What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E) is a controversial disease that has no know cause and as of yet no known treatment. CFS is mainly classified by fatigue that has lasted for a minimum of six months but it does come with a variety of other symptoms too, which is include:
- Sore muscles - as it you've done a heavy workout
- Stiffness and swelling in your joints
- Disturbed sleep - this can include excessive sleeping and insomnia
- Severe headaches - often including migraines
- Sore throat and runny nose - flu like symptoms
- Occasional fever
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes
- Brain fog - trouble focusing or forgetting things
This disease is very hard to diagnose as it takes time to build up a complete picture of your symptoms as they will come and go at varying levels of intensity.
The Battery System
Imagine that a normal person gets their energy from a very big, very efficient battery and that they can thrive off of that for 16 hours a day easily and at night when they sleep for 8 hours they charge up their battery. Now imagine someone trying to live off of four AA batteries, not quite the same now is it? That's how it is for M.E/CFS patients, they have these little batteries that they can use for energy but that's it and in order to keep those little batteries they need to rest (not sleep) to top up those reserves.
What I Do to Keep Up My Energy
There are a number of things that I've done to increase my energy levels and decrease fatigue. Now, of course I can't promise the same will happen for you, this is just my experience.
The newest thing that I am playing with is scheduling 30 minutes of planned rest four times a day. This doesn't mean taking a nap, it means either lying down, resting my head on the table, listening to some easy music, or anything that will dial down my brain. This small rest breaks allow me to recharge those batteries of mine so that I can continue to do my job and the things that I enjoy (like writing here).
Other techniques that I use are:
- Cutting out junk food: this keeps my blood sugar stable
- Cutting out caffeine: this was really tough and I felt rubbish to start with but after a while I noticed an improvement in my energy levels
- Get quality sleep at night: by not napping in the day time you will make yourself tired enough to properly sleep at night thereby reducing the insomnia
- Take a Green Tea capsule every morning: green tea has loads of benefits
- Exercise when I can: just getting up to move for a few minutes every hour helps to boost circulation and improve alertness
- Keep hydrated: this is one of the biggest points as without water your body cannot function properly which is why it is vital to drink it.