So often people who suffer from chronic fatigue feel the need to keep pushing, to do the most they can, which often is actually more than they should, and end up neglecting themselves. Self-care starts to feel like it’s selfish, but it actually might be more important for people with chronic issues than anyone else. Here are a few things you can do for self-care with chronic fatigue.
It might feel a little bit selfish, but the reality is, the more rested you are the more present you are in the moment the rest of the time, and in some cases, the more you can do. If you know there’s a certain time of day when you normally crash, schedule yourself some rest then. Don’t try to push through it, you’ll only regret it later.
Set Aside 5 Minutes for a Gratitude Journal
For 5 minutes every day make a list of everything you are grateful for that day. In the beginning, you might find it a bit of a challenge but this positive reinforcement will help you change your mentality. Even on days when you’re struggling, there is something to be grateful for; your spouse, the sun, your favorite heated blanket, or even that quarter you found on the ground while you were out all count.
Learn to Say No
I know it can be difficult, but sometimes the best thing you can learn to do is say no. Not only to others, but also to yourself. Pushing yourself too hard will only lead to regret. So, know your limits, and know when to say no.
The importance of fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be understated. Not only from a health perspective but also from the way it makes your heart feel. There’s just something so special about biting into a juicy slice of watermelon and biting a strawberry in half. But, you also can’t ignore the health concerns. Your diet plays a huge role in how you feel from day to day. Having a clean, healthy diet will help give you the best start to the day you can get.
Have a “Fancy” Meal Once a Week
Give yourself permission to cook quick and easy meals for most of the week. This means only cooking foods that are done in 30 minutes or are a short prep time followed by sitting in an oven or slow cooker. It also means recipes with few ingredients. Or even just throwing your hands up and declaring that it is sandwiches for dinner. That is ok. But, do try to have a slightly fancier dinner once a week. This goes back to the idea of the Sunday roast. The meal is a bit more complex but when you’re eating something a little fancier it just feels good. Don’t forget candles and wine to go along with your fancy meal.
Do Something Creative, Just for Fun
So often these days it feels like you have to constantly be doing something that is making money and if your hobby or interest doesn’t make you money then you need to find one that does. This is an exhausting way of thinking, and very quickly leads to burnout and hating the thing you loved. Take some time to do something creative, just because you love it. This might mean coloring in an adult coloring book or maybe you want to make a quilt. Whatever it is you love…go for it and don’t feel guilty about it!
Take a Break from Social Media
Social media is exhausting mentally and spiritually. You’ll either see people doing all sorts of amazing things that you just don’t have the time or energy to do or you’ll see people fighting the latest cause. Taking a break from social media will lighten the load on your heart and make you feel so much better mentally. How long of a break should you take? Start with one weekend a month and see how you feel after that.