If you are feeling fatigued, you must determine why
- Are you eating a proper diet?
- Are you exercising?
- Are you getting enough quality sleep?
- Are you depressed?
If you answered no to any of the above questions you may be able to determine the source of your fatigue. Many things other than your arthritis may cause fatigue. Make sure to address all the possible causes.
If your fatigue is caused by your arthritis there are many things you can do:
- Conserve energy
- Rest....take a short nap or relax
- Tell people - people will not know unless you tell them. Let them know fatigue is part of your arthritis and you may need to rest for a short time now and then.
Arthritis can make doing even daily tasks difficult at times. Remembering to plan your activities may help you accomplish your daily activities with less pain and frustration.
Alternate between periods of activity and periods of rest. Take a break, rest while you are working on that project. On the same hand, don't sit too long - get up and move around.
Alternate heavy tasks with light tasks. If you need to clean the bathroom, wash the dishes and light dusting. Put the dusting in between the bathroom and the dishes.
Alternate repetitive-movement tasks with minimal-movement tasks.
Change position frequently. Don't stay in the same position all day. Joints get stiff if you don't move.
Plan rest breaks during daily activities. Please don't forget to take a rest during your activities.
Relaxation is another tool for people to use to manage their arthritis. It is not a cure but rather a technique to manage pain. Practicing relaxation causes the muscles to become less tense and thus easier and less painful for the joints to move. Remember these health benefits occur over time and with practice.
Listed below you will find two types of relaxation that people with arthritis have found to be beneficial.
Jacobson's Progressive Relaxation
In this type of relaxation, one scans the body for tension and releases that tension systematically throughout the exercise. It is important to recognize tense muscles from relaxed ones. One way to accomplish this is to tense a muscle and then relax it.
This type of relaxation is like a guided daydream where you transport yourself to another time and place (relaxing of course!) You can have a friend or relative read a script or you can obtain a CD, which can be purchased at the Arthritis Foundation as well as many other locations.