This got me thinking. On a personal level, energy (or lack of) is something that I have always been preoccupied with too. I think it’d be fair to say that most ‘loopies’ have issues with low energy as it is one of the more universal symptoms of lupus that can even be problematic when all other symptoms are under control. Doctors find it difficult to treat and ‘loopies’ find it hard to live with. I find it hard to explain to others because when you say you feel ‘tired’ it just doesn’t cut it and sounds a bit lame. In reality, the word ‘tired’ just isn’t right and that’s not only because it’s a gross understatement, but because it doesn’t accurately depict the unhealthy feeling I am trying to convey. I don’t think there is a word for it or if there is I don’t know it, but I guess if I was being more accurate, I’d describe it more like heavy waves of feeling inexplicably ‘drained’ or as being peculiarly ‘bled dry’, ‘dissipated’, ‘consumed’, ‘siphoned’, ‘sucked’, ‘spent’ or ‘depleted’, or all of the above! Perhaps ‘loopies’ could say it’s like suddenly ‘all their get up and go, has got up and gone’. But all this would be a bit too much to go into.
But I diverge. The point is: managing this personal ‘energy crisis’ is important to living well with lupus, as doing so effectively enables us to get on with life more as we would wish, and I have found that it has been helpful to use the two approaches being applied to the global crisis – energy saving and finding alternative energy sources – to think about ways to approach my own.
On these lines, here are a few examples and tips that I’ve discovered help me manage my energy, but there are many more:
As energy is limited, spend it wisely …
- View energy like money in a bank – you only have so much so decide carefully how you are going to spend it
- Rest is like credit so remember to use it to ‘pay back’ what you take out – a big overdraft leads to trouble
- If you think it is worth it, a strategic ‘blow out’ is OK every so often – it’s good for the soul!
- Shopping and banking online
- Getting domestic help when necessary (sometimes paid and sometimes from kind family and friends)
- Learning to say ‘no’ when things are getting too much (in the nicest possible way!)
- Resting well – find the right place and designate the time, and make sure others respect it. The quality of rest counts.
Alternative Energy Sources
- Original Source Mint Shower Gel: http://www.originalsource.co.uk/
- Neal’s Yard Remedy to Roll For Energy:
- OK, caffeine in moderation, but they said in the war ‘tea revives you’ and I am a great believer! I live by ‘a nice cup of tea’.
- If I am feeling whacked and have to suddenly pull myself together, I find brushing my teeth is a good instant ‘quick fix’ boost
- Eating breakfast. It is not called the most important meal of the day for nothing! No excuses: make time! If you do it every day you will wake up hungry looking forward to it. Makes a real difference to energy levels throughout day. Anything with oats is especially good. Using the environmental analogy this can be seen as a highly sustainable energy source
And finally, remember that as well as saving and boosting physical energy, boosting emotional energy helps you get by. For me, this could be nattering to a friend on the phone or making something nice for a loved one (yogurt cake and flapjacks are my specialities). Equally, avoiding people who drain you emotionally is a good idea – energy is too precious to waste on negative people.
I’m never sure if anyone reads any of this (!), but if you are I'd really appreciate any more ideas for ‘energy savers’ or ‘alternative energy sources’ so please feel free to leave any in comments!