a woman with crohn's is doing several activities all at once

How to Manage "Activity Fatigue" With Crohn's and UC

Do you ever experience activity fatigue? Let me explain... Do you ever overdo it on the days you wake up and feel okay? It's those days that you may have slight symptoms, but nothing severe, therefore you take advantage and try to do a million tasks in a span of 12 hours.

Trying to get EVERYTHING done

You do the laundry that is behind. You run the errands you haven't been able to get to. You clean half of your house and decide to visit family you haven't seen. Heck, if anyone wants to go out to eat, you are in too. You just dump everything you can in 1 little day.

It's a completely overwhelming number of tasks that even a healthy person would find tiring. It's a purge of events done in a tiny amount of time that ends up causing intense fatigue afterwards.

Then the intense fatigue hits

The intense overextending of yourself leaves you worse than before. Typically, by the time you reach your bed that evening, you are in such a state of exhaustion you can barely move your body to turn over. You are beyond done.

The ironic part is, the following day you need to rest in order to recuperate. So is it worth it to purge as much as you can in 1 day?

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Wanting to feel in control with Crohn's and UC

I think the only positive in doing so is that the act of overextending ourselves means we still long to feel alive, in control, and productive. I think this is a good thing. The fire within us to do what we can, when we can – which isn't often.

It's the fight to push against the diagnosis and reclaim our power – the moment it releases its grip, even if it is for a couple of hours. We are off to the races doing all we can.

And then it backfires

The negative, however, is we hurt ourselves in terms of our physical health. The overstimulation is a lot for us, and it never ends well. Often times we need an entire day, if not more, to regain strength.

Sometimes we are even left to deal with a flare. And mostly, the activity fatigue can last for days after. The feeling of being under water, moving slow with every task.

Being mindful about our limited energy

So how can we find a happy medium? I think the answer is just that. Finding a medium amount of tasks to do on those symptom-free days and never forgetting that rest and moderation is essential every day, not just on the bad ones.

We have to learn to moderate our activities always. We have to learn to be our own referee, our own friend, and our own best caretaker. This can be challenging but it is totally achievable.

In addition, it is always a good idea to delegate tasks. Ask a friend or family member to help with daily tasks, and in doing so, you can spend your good days on things that nourish the body and mind rather than the things that feel draining.

Crohn's and UC "activity fatigue" tips

So next time you have an amazing day with little to no symptoms, remember to moderate the tasks you choose to do. Activity fatigue can be hurtful for us, and hard to recuperate from.

So try your best to avoid the overwhelming of tasks. Delegate what you can, and prioritize spending your good days with nourishing tasks and allowing rest to be part of the schedule.

How about you? Do you ever experience activity fatigue? If so, share below how you manage.

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