Having chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is similar to being a top athlete.
I have to be very conscious about my diet. I need to avoid certain things (in my case dairy, yeast, alcohol, wheat, and to some extent sugars) and make sure I eat low on the food chain and ideally with the seasons and local and organic foods.
I have to make sure I rest enough and give my body and system time to recover, especially after any form of exertion. (Extertion in my case means any physical or mental activity.)
I have to prepare for important events. I need to give myself enough rest, and pay even closer atttention to my diet. (Important events means any time I, in advance, know I will need to extert myself physically or mentally.)
Mindfulness and mental strategies can play an important role.
I can push myself if it’s called for and this is often followed by a physical crash and sometimes collapse. Endurance athletes do this, as sometimes do people with CFS.
In general, I need to keep my body in as good shape as possible through, as mentioned above, diet and rest, and also gentle exercise as I am able (walks, swimming), herbal medicine, gentle forms of yoga, and so on. And I can push myself if it’s called for, even if it’s followed by a crash. (I have learned to avoid this as much as possible as it can take a long time to recover.)
Note: I write about CFS here since it’s part of my life and an important invitation for healing and maturing for me. Also, there is a chance that something I write here could be helpful for someone else with CFS, or that it can help people who don’t have CFS to understand it a bit better.
Note 2: This post is based on a brief comment I made in an online CFS-group:
Ja, jeg føler meg noen ganger som en idrettsutøver siden jeg trenger å være bevisst på mat og hvile/restitusjon, må lade opp før viktige begivenheter (legetimer og annet når jeg må ut av huset), og som du sier – jeg kan strekke strikken om jeg trenger det men krasjer etterpå.