Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can both cause people to suffer from extreme bouts of fatigue that can be absolutely debilitating. Figuring out how to fight fatigue means developing a long-term strategy for managing and improving your illness, in addition to having a handful of quick fixes ready to go when you need an energy boost right this minute.
We’ve assembled our favorite ways to address symptoms immediately when they pop up, from stocking up your favorite green tea to taking a power nap. Short-term solutions do not, however, address the underlying causes of your condition. It’s important to also have a long-term plan for better health and we’ve got some suggestions for you there as well!
How to Fight Fatigue Symptoms Now
Not everyone will experience all of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. They can vary from person to person and the severity of the symptoms can change day by day.
Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpits
- Unexplained muscle or joint pain
- Dizziness that worsens when changing positions
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Extreme exhaustion after any kind of physical or mental exercise
So, how do you treat the symptoms short-term and feel better in your day-to-day life?
Try Vitamin B
B Vitamins play a huge role in our energy levels and while we can get them from eating different kinds of foods (typically from meats), the body processes that in a different way than it processes supplements. If you’re looking for a quick energy boost, taking a B12 supplement can give you the energy you need to get through the day.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is one of our favorite quick fixes when it comes to fighting fatigue. It’s packed with antioxidants, lowers your cholesterol, and even has anti-allergen properties. Green tea is just generally good for your health.
Most green tea also contains caffeine. While a little bit of caffeine can help boost your energy, too much can cause flare-ups of other fibromyalgia symptoms. Green tea has just a fraction of the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee, making it a much better choice for your hot morning beverage.
Stretching is a great quick fix because you don’t need to have anything prepared and you can do it whenever and wherever you want. Our body is used to waking up with a stretch, so you’re just taking advantage of that connection to energize yourself throughout the day.
All you have to do is take a deep breath, open through your chest, move your shoulders backward and arch through your back. It’s like a body roll! Add your arms into the mix to deepen the stretch.
Anytime you need a quick pick-me-up and don’t have anything ready, just take a little break from whatever you’re doing, get up, and do a little stretch. If you’re working at a desk all day, try setting a timer to remind yourself to get up and stretch at regular intervals throughout the day.
Don’t Be Afraid to Nap
Sometimes the fatigue is just too much and you can’t keep your eyes open. That’s okay! Power naps are called power naps for a reason. As long as you make sure to keep it short, a power nap can be a great way to fight fatigue
But seriously, try to keep your nap around 20 minutes, 30 minutes at the absolute most. With great power-naps comes great responsibility. Set a timer to make sure you wake up. If you sleep too long you may wake up feeling even worse than before and might find yourself unable to sleep when bedtime comes.
Long-Term Strategies to Help Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Now, let’s dive into some ways to help alleviate your fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms on a more long-term basis.
Focus on Healthy Eating
Having enough food that is rich in vitamins and minerals (while being low in fillers and harmful chemicals) will make you feel more energetic both physically and mentally. Poor digestion, which is often associated with a poor diet, will also cause inflammation which can lead to fatigue.
If you have excess weight, that will add to any feelings of fatigue you already have. Your body has to expend more energy to do daily tasks if you’re carrying around a lot of extra weight. Cleaning up your diet and minimizing things like fast food and soda will help you slim down and reduce the strain on your body as well.
Get the Sleep You Need
Diet is always talked about when it comes to health, but getting enough restful sleep is just as important. Although you want to make sure you get enough hours of sleep, the quality of that sleep matters more than the quantity. Deep, restorative sleep is the goal. People who are living with fibromyalgia often also struggle with micro-awakenings at night, which interrupt your sleep cycle and can keep you from getting that deep and restorative sleep your body is begging for.
One way to help yourself catch more restful Z’s is to create an environment that is designed for optimal sleeping. Too much light? Blackout curtains are a lifesaver. Street noises bothering you? Try earplugs or a white noise machine. Try both! Struggling to get comfy at night? It might be time to upgrade your mattress or invest in a soft weighted blanket. Turn your room into a bedtime paradise.
Drink Enough Water
Sometimes the line between tiredness and dehydration can be pretty thin and it’s easy to mistake one for the other. Drinking enough water is important to your overall health as well. Most recommendations say you should try to drink around 3 liters of water every day.
If you’re having a hard time reaching that number, try filling up three 1-liter bottles of water at the start of the day and set a goal of drinking one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. Just having it readily accessible can make a huge difference.
When you’re trying to figure out how to fight fatigue, it’s important to keep in mind that there are short term and long term strategies. Long term strategies will improve your overall wellbeing and help you manage (and hopefully recover from) your condition over time. But while you’re working towards long-term health, don’t forget to have some quick fixes in your back pocket for when you need them.