11 Tools to help with recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one of the most complex illnesses’ out there. With no known set cause or cure it is hard to find proper help/treatment for M.E/CFS recovery.
With symptoms such as extreme fatigue, post exertion malaise, flu like symptoms, aching muscles, muscle pain, de conditioning, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, insomnia, dizziness and many more. It is hard to know exactly what to do when it comes to getting the right help and doing the right things for your body to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Know that you are not alone on this journey, but also know people do recover, and make great progress to getting quality of life back. Ultimately becoming “normal” again and that is possible for you too.
As you would have read or searched before, there is a mixed divide between whether or not it is possible to recover your health from CFS. All you need to know is, it is, whilst everyone is different there are certain things you can do to help yourself improve and get your health back.
Here are some simple yet important steps to take when recovering from CFS.
- Get a diagnosis. Whilst there are a lot of great doctors out there who treat M.E/CFS. There are those who do not believe in it at all and will most likely dismiss CFS and say it is all in your head. Don’t worry you are not alone and it is important to find an understanding GP, who understands CFS and can exclude any other serious illness that may be going on. This will give you peace of mind, whilst on one hand it is not nice to be diagnosed with M.E/CFS. It is also a relief to have some form of understanding as to what is going on with your body, and that you are not going crazy!
- Don’t panic and do not look for the quick fix. Usually when we get sick we panic and then try to do everything to get better quick. It is important not to push the process in the early stages of M.E/CFS recovery. Avoiding stress is really important and more importantly rest is just as important. Going to 5 appointments a week can be very draining and sometimes be more of a drawback than a benefit. Take it slow initially.
- Listen to your body and avoid PUSHING past your limits initially. The complex part about CFS recovery is that you try to live your “Normal” life but your body cannot handle it. In the early stages try to pace yourself during the day so you do not overdo it and cause more harm than good. Pushing and crashing will only make the situation worse than it has to be.
- Acceptance is not resignation. Accepting your current situation for what it is right now is very important to start the process of CFS recovery, and taking the important steps towards improving your health.
- Remove as much stress as possible initially, this may mean having a break from school or work, doing less house work etc. Getting help in this area can be very useful to save energy stores and help the body get back into a healing state. This is not always doable, however manage to do your best with what you have and ask for help from people around you.
- Get into some form of routine/structure and manage your daily activities. This is by far the most important aspect of CFS recovery early on. Figuring out exactly where you’re at can be hard, however it is crucial to levelling out the ups and downs, and getting on the right path towards progressing your health. Do not compare yourself to anyone else but your current self. Again this is not a forever plan, this is a short term plan for long term gain to get back to where you want to be.
- Sleep and nutrition. Ironically sleep is hard to come by with M.E/CFS, you may sleep all day but then find it hard to fall asleep at night (hence the importance of daily routine/structure). Avoid long sleeps during the day if possible. Add in rest breaks when needed, and aim for a regular bed time and wake time. This will help get into a more formal routine and structure. Nutrition can be tricky when you have little energy however it is also very important to feed your body well. A healthy nutritional intake is key. Aim to eat smaller meals more regularly. This will give you more sustained energy throughout the day and enable less energy dips. Eat to what suits you, not one diet fits all. Instead focus on nature’s food that is wholesome and nutritious, avoid sugary foods and stimulants including alcohol.
- Do not expect a pill or person to fix you, unfortunately M.E/CFS is much more multi-facet than most would think. Meaning a holistic CFS recovery plan is the most effective way to improve your health. Expecting a pill/person or a program to fix you will set you up for failure. However if something helps 5-10% than it is definitely worth doing. Any progress is good progress right. The main focus needs to be on you helping yourself.
- Seek support from people who believe in you and understand what is going on. Whether that is a friend, a therapist or a coach. It is important to see someone who relates to you and can mentor you through this hard time.
- Progress at your own pace, consistency is key. Going from nothing to everything overnight is not going work. Aim for steady increments over time. Have a forwards focus on what you want to achieve and improve on. Weekly assessments can be great to what you did well, what you could work on, and what you could tweak regarding your CFS recovery plan.
- Have hope and belief, most important focus on what you CAN do. Research things that can HELP you move forwards to where you want to go. Listen to CFS recovery stories and follow people who inspire you. The more inspiration and help the better.
CFS recovery is absolutely possible. We have seen thousands of clients improve their health and start living again. To see some of their CFS recovery stories and the program that has inspired them – Click here