Fatigue with Fibromyalgia: 4 Fast Fixes & 4 Long-Term Strategies
When it comes to fatigue there’s no magic cure-all. In this post, we’re going to talk about long-term strategies and things you can do right now to combat fatigue.
Fatigue makes everything more difficult. It’s bad enough by itself, but it often results in fibro fog too: poor concentration, memory problems, and difficulty multitasking.
We’re going to alternate between long-term tips to fight fatigue and related quick fixes. Let’s dive into it!
Long-Term Strategy #1: Hydration
Our first long-term strategy is just making sure you drink enough water.
Dehydration can often be mistaken for tiredness. Drinking enough water is of course important for your overall health; it’s generally recommended that you drink about 3 liters of water per day.
One trick to make sure you drink enough water during the day is to fill up three 1-liter bottles of water to drink in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Quick Fix #1: Vitamin B
Our first quick fix for fatigue is B Vitamin supplements. B Vitamins are essential for energy. We get them from eating various foods (mostly meat), but they’re processed differently in our body from food sources than they are from supplement sources.
Taking B-Complex can make a big difference for your energy level – B12 in particular can be taken in the moment, when you’re feeling drained, to give you an extra pick-me-up.
You can even get fast-acting sublingual tabs or lozenges to carry around with you to take when you’re feeling a little bit fatigued.
Long-Term Strategy #2: Eating Healthy
Back to long-term: Eating Healthy. On its face it’s straightforward, but when it comes down to it, it’s easier said than done.
Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fillers will help your body and mind to feel more energized. If you have leaky gut issues caused by poor digestion, the corresponding inflammation can cause fatigue.
Excess weight can make you feel fatigued as well; it takes more energy to carry more body weight.
Quick Fix #2: Green Tea
Want a quick fix? Why not try some green tea? Green Tea is great for your overall health. It has antioxidants, lowers your cholesterol, and has anti-allergen properties.
Standard green tea has caffeine in it, which helps fend off the fatigue, but too much is not great for fibro folks. Fortunately, the caffeine content of green tea is a fraction of that found in coffee.
Green Tea makes you feel alert, relaxed, and energetic, so if you’re looking for a quick boost, give green tea a try.
Long-Term Strategy #3: Therapeutic Movement
Our next long term tip: therapeutic movement, a.k.a. exercise. It may sound crazy to talk about exercise when you’re already fatigued, but it really is one of the best things you can do to raise your baseline energy level.
Exercise increases your chances of more restorative sleep…as long as you don’t overdo it. I’m looking at you!
Therapeutic movement also releases endorphins, which gives you a natural high.
Just thinking about exercising with fibromyalgia can be overwhelming, but some movement is better than no movement, and sometimes less is more.
My go-to for keeping myself moving is taking a walk. Just taking a stroll around the neighborhood a few times a week can make a big difference.
Quick Fix #3: Wake-up Stretches
This quick tip is my favorite because you can do it anytime, anywhere; you don’t need anything. I like to think of it as a good-fashioned old wake-up stretch. This is really great for energizing you and waking you up.
It’s very simple: just take a deep breath, open up through your chest, move your shoulders back, and arch through your back. Add in the arms and you’re good to go!
You can do this anytime throughout the day. I just get up and take a little break, do a little stretch, and I feel a lot better. You could even set a timer, especially if you sit and work at a desk all day, to make sure you get up at regular intervals.
Long-Term Strategy #4: Getting Enough Sleep
Ok back to long term. Now this is the big one: getting enough sleep. When it comes to sleep, it’s not just about quantity, but quality. You want deep, restorative sleep. Unfortunately, us fibro folks are prone to micro-awakenings, which interrupt the sleep cycles and keep us from getting as much deep and restorative sleep as we need.
One thing you can do is try to create an environment that is conducive to sleeping better. So for example, try to keep your room as dark as possible, block out noises, and make sure you have a comfortable bed.
There’s so much to say when it comes to sleep, so we’ve decided to create a micro-course that’ll be available for free here at fibropulse.com in the coming months.
Quick Fix #4: Power Naps
One last quick fix: power naps. If you’re having trouble with fatigue, try taking a nap…but not for too long though, or you might find yourself feeling worse than before.
You want to nap for 30 minutes tops, with 20 minutes being ideal. Just set a timer to make sure you don’t go over that. Otherwise, if you sleep too long, you might not be able to fall asleep when night comes.
So to recap, there are many healthy lifestyle changes that can help combat fatigue in the long-run:
- Drinking enough water
- Eating healthy
- Therapeutic movement (exercise)
- Getting enough sleep
As well as some more immediate solutions that can help when you are having a hard day:
- B Vitamin supplements
- Green tea
- Wake-up stretches
- Power naps
What is the worst part of fatigue for you? How do you balance the use of short-term stimulants and long-term strategies that take more discipline? Do you have any other life hacks for dealing with fatigue in your life?
Please share your answers in the comments below.
• The Fibro Manual by Dr. Ginevra Liptan (2016) http://www.drliptan.com/book/