Managing fatigue

Fatigue is more than tiredness, it’s the word used to describe a feeling of constant exhaustion. The lack of energy and feeling like you can fall asleep at any second is draining. The inability to keep focussed and concentrate is draining. You might think a good sleep will help and shift that feeling of being drained out, but when you’re fatigued no amount of sleep helps. I’ve slept for as long as 13 hours and still felt super tired as soon as I woke up.

There’s a lot of factors that can cause the feeling of being fatigued, from mental health issues to long term/chronic illnesses.

I’m still searching for aids that can help me when I’m fatigued. I usually just call it quits and be “lazy” until I feel like I’ve got energy again. However, a few fellow ostomates and IBD’ers have been kind enough to give me some tips and share what helps them when they’re battling fatigue.

“When I’m fatigued, I find it helps to ramp up the self- care and listen closely to my body. It is usually telling me something needs to change. These can be little changes such as drinking an extra glass of water or two in each day, getting an extra hour of sleep if I can or taking an hour to read and disconnect from social media on a night. These things may seem small but, added together they can make a BIG difference. Go gentle on yourself and try to exercise more patience with yourself. If your fatigue is persistent and impacting your life more severely, always consult a medical professional.”
Amy – Blogger at HashtagStomaBags

“Fatigue… my greatest enemy. I have good days and bad days. I have learned to recognise my limitations (took ages as I’m quite stubborn and very determined) and pace myself. I’m always thinking ahead… any busy days looming. I get lots of rest and I listen to my body. I wouldn’t be without my partner, she is an absolute rock, a one in a million. She knows when I need to stop, she knows when I’m about to fall because fatigue has sapped the energy from my legs, she knows when my insomnia is bad and had an hour’s sleep. I’m very lucky. When I rest, I spend most of my time playing at being a cowboy on my PlayStation and watching the grandchildren play… listening to children laugh is the perfect pick me up. The key to all is rest, rest and rest.”
Colin – Fellow IBD’er

“I rest as much as I can and my partner helps loads when I am struggling with fatigue. Sometimes I get so frustrated because I can’t do very much so to pass time and relax I play Animal Crossing and watch Netflix. Sometimes if it’s a nice day I will sit outside for a while then go back to my bed.”
Alannah-Jayne – Blogger at GlitteryGuts

It definitely helps when you have a supportive partner or family and it’s important to have a network. Having them there to offer support or help you when you need to recuperate helps you realise that you’re not alone. Or talking to friends you’ve made from support groups and comparing your self-care lists.

The main thing that you need to do when you’re fatigued (if you haven’t guessed already) is REST. If you know or feel like you aren’t getting any better, please seek medical advice.

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