Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dealing with Lupus Fatigue (Part 2)

“But, I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more  just to be that man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door!!!”
UH OH!!!


Avoid rushing
I highly recommend establishing a preplanned schedule for work and resting periods throughout your day and week.  Please remember to allow a 30 to 60 minute rest period after each meal and after any particularly strenuous activity.  So, the first step is planning your work by making weekly and daily schedules.  Be sure to spread the heavy and light tasks throughout the day and even the week if necessary.  More importantly, learn to set priorities for each of the tasks and eliminate unnecessary tasks.  To eliminate, you may need to learn to say “NO” to tasks that you truly cannot take on.  Be honest with yourself when making that assessment.

Avoid unnecessary motions 
Many of us don’t realize that we are using unnecessary motions and movements in our daily lives.  When you have only a limited amount of energy to use, every motion/movement you make counts and takes away from that energy pool.  In my work day, I problem solve nonstop for my faculty.  I will have to get up and traverse the floor of my building upwards of 15 to 20 times in one day.  I wear a pedometer and always get in my 10,000 steps before I leave for the day.  Some days I get in 12,000 or more steps.

v  Sit instead of stand for any lengthy task (5 minutes plus).
v  Avoid holding or lifting by sliding or using a wheeled cart.
v  Avoid overreaching and bending by arranging work areas within normal reach.
v  Arrange your specific work center with supplies and equipment at point of first use to minimize extra trips.
v  Live simply, avoid unnecessary cluttering of items.
v  Use modern labor saving equipment.
v  Use good posture to prevent fatigue.

Proper working conditions 
This is a tough one for many of us.  Making sure your work space is ergonomically set up and that you are using proper work heights according to job and individual needs and limitations.  Things you also need to have is good ventilation and good lighting.  You should try to work in a relaxed manner with things like soft music, calming fragrances from a candle or diffuser.  Always…Always…ALWAYS wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Keep your body temperature comfortable 
I prefer 70ºF temps.  This keeps me from being too cold and unable to move my stiff joints, or from being too hot and unable to move because my energy and body are melting into the floor.  So, during summer months perform physically stressful activities during the cooler part of the day or evening and during winter do them indoors.  Be sure to do your exercise program in a comfortable environment as in padded equipment, floors. etc.

Seems silly to even suggest this but do not overdo it and use up all of your energy.  You must listen to your body, and rest before you feel tired or you run the risk of triggering a flare or compromising yourself enough to get sick.  Remember to avoid stress in social activities.  If you get stressed doing them, then maybe you need to find something different because you need to do something you find enjoyable and relaxing.  These activities should help you feel better every day and be like a reward for yourself.

Stay tuned!!! Tomorrow I will finish with types of appropriate exercise…

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