Ironically it took months to finish writing this post because when I’ve found time, I’ve been too exhausted to think. Fatigue is a lesser known symptom of psoriasis. There are days I find myself struggling to do the smallest things. My mind is busy reminding me of the things I have to do but my body just won’t listen. Being a mom of two young kids is definitely contributing to my constant fatigue, and prioritizing good sleep is a challenge. Just living with psoriasis and managing the symptoms and treatments makes me tired.
The suspected cause of fatigue in psoriasis patients is inflammation. Psoriasis causes the body to produce proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation. Those proteins trigger the immune system and sparks inflammation which takes up the body’s energy.
There are just times when you need to listen to your body and rest. But there are a few things that I incorporate into my life to try to manage the fatigue to the best of my ability.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
I like to exercise in the morning and I take classes to stick to a schedule. My bedtime and wake up time revolve around the class time. In addition to an alarm to wake up, I set an alarm in the evenings when it’s time to start winding down. With psoriasis, an evening routine for medicine/lotion application and taking meds can be lengthier than others. So it’s important that I don’t skip because I’m more tired living with psoriasis.
Determine when you have the most energy in the day
Then plan your more vigorous activities for that timeframe. This includes mental tasks as well as any physical activities. I feel more productive in the mornings so I plan my priority projects or to do’s for the AM before I start getting sluggish.
Listen to your body and take breaks
Schedule breaks into your calendar, but also stop when you need to. I’m actively working on this one. I feel like I’m always playing catch up so push myself to cross things off my list.
Benefits of meditation include clearing the mind and slowing down your thoughts, which can help mental clarity. It can help you focus when starting to feel tired. Meditating before bedtime can also help you sleep better. That good night’s sleep helps your body fight inflammation.
Even a little exercise has been proven to help give you more energy. Finding time to exercise was one of the biggest challenges for me until I started prioritizing my morning workouts. I sneak out of the house for a 5a or 6:15a class and I’m home and showered before anyone else is awake. If you’re sitting for a while and feeling sluggish, a quick walk around the block or up some stairs will help invigorate your energy.
Hold on the sugar and caffeine for a pick me up
Consuming caffeine later in the day may be a reason why you’re not sleeping well, as it can stay in your body for up to 6 hours. Sugar might also give you a quick jolt of energy but shortly after you’re looking at a crash. A healthy snack high in protein is a better alternative, keeping you full and an energy boost.
Automate everything you can
I have all household goods on Amazon Subscribe and Save to save my energy for other tasks. You can add anything from paper towels to air filters to be delivered during a preferred timeframe. It also means less trips to the store and leaves your mental energy to think about other things.
Remember fatigue is a lesser know symptom of psoriasis, so there are times when you just have to listen to your body. Daily life can be exhausting, but just living with psoriasis can make you tired. Let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas for how to manage tiredness.