How to Keep Your Energy Up During the Holidays
As the holiday season approaches, I wanted to talk to you a bit about how you can keep your energy up. I know all-too-well the deep feeling of fatigue that can grip us when dealing with a physical illness or chronic disease, or when we’re dealing with depression. It all just sucks the life out of us. Then we have no energy left to participate in events and get-togethers that could actually make us feel connected to loved ones, and this connection is so perfect for our health!
Over 30 years ago, I learned how important it is to keep my energy up during my treatment to ENJOY the life I was fighting so hard to save. Here are some of the ways I found helped me reserve my precious energy and even gain a bit more:
How to Keep Your Energy Up
I remember when I was battling cancer. I was only in my twenties, and in my own mind, I was still a young and vibrantly healthy woman. And because I was mentally stubborn, I found myself always trying to do too much to keep up the appearance to others, and yes to myself, that I was HEALTHY.
But the reality was, I wasn’t. I was battling an aggressive and severe disease, and my body didn’t have the energy it had had only months before.
There is no point in denying the reality of your situation. It isn’t going to help. It is imperative that you are realistic about what you are and aren’t capable of right now.
How to Keep Your Energy Up
Choose your battles wisely. If you know that there is a family dinner later in the day, don’t try and run errands all day long and put up Christmas lights around your entire property!! Maybe you could have easily done that last year, but you have a finite amount of energy right now. So SAVE your energy for the tasks/events that offer the greatest return on your investment.
Feed Your Body Healthy Foods
Yes, it’s the holidays, and that’s generally the time of year when most people allow themselves to indulge in pies, cakes, cookies, alcohol, and various other junk foods. And that’s okay for THEM. But it’s not okay for YOU, not right now.
It would help if you used your head. Sugar feeds cancer, so do you think it’s the best idea to eat an entire tray of Christmas cookies? I don’t care if your Aunt made them, and they are the best Christmas cookies in the world. Have one or two and then stop. Please think of things differently right now. You can either feed your cravings, which will feed your cancer, or you can get well. The choice is pretty simple.
When you make sure that you eat healthily and eat berries and veggies, adequate quality protein, and healthy fats, you will have more energy.
If you’re not able to eat much food, then it’s even more critical that you take supplements to ensure you are getting the important vitamins and minerals your body needs to have energy. Again, it would help if you were working with your nutritionist and/or care team.
Some of the supplements I made sure I took during my recovery were vitamin D3, zinc, polyphenols, vitamin C, and omega-3s. I still take these every day to optimize my immune system and overall health.
Move Your Body
If your oncologist has given you the green light to exercise, then go for it. But don’t overdo it. Light exercise, like walking, yoga, and swimming, will help you keep your energy up. And, as a bonus, your body releases those “feel good” endorphins, giving you a much-needed mood lift!
Get Plenty of Rest
I know it can be hard to get restorative rest when you are dealing with a serious illness. You’re tired all of the time, and yet you can’t relax enough to actually fall asleep and rest.
Try and relax before heading to bed. Meditate, take a warm bath or listen to relaxing music. You may also want to speak with your doctor about taking melatonin or valerian root to help you get to sleep.
I know how disappointing it can be to deal with low or no energy while fighting cancer. You want to just snap your fingers and go back to being who you were. Your health has changed, and right now, you need to accept reality and deal with it as best you can for your own sake. Follow these strategies so that you can enjoy the holidays without wearing yourself out.
Happy Thanksgiving. Always remember there is so much to be grateful for no matter what. Get started on your gratitude list!!
I am sending love, light, and laughter.