One of the key symptoms of RA is the chronic fatigue we feel. It can go on day after day without letting up. Fatigue is subjective and therefore impossible to quantify but undoubtedly the disease process is the cause. This can be unremitting pain, the action of RA drugs, functional ability or a combination of causes.
So, how do we deal with it and try to continue a ‘normal’ life? Everyone will have their own thoughts on this and what works for one may not work for another. You have to work out what feels right for you and you do have to pace yourself!
I divide my jobs up into three categories using a traffic light system, some may overlap and some may be more difficult/easy for some people.
Red Group – these are the difficult, prolonged or heavy jobs ie cleaning, shopping, gardening, decorating. Only one of these per day should be undertaken and no more than every other day. This gives you chance to recuperate in between. No mixing the decorating with the Big Shop!
Amber Group – these are the less difficult but still time consuming ie washing and ironing.
Green Group – these are light tasks such as tidying, small errands, paperwork etc. These jobs can be mixed with Amber Group to balance things out.
Basically be sensible and don’t do too much in one go. When we are feeling well there is the tendency to overdo things, “I’ll do it while I can”. It invariably leads to problems! Learning to pace yourself can be hard but as far as RA is concerned you will reap the benefits. Most of all devote some time to YOU, be it reading a book or listening to music ... put the kettle on and put up your feet!