Fatigue is a challenge that a person with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) faces every day, like many other people living with such musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain. I often feel I live in a kind of state what has been described as provisional existence of unknown limit by Viktor Frankl in “Man’s search for meaning”. I am so tired that I cannot afford to dream or make future plans. I cannot remember the weeks, but each and every day is the longest day I have lived. I think sometimes I am too exhausted to live till bedtime.
These are a few ways you can conserve energy to make it through the day and the week.
1. Rest a few times, in the day. Rest allows your joints and muscles to rest and repair. Try to not overdo things to the point of pain, and do not commit to things you cannot leave midway in case you have pain.
-Try to plan ahead. You can use a planner. I spread out pain intensive activities like grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry over a week, so that a day consists of only one major challenge and a few smaller chores, with a period of rest in between. Do your grocery shopping online, if possible.
– House cleaning activities usually involve repetitive movements and holding certain postures for a long time. Break up the activities into chunks and do over a few days, in a cyclical way.
– I find it easier to keep alternate days cooking free days, when I do other chores.
– Use stools, footrests, benches, bar stools in appropriate places at home to avoid assuming painful postures for prolonged periods.
2.Organize and arrange things so that things needed for each activity is around the workplace, much like a diaper changing station for a baby. Store items you use often in multiple places, easy to reach places and in small containers.
3. Activities to avoid or change.
– Use clothes that are easy to care for.
– Use light-weight and smaller pots and pans
– Make the bed on one side and then the other.
– Soak dishes before washing them and let them drip dry.
– Hang items within easy reach.
4. Reduce the amount of weight you take through your joints
– Consider wheeled trolleys rather than carrying things.
– Slide pans where possible and use a wire basket or slotted spoon to drain vegetables.
– When you buy new equipment, make sure it is lightweight.
5. Use equipment that reduces an effort. Automatic washing machines, frost-free freezers and food processors are all energy-saving devices and sharp knives enable less pressure and effort to be exerted.
This is not an exhaustive list; rather it is a guide to get you thinking how you can do things differently in your life. My biggest tip is, try to accept the things that cannot be changed. In spite of applying all the tricks and tips, you will fail to “do it all”. Something cannot be done to your satisfaction, or frequently enough. The kindest and wisest thing is to accept it that way.
Please do share your insights and tips about the changes you have made in your life to protect your joints and conserve energy.
By: Karin (read more about ME here)