All forms of arthritis cause symptoms including joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, and fatigue. Sometimes the fatigue associated with arthritis can be severe, limiting your ability to get things done during your day. In spite of the fatigue from arthritis, you can get up out of that easy chair and get things done by following a few simple tips to conserve your energy.
Plan Your Day
Before you start your daily activities, make a list of the things you want to get done. Once you have your list, number the items according to importance. For example, if you must get the laundry done because you have no clean clothes, place laundry first on your list. If you would like to wash the windows, but it is not absolutely necessary, place that activity number 4 or 5 on your list. Once all your activities are listed and numbered, complete the activities in numbered order. This way you will get to work on your highest priority activities first. If you run out of energy or your joints become too painful during the day, these activities will already be completed. Any activities that you are not able to complete can be moved to the next day’s list.
Alternate Heavy and Light Activities
If you have a lot to accomplish in one day, try to alternate activities that are physically demanding with tasks that are more sedentary. On a particular day, you might have to mow the lawn, mop the kitchen floor, send emails, cook dinner, and mend a pair of pants. Instead of trying to get all the strenuous tasks done first, do one heavy task, then one lighter task, then another heavy task, and so on. You could mow the lawn, sit down to send your emails, then mop the kitchen floor, sit down again to fix the pants, and then cook dinner. Completing the tasks in this order gives you some natural rest breaks as you sit down to complete the sedentary tasks. In this way, you will not fatigue as quickly and you will get more tasks done.
Take Frequent Rest Breaks
Even if you plan your day and alternate strenuous tasks with sedentary tasks, you might still have difficulty completing everything you want to get done. Suppose a task, like mowing the lawn, is so strenuous for you that you become exhausted by the time you are done. You can combat this by taking short rest breaks during the activity. Break the task up into parts and rest for 5 or 10 minutes between each part. When mowing the lawn, mow the front yard, take a rest break, mow the back yard, take a rest break, do the trimming, and take another rest break. By the time you are done, you should have some energy left over for other things.
Following these simple principles may not prevent fatigue or joint pain, but they should help reduce and control it. By following these guidelines, you will be able to accomplish more during your day and you will feel more productive by the time you need to crash in that easy chair.