Post Lockdown Fatigue
Updated: Jul 31, 2021
A couple of weeks ago (I meant to write this up sooner but haven’t been able to manage it!), I felt awful. I hadn’t consciously realised I had been doing a bit better, but clearly I had been, as I suddenly felt like I’d been hit by a truck, fallen down the stairs and had lead weights tied all over me all at the same time!
I was chatting to my mum on the phone about it and she said “well the Covid restrictions are lifting aren’t they, and things are starting up again, it’s no wonder you feel like that”. And indeed, she was right! Like many others, I hadn’t realised just how much rest the lockdown had afforded me. I tend to think that I spend a lot of my life resting anyway because of the fibro, but clearly in lockdown, when life almost ground to a halt, my body and mind had more relief than usual.
When the restrictions began to lift, the schools went back into session, groups began running again, we began to go out again as a family and I began meeting with friends again for coffee. As I’m not able to work, I tend to think that my time is fairly free and restful, but in actual fact, I fill my time far more than I realise. I think this post Covid fatigue seems to have hit a lot of people, and mental exhaustion is playing a huge part too, as our minds have been much more free and clear whilst the busyness of life was put on hold. I think many people (even without CFS and fibro) have discovered just how mentally draining life is now that the pace is picking up again. With Fibro and CFS we have got to be even more careful to shield against this physical and mental fatigue.
I am seeing a therapist at the moment who is helping me with anxiety. Last week we were talking about pacing. She mentioned the spoon theory, which I will admit, despite having previously read all about it, it had never quite clicked with me. As she talked, for some reason a lightbulb went on in my brain and I suddenly got it – it made sense to me on a tangible level. Over this past week I have been making much more of a conscious effort to use my ‘spoons’ wisely and pace myself more. It seems to be working (although my teenagers don’t quite get it; my 13 year old daughter told me the other day that I had been shopping so had earned more spoons! - I tried to explain that’s not how it works!). If you’ve not come across to spoon theory of pacing before, check it out at: https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
I also created a poster to give me a rough idea of how many spoons various tasks take me, to help me work out how much I have used in a day. Along with it I created a weekly spoon-log, where I can cross out how many spoons I have used each day of the week and write notes. I will attach them here. Feel free to have a look and use them to inspire your own.
I hope you find this helpful. Let me know how you get on below, and feel free to leave tips of your own.
Until next time,