Chronic Fatique and Widows

Experts have not yet determined all the causes as there are likely to be many. Chronic fatigue is a poorly understood flu like condition that can completely drain your energy and may last for years. Widows may be prone to chronic fatique because their grief is already draining away all their physical and mental energy.

Long term chronic fatigue makes you feel exhausted and lethargic with loss of motivation and sleep problems. If not addressed chronic fatigue may erode your ability to cope with everyday life.

Treatment for chronic fatigue is aimed at relieving your symptoms:

• Increase your activities by planning easy tasks every day.
• Keep a diary to monitor your progress.
• Challenge negative thinking that if you can’t do it all it’s not worth doing.
• Distract worries by focusing on something different.
• Plan a healthy, balanced diet – see nutritionists.
• Drink herbal teas for your symptoms.
• Do some physical exercise for thirty minutes every day.
• Watch less TV and get outside for more sunshine.
• Expect some setbacks but don’t let them stop you.
• Socialize with positive people who will encourage you.
• Learn some relaxation techniques.
• Use aromatic oils and massages to relax you.
• Drink plenty of water – less coffee, cola drinks and alcohol.
• Get six or seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
• Don’t overextend yourself, learn to say no.
• Seek medical advice about low doses of antidepressants.

When sleep is hard to get we may let our minds wander into thoughts of suicide because we are just so tired of life. Thoughts like this can be tempting when sleep exhaustion has a hold on us. Tell yourself “Don’t do it!” & seek help and support.

For more on sleep and stress please check out my Guide # 2 “Stress is Stealing My Sleep! How Do I Get it Back?” on my website “thesisterhoodofwidows”.

4 Responses

  1. feddupp
    | Reply

    14 years…my once beautiful house in ruins. I have become a reculuse with only cats, dogs and parrots as friends. I never go out albeit for groceries, vet or to the doctor. My house is filty. No need to clean…no one comes. I don’t care how I look…wear the same clothes for days. Never dated another man even lunched sinced losing my solemate. No family…no friends. Full of anger toward ever(one including my animals….And myself.)
    I pray evernight to simply not wake up in the morning.
    I miss being hugged but dating would be cheating on my beloved husband…I am so very miserable…I am half dead inside.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Elvira – it’s time to take charge of your life, give yourself a hug and take control. You have to love yourself as much as your beloved husband loved you. He thought you were beautiful and loved you – you have to love yourself to honor his memory. No more hiding from the world, do at least one thing a day to make your home beautiful again. One thing today to honor who you are. Others can’t do it for you, don’t be a victim. Instead stand tall and claim your life – because you are beautiful and worth it. Mary Francis

  2. Nancy
    | Reply

    Since my husband passed 9 years ago, I have been a wine drinker. (My husband and I did not drink in our later years, because I had to take care of him and wanted to be sharp minded. We never were light social drinkers in our early healthy years.) A couple of glasses a day at first. Last year my drinking escalated and I started drinking in the morning and during the day. Most of the few friends that I had left were also heavy drinkers. I had another widow friend who I confided in and told her that I wanted to slow down on the drink because it was making me a mess and she actually dropped me as a friend. I have decided to stop the moderate drinking and quit once and for all. Day 4 alcohol free for me and I feel a lot better. Did not go through withdrawals. Sleep wonderful and get outside and get a lot of things done around the house. I am doing research on You Tube and there are a lot of good suggestions there. Wish me luck. I feel so much better and I think that after a few months will regain a contented life.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Nancy. I’m so very proud of you for taking responsibility for your drinking and doing something about it. I’m not going to wish you luck because luck has nothing to do with staying sober. It all has to do with you having pride in your life and having the courage to make the necessary changes. Good for you. You are an example of a widow taking control of her life. Keep up the good work. Mary Francis

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