Chronic illness, whether lupus, fibromyalgia, MS, or another culprit, can bring on fatigue. Not just the “normal” kind brought on by a busy night or day, or strenuous exercise. No, our fatigue is usually called “unrestorative,” that is, no matter how much we sleep, we awaken tired. Sometimes, we’re even too tired to sleep!
There are, of course, good days and bad days. When a disease is flaring, fatigue can be horrible, when it is not, the feeling of being tired might be more manageable. But, many of us life our lives, more or less, in a constant state of fatigue.
So, what do we do?
We need to talk with our doctors about our fatigue, of course, to see if there are other, underlying reasons for it (thyroid, depression, etc.) But if the fatigue is due to a flare or “just lupus,” for example, well, one of my very wise doctors once told me once that the fatigue was my body’s way of saying, “I need rest.” It was and is all part of having lupus, and this, she reminded me, “Gives you permission to nap. Permission to sleep.”
Oh, my! What a difference that made in my perception that, by sleeping or napping or resting, I was not “giving in” to sloth, I was not weak, and I was not lazy. I have an illness, the illness brings on fatigue, I need to address the fatigue!
Permission to sleep!
If you read my blog frequently, you know one of my imperatives is that we can help ourselves by being kind to ourselves. Just think about how anything or anyone in your life responds to kindness and care – the garden you tend, the pet you pamper, the loved one you do little things for. Well, it’s the same with ourselves. We can blossom best when we are kind to ourselves. Even to acknowledging and addressing how fatigued we feel.
So, what do I do with the fatigue? I understand it. I recognize it (and the level of it). And I try to allow myself the permission to rest, to allow my body to relax. Ah! What a difference that has made!
Blessings for the day,