Happy World Health Day! There's a ton of info being published today about diabetes, and like all other chronic diseases, it's important to pay attention to your body's fatigue levels and learn the principles of energy conservation and work simplification so that you can continue doing what you need and want to do.
Even if you don't have a diagnosis, learning how to conserve your energy can prevent burnout. Check out the following tips and see if you can try one these today.
Write down your typical day's fatigue levels in the morning, at lunch time, at dinner time, and when you go to bed, on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the most exhausted you have ever felt. As you try the energy conservation tricks from below today, write down your numbers at the same times (morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime). At the end of the day, compare the two numbers and see if there is any difference.
Energy Conservation Tips
- Consolidate your activities. Think about your daily activities - Are there any that require unnecessary effort? If you stand all day, are there any activities that you can do sitting down? For example, after a long day at work, standing in the kitchen to cook a meal sounds and feels awful. Can you take your chopping board and knife and do some of the prep work sitting at the kitchen table?
- Ask for help and delegate your tasks. Do you have teenagers at home who are perfectly capable of doing their own laundry or helping you clean the kitchen or make dinner? At work, are there any assignments that you can delegate out to other employees?
- Take a break before you get tired. Work only until you feel discomfort, and take a break. Change your body position, take a quick walk to the bathroom, shake out your shoulder, take a sip of water, close your eyes.
- Reorganize your workspace. Take a look at your desk/workspace/kitchen/environment - Are the items that you use the most within an arm's reach? Do they require you to reach? Do some quick reorganization so that the things you use the most are easily accessible.
- Check your posture with a body scan. Bad posture drains energy, so put a little alarm on your computer or phone that reminds you to check out each single body part, especially your eyebrows, jaw, shoulders, and neck.
- Prepare well for an activity before you start. Gather all the supplies you need beforehand.
- Schedule in enough time for each activity you do. Rushing is exhausting. If you have extra time, you can use that time to take a quick break.
- Practice deep breathing during the "little moments" in each day, e.g. standing in line for coffee, sitting in traffic, waiting for your computer to load something, waiting for a meeting to start, etc. Your brain and body need oxygen to function properly, and when we are stressed, we tend to take shallow breaths, p utting our bodies into further stress.
Pick just one or two to try today until you get used to it. Don't forget to record your fatigue levels throughout the day and compare it with your typical day's. And as with most things in life, you get out of this exercise what you put in. So whatever trick you try from above, write it down on a sticky note and stick it on your desk or on your computer at work, or put it in your phone with an alarm.
Now for a corny little ending statement, "May you keep the lightbulb inside you burning brightly!"