Matthew 11:28 - Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
A healthy person sets their alarm at night and awakens to a new day when it goes off. They quickly go through their pre-work routine and are out the door in less than an hour.
A person with a chronic health condition sets their alarm the night before much earlier than a healthy individual, because it takes them two to three hours just to get out the door. But many times, they just don’t have enough energy to do even that.
It’s hard for other people to understand how much energy it takes for a person with a chronic health condition to perform everyday tasks that others take for granted:
The list could go on and on. I especially struggle with sitting at my desk typing on my computer. My neck screams at me, my fingers hurt as they touch the keys, and my mind struggles to stay focused.
And then there are the people we run into each day. They look at us and think we’re fine because we may not show on the outside what we’re feeling on the inside. They assume we’re okay. And as you slowly get into your chair, they may make fun of you for taking so long to finally sit.
It’s exhausting living in our world, so are there any ways I can avoid the energy drain doing everyday tasks causes? Everydayhealth.com features the article, “21 Energy-Saving Tips to Ease Life With Chronic Illness,” such as sit in front of the sink for hair care, makeup, and shaving; and gather all of your clothes before you start getting dressed.
Also, choose the link below to read the article, 7 Realizations to Help Deal With Feeling Judged,” on tinybuddha.com, to help the judgments of others to be lifted off your shoulders.
Lastly, take a look at the Bible verse above. When we are weary and burdened, Jesus says to come to him and he will give us rest. He knows all about our struggles to complete everyday tasks and how other people judge us for becoming exhausted so easily. He knows and he will carry us when life feels like we can’t take one more step.
Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
When it comes to energy conservation, the whole world is trying to use the planet’s resources in a wiser fashion. Gone are the days of large cars which guzzled gasoline and onto the road came hybrid vehicles which reduce oil consumption by using an electric motor and a conventional engine. The vehicles themselves are also smaller and are more energy efficient in this aspect.
In addition to reducing fossil fuel consumption through the vehicles we drive, energy conservation also applies to optional choices for powering homes and businesses. Some examples include wind turbines, solar power, geothermal, hydroelectric and creation of fuel using materials such as corn, which is ethanol.
So why did I just give you a lesson on energy conservation? I did so because there’s another type of energy conservation at work – our bodies.
More and more these days extra tasks have been loaded onto our backs, than perhaps any time in history. Working overtime, having two jobs, and balancing increased activities spent with our families. Our bodies can only take so much before they run out of fuel and break down.
So how do I manage to complete the job at hand while conserving my energy? I do things in bits and pieces of time.
Dealing with chronic pain and illness already reduces the energy I have available. Writing is not just tiring for your body. It also takes emotional energy to complete a project. I tend to feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with activities of daily living as well.
One way that I’ve found to conserve energy is I do things in bits and pieces of time. When I write, I don’t just sit down at my computer and write all day. I only have small windows of time that I feel up to tackling a task.
I have found that there are many benefits to only write in small bursts of time – it leaves me time to rest and relax between my writing shifts. I’ve found that this method frees up my mind and imagination. When I return to my computer, the words seem to flow from my mind and onto the paper. Though this method works great for me, others may find that they don’t have that luxury at work.
So here’s another thought: if you’re working on several projects at work, analyze which should take your top priority and then work in increments of one to two hours on one then one to two hours on the another.
When switching between projects (if allowed) take a ten to fifteen minute break and get up and walk outdoors or at least find a different location to unwind for a few minutes.
Both of these suggestions will provide a break for your mind and bring a fresh wind of ideas.
In addition, as the Bible verse above says when you break up your work into smaller bites you’ll be able to throw off the hindrances of physical and mental exhaustion and conserve energy for the tasks at hand.
Read the article on scotthyoung.com, “10 ways to Improve your Energy,” and find more ways to conserve your energy.
I’d love to hear from you on which steps towards energy conservation you’ve taken.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.