Friday, July 07, 2006

Tired? Women and Fatigue Part 3

The next section of the book Women and Fatigue is about isolating the reasons for the symptoms of fatigue. There are 15 short questionnaires asking about diet, exercise, job stress, physical aspects of job, quality of sleep, conflicts and stress in home life, mood, and various health-related habits like smoking, drinking, drug use.

After doing these questionnaires, I see that in almost all of the areas, I fall into the mild to moderate fatigue category. With physical and other job aspects, I have it easy compared to lots of people. I work at home and so most of my occupational stresses fall under the emotional conflict category — juggling too much, worrying about future, etc. I was surprised that I was really high, or low, on the “mood” questionnaire. Almost all the questions were a yes, which puts me rather squarely in a depressive category. So which comes first, the fatigue or the low mood? I think when I’m more rested, I will feel better mood-wise — at least, I hope so!
Anyway, two areas that are under my control in theory at least are diet and exercise. And those are the first two that the book covers in detail. The nutrition section is pretty conventional — avoid fats and simple sugars, eat complex carbs, don’t diet or binge. I know all that, yet…! I run for a bottled frappucino or a handful of M&Ms when that deadly afternoon crash comes. That’s definitely an area where I could improve.

And exercise….. it’s really, really, really hard to justify setting aside the time for exercise. I don’t enjoy it and it is something I have to set aside time for, which is difficult. I’d much rather take the book’s advice about bubble baths, or afternoon naps, or setting aside time for a hobby. Maybe I can get my teenage daughter in on this. She’d really like to see me taking better care of myself. And think of the example I’m setting whether for good or evil!!

The book makes the case that exercise really increases energy level and that fitness is at least a partial antidote to fatigue. Well, OK….

Me — pic taken by my daughter — and yes, that is my normal posture. I was shocked to notice it. I am starting to look a bit like my dad, but at least, no balding yet!

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