22 'Hacks' That Can Make Life Easier If You Have Chronic Fatigue


When you live with chronic fatigue, doing everyday chores or activities can leave you feeling like you just ran a marathon. Chronic fatigue (which is different than myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, a disease with its own particular set of symptoms) is so much more than just “feeling tired” – it’s an exhaustion that settles deep in your bones and does not go away with sleep or rest. This can make it difficult to navigate every aspect of daily life, from working a long shift to cooking dinner to even taking a shower.

Therefore, many of those with chronic fatigue have developed certain tricks or found accommodations that help them accomplish their day-to-day tasks. We asked our Mighty community to share some of “hacks” for making life with chronic fatigue easier. Perhaps the following can be of help to you as well.

Here’s what the community shared with us:

1. “Baby wipes and dry shampoo. Nothing exhausts me like having a shower – even with the shower seat! So I try to push it as long as I can with my two best friends – baby wipes and dry shampoo!”

2. “I leave tiny unopened bottles of water/Gatorade around my apartment in areas I travel a lot so I don’t have to always go to the kitchen or living room. As well as breakfast bars/almonds near my bed and couch for the times I can’t move around much.”

3. “I use a chair in the bathroom to do my hair in the morning and another one in the kitchen for food prep. It helps spare my feet a bit as well as energy. I also buy a lot of pre-cut veggies and pre-cooked chicken. It saves time in the kitchen on my feet.”

4. “Let go of the guilt. All of it. What doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done.”

5. “Planning, planning and more planning. I organize my schedule to leave plenty of time to rest in between. I usually just do one big thing a day, if possible. One day I will only go to the grocery store, which completely drains me. Another day, I will only go to one doctor’s appointment and so on. If I have a particularly busy day, I try to leave several days of rest before and afterwards.”

6. “I leave phone chargers in every room so I don’t have to get up or bend over to unplug and move them.”

7. “Doing small amounts of stretching and walking to keep my blood flowing without overdoing it.”

8. “I keep cleaning supplies on the top and bottom floor of the house so if I have the energy, I can do a little bit of cleaning every day without having to take supplies up and down the stairs (I suggest having cleaning supplies in every bathroom and a sweeper on every floor if you have more than one).”

9. “Shopping for clothes online. Either companies that have free return shipping or allow returns in store. It takes so much out of me to walk around a clothing store and try everything on. This way I avoid all that, plus the selection is better online anyway!”

10. “I carry all my essentials in a bag I take with me so I don’t have to worry that I’ll forget something.”

 

11. “Downsizing has helped me tremendously. Less to take care of. I live in a small apartment now and only have to worry about keeping the inside clean. No yard work, which is a huge blessing.”

12. “I would say using food shopping services like grocery pick-up pre-ordering [where] they bring it to the car or deliver to your home. Using the pharmacy drive-thru so I don’t have to change out of my comfortable pajamas or less formal clothing.”

13. “Shower the night before or at least three hours before needing to go somewhere because it’s so exhausting you need time to rest after. Better yet, use a shower seat.”

14. “When I have insomnia from chronic fatigue, classical music or sounds of nature help me to try to fall asleep.”

15. “Definitely my wheelchair with power assist. I guess you can say my chair gives me more bang for the buck as far as how long my spoons last. I use less energy in my chair so I’m capable of more. I turn on my power assist and don’t have to push myself much at all with my hands. It didn’t give me my life back but it does allow me to stretch the energy I do have further.”

16. “If I have to wake up for something earlier than my normal wake up, I try and make sure I have time for a nap later in the day.”

17. “I always make sure I have easy food prepared, whether that’s leftovers or microwave meals, because I know if it’s not easy to feed myself when I’m super fatigued, I just won’t eat which poses obvious issues.”

18. “Organize my daily activities to have one in the morning or one in the afternoon. Not all day. In that way I can rest and prepare before or after getting out of the house and be there as rested and awake as possible.”

19. “[Have a] routine for keeping [your] house clean. If you stay on top of things then on really bad days if you skip housework it won’t be so hard to catch up. And pacing it as well: I clean 15 minutes, rest 20-30. Soup or a some sort of nourishing meal up in the freezer to just warm up on really bad days. And not feeling guilty on days when all I do is nap.”

20. “Using a fanny pack/bum bag. They’re ironically stylish and it means I don’t have to use my weak, tired arms to carry a purse when I’m out. Cross-body bags are also great.”

21. “I lie down on the bed and hang my head and wet hair off the side for it to dry, so I don’t have to hold the blow dryer up.”

22. “I have to remind myself to stop feeling guilty when I need a rest day. There are times when I just need to sleep and nothing more. I have to cancel plans, switch work shifts or even call out of work. I’m not doing it to be lazy. I’m doing it because my overall health is important to me.”


22 'Hacks' That Can Make Life Easier If You Have Chronic Fatigue

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