Managing your energy level is tough. I have found that I no longer have reserves and my energy level can be unpredictable. While I used to be able to operate on fumes and just go to bed earlier to ‘juice back up’, it is not that simple anymore. I am not tired because I have not slept enough; my body is physically tired and has nothing more left to give.
That said, we all have things we have to do, so how do we manage our medical realities with the realities of life? Let us not forget the amount of mental juggling and planning that must happen, which consumes energy too. Below are some tips that might help.
Schedule time for exercise or multitasking
Can you walk on your treadmill or ride a stationary bike while you watch TV? I have found that moderate exercise helps improve energy, and as a bonus can help my muscles work harder with less oxygen. This means I can do more with the heart function I have, which is important for the quality of my life.1
Plan for rest
Schedule rest breaks or power naps. If you are doing an activity that cases fatigue, try resting for 30 minutes then deciding if you should continue or rest.1
Also schedule time for you
This is a hard chronic illness. Engaging in fun activities can also reduce stress, which can boost energy.1
Plan for meals
Cook in batches when you can. Plan a shopping list, which makes for fewer trips because you forgot something, and quicker grocery runs while you are there.1
Choose where you shop
For me, big-box retailers are tough. The amount of walking is insane and there is little help. I go to smaller grocery stores where I know where things are and it's in and out. If I need helping pushing groceries to the car and loading up they can assist. Avoid grocery shopping at busy times. There is also now more curbside pickup too.1
Move slowly and easily
Rest often if you need to. Try not to rush. The stress of being frazzled or rushing takes more of your energy away. Slow and steady wins the race!1
Use your energy wisely
Do the things that require more energy when you are feeling your best. If you get fatigued in the morning, try the light stuff then and save the cooking and housework to later. This is a great example of why heart failure is such a mental effort too!1
Set appropriate goals
Set reasonable goals and make them realistic. Nobody gets a prize for seeing how many things they can fit in one day. You do not have to prove anything to anyone. Get done what you must and do a few things you want to do. That is all!1
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