Photo of jumper cables with text overlay: Low Battery:How Do I Keep Energy Levels Steady With Fibromyalgia?

Low Battery: How Do I Keep Energy Levels Steady With Fibromyalgia?

We were finally going to take our day trip to celebrate our anniversary. We had delayed by a couple of weeks, mainly due to my pain levels, but I was finally feeling well enough to take our little trip. We were going somewhere we haven’t been before and were really looking forward to it.

Low Battery: How Do I Keep Energy Levels Steady With Fibromyalgia? https://reclaiminghope.blog
Our Destination – The Mountains

We got into the car, my husband pressed the start button…..and nothing but some chimes and a low battery message on the display….

My hubby managed to use the jumper cables and his truck to start the car, but we didn’t dare go anywhere without getting the battery checked. It turned out our battery had gone bad, but it was under warranty so they replaced it for us and we were back on the road in no time.

As we dealt with this whole battery situation it reminded me of how often my ‘battery’ gets depleted. The overwhelming fatigue that accompanies Fibromyalgia is difficult, partly because, like that car battery that went bad out of nowhere, it’s unpredictable.

You can be going along feeling okay and the next thing you know, you feel as if you’ve hit a wall and can’t possibly take another step. On top of that, often your legs feel as if they’re just going to give way underneath you. It’s an unsettling feeling, to say the least.

The good new is that although we can’t avoid this completely – Fibromyalgia is a quirky little bugger and it’s just going to do what it’s going to do sometimes – we can do some things to help avoid these ‘hitting the wall’ experiences or lessen the impacts after we deal with them.

There are three things that I’ve found particularly helpful for this:

Pacing. Pacing out our activities and not trying to do too much at once can be one of our biggest ‘battery-conserving’ tools. As I talked about in Just Do One Thing, doing a little at a time can help us get things done without the fibromyalgia flaring up and stopping us completely.

Eating well. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help us keep our energy levels more steady and may prevent those times of utter energy depletion. Stretching out our eating opportunities over several times during the day rather than eating heavy meals a couple of times a day is usually helpful as well. This keeps our blood sugar levels in more of a steady state and reduces those sharp spikes and drops in energy.

Pre-planning recovery days if there’s a lot going on. As I mentioned in Pre-Planned Recovery Days, taking these pre-planned days of rest can help us find a balance between caring for ourselves  and being able to do the things that are important to us. We all have those times that we just have to ‘push through’ the fatigue and pain, and knowing that we can take the next day to rest can give us that little push we need to keep going. If I have those times where I just have to push through and get things done, I always plan a day after the event when I can just rest and recover. This helps replenish energy and reduce pain.

These three little things have made a huge difference for me.  There were a couple of years where I was afraid to go anywhere by myself because I was afraid I’d run out of energy to the point that I wouldn’t be able to make it back home. That’s not really a worry for me anymore, and I can’t tell you how freeing that is!

Of course, as with anything else, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily  work for another. We each have to experiment a little to find those things most helpful for us; after all we’re really the experts on our own bodies.

What helps you keep your energy levels steady and prevent your ‘battery’ from dying on you? Please share!

Blessings,

~Terri

 

 

 

34 comments

  1. Your suggestion of a pre-planned recovery day is the best advice I’ve gotten for dealing with this. Plus, it gives me permission to actually do that! I often feel that I should just push through, as I have my whole life, but that’s become unreasonable. I’ll have to keep reminding myself!

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful. Going ahead and planning a recovery day after big events or situations where I had to push through has really been a game-changer for me. Like you, I’ve always just pushed through things my whole life, but that’s really not sustainable with Fibromyalgia or other chronic illnesses. If we continue to do that, our bodies eventually rebel, and you know the result of that…. Thanks so much for reading, and for your kind comment. Blessings to you!

  2. Oh goodness yes I can totally relate. I need to be more mindful of having ‘banking’ days & recovery days. Although I’m not sure how much energy banking actually happens. I hope that it will eventually. As I don’t get out anywhere near as often as I would like. But at least it’s warmer, so sitting in the garden relaxing is a definite bonus.

    1. Thanks for your comment Penny. Like you, I’m not sure how much energy our bodies actually ‘bank’ but at least giving ourselves some time to recover should allow our cells to rebuild where we’ve depleted them.😊 I’m glad you’re able to sit in the garden and relax. If I remember correctly, your garden is beautiful! Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs!

      1. You’re so welcome, Terri. Definitely, time to recover is absolutely essential. And thank you. My garden is a bit wild, but I’m so thankful for a little oasis outdoors & the birds seem to like too. So that’s a big plus. 💖

  3. Holiday time is a love hate time for me Terri. I eagerly await and countdown the days to holidays from work but I’ve come to hate the fatigue that takes hold when I actually stop working. This year I am more determined than ever to practice self-care, remain positive, prioritise and be very aware of pacing myself.

    1. Thanks for sharing Marie! It’s great that you have a plan for how to deal with your holiday. How long do you guys break this time of year? I think our teachers here get about two months off. Enjoy your time sweet friend!

      1. Wow, that’s a nice long break. I hope you enjoy every minute of it!

  4. I agree with your steps, especially planning for the flare after a big excursion. If then, you are lucky and don’t flare, its like a gift, a huge surprise!!! I grit my teeth and get through many things, but I take my three days to recover and I quit apologizing for it! Helps the recovery time, too! Great post Terri! Happy Anniversary!😊💜

    1. Thanks so much Kim! I like what you said about taking your three days and not apologizing for it. I wonder why we always feel we need to apologize for taking care of ourselves…. That’s something I’ve had to come to terms with myself. Thanks for the anniversary wishes too. I can’t believe it’s been 21 years…. Where does the time go???? Hugs!

  5. My secret weapon is to say “No”.

    I’ve suffered from Fibromyalgia for half my life at least. Until I learned that it was OK to say “no” I continued to suffer and pay the consequences. In saying that, Fibromyalgia symptoms can hit unexpectedly and that’s when I need to put things on hold. Rest before and after a big event is a big priority.

    I read somewhere that there are 102 Fibro symptoms. I can’t find the list at this moment but I recall I have suffered from at least 80 of those symptoms over the years. All from minor to severe. The other 20 I safely could say I have never had.

    My usual top symptoms are pain, fatigue, Anaphylaxis allergies, lack of energy, sleep problems, anxiety, brain fog, muscle twitches, tingling in the hands and fee, severe itching, bloating and IBS related.

    I use a lot of natural methods for the various symptoms including remedial massage, reflexology and essential oils. From time to time, like now in our coldest winter for years, I resort to prescribed medication but my body does tolerate manufactured drugs very well.

    1. Thank you for sharing Chrissy! Learning to say “no” is a HUGE lesson to learn, isn’t it? We tend to feel we need to do everything, and learning that it’s okay not to do those things we don’t feel up to doing is so helpful. I’d love to know which essential oils you use. I use them a lot for cleaning my home, but I have such a sensitivity to smells (even natural ones) that I’ve found it difficult to use some of the ones I’ve seen recommended for pain. I’m just wondering which ones you use – maybe some of them don’t have as strong a smell as some of the ones I’ve tried…. Blessings to you!

      1. I use doTERRA oils but not the full range. Pure oils (except Lavender) is hard to find in Australia. It was trial and error really. For instance I would use only drop of lavender for in a diffuser instead of their recommended amount. I increased over time once I new it was a help not a hindrance. I rarely take them orally because of my sensitive innards. Adding a combination to a massage oil, such as Fractionated Coconut Oil or Almond Oil, is great for trigger point pain and pain in general. I also use doTERRA oil blends in small roller bottles so I can keep a few in my purse. Being allergic to citrus means there’s many essential oils I can’t use so I keep up to date with products.
        My favourite oils are: Lavender, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Chamomile and Lemongrass and Peppermint.

      2. Thanks so much for the info Chrissy. I’ll have to try some of your favorites. Blessings to you!

  6. The mountains look impressive, did you have a good time in the end? I’m glad the battery was replaced smoothly and without any hassle, that’s one less thing you had to worry about. I laughed at your description that “Fibromyalgia is a quirky little bugger”, I totally agree, the unpredictable nature can make things incredibly difficult and those flat battery occasions are hard to manage, but as you say, there are ways to mitigate the impact. Pacing is something I’ve come to find incredibly helpful through my Pain Management sessions, even though I’m not always very good at it! Eating well is something I need to work on as I’ve been finding eating quite challenging since my last surgery, so I know I need to eat more again to build my strength back up. Pre-planned recovery days, those are things I always consider now, so I try to have a day before and after something more demanding. Brilliant tips, Terri!
    xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! We actually didn’t get to go to the mountains that day because even though the dealership took care of it easily, my sweet hubby had to wait until the mechanics got back from lunch and it was too late by the time he got out of there…. It’s almost an hour away so we just stayed local and tried a new restaurant we hadn’t been to before. We’re still planning to go, but we have storm chances all this week, so we’re probably going to have to delay again. We’ll make it eventually though, and hopefully I’ll have some great photos to share. 😊 Thanks for sharing how you manage your energy. I sure hope the eating thing improves for you. I’m sure it must be difficult to eat well when you can’t tolerate certain things. Sending hugs your way!

  7. While I have learnt to manage the fibromyalgia quite well during the last few years, it is still always good to learn from others and so I am grateful for your post.

  8. I am so glad you were able to enjoy your trip Terri. Your tips are always very wise. I enjoyed a spa break last week with my sister, and came home so very tired. However, I rested up for several days and feel better again.

    1. Thank you so much Brigid! I’m so glad you had the opportunity to have a spa break with your sister. Those memories we make with our loved ones are so precious. I’m also glad you had the opportunity to rest up afterward. That helps a lot, doesn’t it? Hugs!

  9. Thanks for the great tips. You affirmed what we try to do and occasionally “forget.” We like to cruise and plan down time to rest, read, and relax. We can’t go into every port every day.

    1. Thank you for sharing George! Cruising is such a great way to vacation, isn’t it? You don’t have to drive anywhere (except to the port, of course), you don’t have to cook, and you can do as much or as little as you like. Do you guys do the longer cruises? I’ve only been on a shorter one so far, but we loved it. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      1. For us, the longer the better. We’ve done some 10 or 11 night cruises and 2 transatlantic. 7 nights are good. Another stress reducing feature is that you know what it’s going to cost right upfront.

      2. Wow, nice! We’re having to stick close to home for now because of our sick pup, but we would love to take another cruise. You make a great point about knowing the cost right up front also. You don’t have to worry about those little ‘incidentals’ adding up….

  10. As always Terri, I love reading your posts because I truly learn something every time. Always was curious as to what fibromyalgia does to a person and how to combat it. Now I know.

    1. Thanks so much Mark! Fibromyalgia is such a complicated syndrome with so many weird symptoms, even those of us who have it don’t know what to do about it sometimes.😊 I’m sorry I didn’t get my Wellness Wednesday post done this week; I know those are usually the ones you read. I’m having some trouble with my eyes again, and my computer time has been very limited. I’m trying to get back on track starting today. Hope you have a great weekend!

  11. I always try & schedule a recovery day/days after any activity otherwise I just hit that flat battery sensation. But as you mentioned above sometimes it just hits anyhooo no matter what we do.

    Pacing, a balanced diet, keeping mentally positive, spiritually motivated & managing pain levels helps greatly though to have more better days as we go 😀

    Hubby & I are still to have our anniversary time out yet, I too had hit that wall on ours.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    1. Thanks for sharing Jennifer! Finding those things that help us function better is so important, isn’t it? Even though we still have those issues sometimes, at least those little things make it easier for us to thrive in spite of our illness. Blessings to you sweet friend!

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