a fatigued man surrounded by clouds

Fighting Fatigue

Living with heart failure can lead to quite a bit of fatigue. The heart is trying to work harder since it can’t pump blood as effectively. As the heart works in overtime to try and compensate to keep the blood circulating throughout your body it can really feel like it takes the wind out of our sails. Here are a few tips to help combat the fatigue that comes along with heart failure.

Rest

Take that nap! Taking time to rest is vital for heart health. Whether it is a cat nap or a multi-hour nap, both are very beneficial. Even if it is just resting for a while without actually sleeping it can still make a world of difference in how you feel. A comfortable bed definitely helps too! If your mattress isn’t comfortable then your sleep won’t be comfortable either.

Exercise

This might seem counterproductive when thinking about fighting fatigue, but you’d be really pleasantly surprised how much energy it gives you! I’m not suggesting going out and running a marathon unless you are up for it and your doctor gives their blessing! Start slow with some low impact exercises and work your way up as you are able. Even going for a leisurely walk or doing some chair yoga can be effective. As with any exercise plan, talk to your doctor before you start and see if they have any tips or tricks they can recommend.

Healthy eating habits

Making healthy choices when it comes to eating can absolutely make a difference in how you feel from day to day and overall. Having a heart-healthy diet isn’t as difficult or complicated as it may sound. Eat a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. Try to stay away from saturated fats, excess salt, and too much alcohol. A few years ago my husband and I met with a dietician who really explained not only how to eat but when to eat and it has made a huge difference in our eating habits since then!

Get some sleep

Healthy sleep habits can make or break your overall health. Our bodies need adequate sleep to recharge and keep us going day-to-day. When our bodies are tired, our heart is tired. Having a set bedtime (even if it is a loosely set time) gets our body into a rhythm and makes for less tiredness during the day.

Do something you love

Taking time for our mental health is extremely important for all people, and especially those who deal with chronic illnesses. From taking a long relaxing bath, crafting, or watching your favorite movie, do something that you enjoy. For me, I love to make greeting cards and also playing guitar. Both of those activities make me happy and take my mind off of whatever is troubling me. Sometimes folding laundry and dishes can wait. It is okay to take time for ourselves!

These are only a few tips to help fight fatigue. I would love to hear things that you have found to be useful/helpful in your life! Please share them in the comments below.

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