I seem to have found the spring in my step. Some mornings I wake up feeling like an Energizer bunny, it is such a good yet surreal feeling. One of the aspects that I hate about Endo is how it hampers with energy levels.
I went from being an energetic teen to a mostly-tired human being. Sometimes the fatigue was physical, other times it was mental, but it was altogether overwhelming. I’d wake up in the morning after an 8-hour sleep feeling like I had been digging all night with interval naps on a bed of thorns. An exhaustion where even your skin is tired. It is hard to glow when you feel so tired. It is hard to be excited about anything when your whole being is just focused on mere survival, no thriving, just living.
Over the last year, I have found a few things that have helped me navigate this tumultuous journey.
- Keep a Period Diary
My period diary has shown me that my cycle affects my energy levels. This has been so critical to understanding my body has also helped me be kinder to myself and prepare in advance. Putting systems in place to help me on my low energy days makes them more manageable. I am most exhausted when I’m on my period, on day 1 a flood of sleep sweeps over my being. Once I have slept, I wake up feeling brand new.
I have more energy to arrange and do administrative work after my periods, so I schedule such tasks after my period and prepare for this low energy phase by doing them in advance.
- Check your weight
After I took Lupride, my limited level of energy diminished, I was now getting energy from my reserves. I was surviving on the morsels. Meagre tasks felt like they were so much work to do. Pregnancy caused my weight to yo-yo and the hormonal imbalance also took a toll on my energy. I didn’t look overweight, but I felt so heavy.
Now that I have lost some weight, I am feeling more energetic. Ready to get back to an active lifestyle this year.
- Check your diet
The fastest way to deplete my energy is to eat too many carbs. My body is in a somewhat complicated relationship with wheat. It tolerates it in small quantities if I have too much of it, I bloat, get cranky, fatigued, constipated and get canker sores. That is a horrible combination.
My pick me up drink is ACV, it has been so invigorating, though my three-year-old daughter is so high-nosed about my elixir. I wake up early to drink it in peace because, in her words, ‘it stinks’, but I love it. The benefits far outweigh the bad smell. It’s an energy drink sans the hidden sugars, preservatives, and palpitations.
- Avoiding mental stress and fatigue
We often underestimate the effect that mental and emotional stress has on the body. The body and the mind are connected, when you feel drained emotionally you may also feel physically fatigued.
There are days I have woken up after 10 hours of sleep, physically rested but mentally exhausted, which means still unable to perform the tasks that I need to do. I am more sensitive to my emotions because they affect how much energy I have at my disposal.
- Find something that fills you
Self-care is absolutely important. When you are fatigued it is hard to do things for yourself, but these small things are great pick-me-ups.
I am writing a list of the things that make me happy so that I can plan to do more of these things and fill my cup. You can’t pour out of an empty cup, when you fill yourself then you have something to give.
Here’s to more energized and happy days.