Summer in the Heartland means longer days, more sunshine, and plenty of time to get out and about with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver! For those experiencing fatigue, however, keeping up with an active social life and tasks around the house can be tough. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone – fatigue affects nearly half of individuals over 65!
The good news is there are ways to fight back. Read on to learn how to identify signs of fatigue, explore possible causes, and uncover tips for getting your energy back!
Tired vs. Fatigued: What’s The Difference?
We’ve all felt drained after a long day or exhausted from strenuous activity, so just how is this different from fatigue? Both conditions exhibit similar symptoms, so the telltale difference often lies in how easy (or difficult) it is to bounce back.
If you’re simply tired from an active week or restless night’s sleep, you’ll notice your energy diminishes throughout the day. Whereas individuals experiencing fatigue often feel lethargic from the moment they wake up.
Duration is a clue as well. When tired, a good night’s sleep will leave you feeling refreshed. Fatigue, on the other hand, can last for weeks despite a restful sleep schedule.
What Causes Fatigue?
There are often several factors at play with fatigue, so identifying the underlying cause might be tricky. The following are some common contributors.
Medical Conditions And Medications
Fatigue often indicates a bigger issue. For example, it regularly accompanies chronic diseases like diabetes, COPD, and heart, liver, kidney, or thyroid disease. Prescription medications – especially antidepressants, antihistamines, and those used to treat nausea and pain – are known to contribute as well.
Are you worried about your future, your health, a family member, or financial problems? Mindset matters when battling fatigue and concerns of this nature can be exhausting.
If you find yourself worrying about these issues, contact Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Our caregivers are here to ease these burdens or offer advice, helping you or a senior loved one get back to an active and fulfilling life!
It seems counterintuitive, but not having anything to do for long stretches of time can bring on fatigue as well. To keep yourself moving and engaged, schedule activities throughout the day. For example, meet up with friends for lunch, take up a new hobby, or volunteer with your Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver!
Fight Back Against Fatigue
Try working the following techniques into your routine to help identify the cause of your fatigue and kickstart habits to ward it off.
Keep a fatigue journal to track how it’s affecting your day-to-day life and identify recurring patterns. Get started with the following tips:
- Fill out your journal before bed and two or three other times throughout the day
- At the top of each entry, describe how you slept the previous night, your diet, and mood
- With each entry, break your day into hours and note which activities you completed in the previous few blocks
- Make three columns for each activity:
- Your level of fatigue
- The importance of the activity
- The satisfaction you get from completing it
- As you record your actions throughout the day, assign them a number from 1 to 10 in each of these three categories – 1 being “none” (as in no fatigue, not important, no satisfaction) and 10 being “extreme”
It seems like exercise is the answer to everything, and fatigue is no different! The key is to keep it consistent. Participate in low intensity workouts (or whatever feels good to your body) several times throughout the week. Exercises involving balance and focused breathing are known to combat fatigue as well.
Shortening the duration of activities might also help. For example, cut the length of your daily walk in half, garden for only 15 or 20 minutes at a time, or grab a quick cup of coffee with a friend instead of lunch.
Of course, getting a solid night’s sleep is important as well. It can be tougher than you think when suffering from fatigue, but these Seniors Helping Seniors® tips will help you get in those “Z’s!
- Establish a pre-sleep routine that calms you – drink a glass of decaf tea, read a book, or listen to music
- Prepare your bedroom to be inviting for sleep with dim lighting, comfortable bedding, and sleep-inducing scents
- Avoid long naps (keep them to 30 minutes or less) throughout the day and keep caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake to a minimum
While these suggestions should bring some relief, always listen to your body. If your fatigue symptoms persist over several weeks, check in with your doctor to get to the bottom of the issue.
If you need some extra support while you’re feeling sluggish, call on Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services! Our caregivers are committed to helping you or a senior loved one handle the issues that accompany growing older – fatigue included – and are here to lend a kind hand and empathetic ear.