimen. I know I benefit from mine!
I found over the years, when my gas tank is approaching “E” (empty), I’m able to sleep anywhere, at any time, to get my power nap. Understanding, this is what I need to do to be optimal, smart, while listening to my body. After all, those puppers of mine have taken their power naps too and are ready to play! Let’s go!
“Count Your Blessings”
As always, please check with your neurologist or physician to discuss what might be best for you to manage your fatigue.