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jumpingjuniper

Strategies For Daily Life When You're Feeling Lousy

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Hi,

I posted another thread about how I've been sick lately, after ten years of being completely gluten-free, if you want some background.

Anyway, I'm curious to hear what kinds of strategies people use for getting on with daily life when you're feeling lousy. I find I cannot wrap my mind around much right now, my focus is terrible, and I'm tired. But this has been going on for weeks now and I can't just accomplish nothing!

So, what are your strategies for getting things done when you've got brain fog and it feels like you have cotton balls in your brain?

I've been thinking about -

- cutting back on internet time (this usually adds to my brain fog feeling, I don't know why)

- trying to do work in 15-30 minute increments with breaks in between

Thanks in advance for any ideas you share!

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Can't help, but I'm looking forward to reading others' suggestions!

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How about a short walk outside?

If not that, what about art? For some reason, doodling helps me focus. I've been doing these things called "Zen Tangles" - which is really just "focused doodling". Don't know how or why, but it helps me a little...

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I'd like to hear those responses too. I have small children and it takes so much out of me to take care of them.

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The short increments of time to be 'active' is something I do, too. For a while, I made a list of chores, sorted by 'quick, medium, and long,' in terms of how much time it would take to do them. When i'm feeling awful, I would just take care of the chores in the 'short' category, and leave the long ones for later, or just do them a teeny bit at a time. It worked for a while there, but it wasn't perfect.

cooking-wise, I have been trying to cook double batches ALWAYS, so that I freeze half of ever dinner I make. That way, whenever I feel awful, I always have something I can just heat up and eat, and it's not an issue.

At least, that's what I've just started doing - I don't have much of a store built up, yet!

Paper plates and plastic silverware were another thing I did for a while, to cut down on dishes when I'm feeling blah.

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I find I have to make lists..things that need to be done, errands (including names of the stores and what to get there), foods I have on hand and meal plans, etc.

I can't seem to rely on my brain to remember anything.

I tend to sort out what to do by what is the most urgent or important on my list that day.

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I second the taking a walk thing. The only times when I ever think to myself, "huh, I'm not really that tired right now" is when I'm out walking somewhere. When you're done with your short walk, use the momentum and energy from it to get some things done. If you sit down to rest after the walk, you won't get up again. I know I won't. But if you absolutely must rest after the walk, you may have overexerted yourself.

Rationing energy, like you mentioned, is good. Resign yourself to getting less done than usual/normal people. Prioritise like crazy. sleep a lot and rest when you need to.

I've always suffered from really low energy levels. and while my energy is a lot better now that I am gluten-free and exercising regularly, I'm having a relapse too (like I mentioned to you).

computer makes your brain fog worse because of all the artificial light bombarding your eyes. computer hurts my head too.

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I'm a list maker.

List the things you need to do. Then prioritize them. Cut the list from the bottom. Then you have left what absolutely must be done. Do the rest IF you feel like it.

Be sure the top of the list includes some pleasant stuff..(sort pictures of grandchildren is a good one for me).

I sometmes eat a bowl of ice cream as a reward for finishing a task.

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List the things you need to do. Then prioritize them. Cut the list from the bottom. Then you have left what absolutely must be done. Do the rest IF you feel like it.

That is such a good idea. I don't know why I don't think of doing that, but I really usually don't. That really jives with the 'spoon theory' I read once. Just looked it up, for anyone interested who hasn't yet seen it: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory-written-by-christine-miserandino/

It's just the way this gal thought of to describe what it's like to live day to day with lupus, but I remember thinking that it was a great way to describe days for anyone who has a chronic illness, on the day when you are just knocked flat.

Basically, this gal grabbed a handful of spoons, handed them to her friend, and told her that for everything she had to do that day, it was going to cost her a spoon. So...what would you do, if you KNOW you only have a certain number of spoons to spend today? If you know by the end of the day, you can cook food, or do dishes, but not both? If you can spend time with your kids, or time with your friends, but not both?

It's hard for me to prioritize like that, I think, because I just tend to try to do it all, and then stall out and feel like I've failed if I can't get everything done that I think I should be able to. I've gotten better at just accepting I'm at my limit when it hits, but planning for that limit, prioritizing intentionally, is something I never quite managed. And it seems much smarter, and...I believe I'll be doing that, soon!

So glad you made that comment, mbrookes.

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I find if I jump start my day with even just a small brisk walk outside I will have a more productive day. Not always easy as it is more tempting for me to sit at the computer so I have to make myself at times.

Also, I a terribly sluggish without D from the sun, and live in an area with nlots of clouds and rain, feel like I could hybernate for the winter. I have found going to a tanning salon a few times a week and only spending 10 minutes in a bed helps. I have recently found a place that has UV lights where you can sit and read so am thinking of trying that.

My B12 and D levels are in the toilet so I also know I have to be more careful with my diet. I love sugar but it does not do much good for my energy level overall. So I try to fill my diet with more foods with B12 and D. Not the funnest choices but itdoes make a difference in how I feel.

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These are good ideas, thanks. I forgot about that spoon analogy, it is apt.

I agree that a walk, but not too much of one, helps, that is good to remember.

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