I'm So Tired! What Can I Do?

Do you ever wake up tired? You have chores, errands, and obligations you must perform, but how? "Success is like a vitamin!" my college professor said.

As a teacher, I always loved that. Now, as a blood cancer patient, I ask myself, "How can I adapt my schedule for a successful day?"

What to do

Here are some tips:

  • Set realistic goals for yourself. I often have more energy in the morning, so I plan the night before. Need to do a load of laundry? Have it ready to go the night before, and start the load so it can wash while you have breakfast.
  • Need to clean house? It might be best to dust the rooms one day, then vacuum or sweep the next. Make things easier for yourself. For example, less dusting if you don't have a lot of knick-knacks!
  • Yardwork is hard for me. I keep reminding myself that it's good exercise. Have you ever noticed when you talk to your doctor about fatigue, they often ask, "Are you exercising?" Once again, set realistic goals. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
  • Keep on top of your chores. If you do a little daily, laundry won't pile up. Also, if you keep your home presentable, you don't have to panic clean when you get a text that someone is coming to visit.
  • Running errands would be a lot easier if we didn't have to work around the weather. The Oklahoma heat drains my energy in the summer, and the cold wind chills me to the bone in the winter. Sometimes, it's best to hold off on doing too many errands in one day. Most likely, what you think you need to do, can wait another day.

Say NO!

It's okay to say no when asked to perform a duty. My friend Linda told me when I retired, "They think a retired teacher is capable with a lot of time on her hands, so learn to say, NO!" I don't think they will throw me out of church if I say no to a job.

If I'm having a low-energy day, I use my time to my best advantage. Maybe I can catch up on some correspondence or phone calls.

Time to Retire

When I taught for 30 years, a friend gave me a pink Energizer Bunny. She said, "Just like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going and going!" As an older teacher, I did my best to keep up with the younger ones. Move like a young skinny teacher, I told myself. Most of the time, I did. Finally, in my last year of teaching (my 39th), I realized I couldn't. It was time to retire.

Those of you coping with blood cancer while still working full-time and raising a family, God bless you! My advice would be to set your priorities and boundaries, too. It's okay to say no to requests. Don't try to be the perfect parent or employee because they don't exist. Likewise, it's okay to ask for help, too. You have to take care of yourself before you can care for others.

Blood cancer is frustrating, frightening, and exhausting, but we must keep going. We don't quit; we rest when we need it. I am still like the Energizer Bunny. I keep going, but a little slower these days.

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