(NC) Fatigue is a common symptom that affects people with chronic conditions such as arthritis. It can be hard to manage since it can affect most areas of your life. But there are strategies that can help.
“We’ve found the ‘four Ps’ is one of the best techniques to help people cope with fatigue,” says Trish Barbato, president and CEO of the Arthritis Society.
Keep a list of all your activities for one week and arrange it in order of importance. Then determine what you can skip, do differently or delegate. By only taking on your top priorities, you can conserve your energy.
If you usually feel better in the mornings, schedule your more demanding activities then. Just don’t overdo it. Something big coming up? Book rest time before and after.
Break up your daily activities so you’re not overdoing it. There are several ways to do that. You can take regular breaks and alternate activities so you don’t put too much strain on one part of your body. You can also give a nod to the “two-hour pain rule” which suggests you overdid it if you feel pain for more than two hours after an activity.
Correct posture distributes weight over your larger muscle groups, helping you conserve your energy. To check your posture, align your ears over your shoulders, chin tucked in, shoulders down and back, tummy in, seat tucked under, and knees unlocked. When driving, sit close to the wheel with your knees bent and use a supportive pillow at your lower back.
Learn more tips for managing fatigue at arthritis.ca.