Emotional Health

When you have chronic fatigue, your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a physical and emotional roller coaster. CFS will change your life dramatically. Chances are you have been very active and capable until now. This disease can be very debilitating. Few people are prepared for the emotions that accompany sudden disability.

Give yourself permission to feel whatever you are feeling. We live in a society that does not encourage emotions. As a result, we tend to ignore what we are feeling and try to push it out of our minds. Suppressed emotions can only hurt, not help, our overall health.

Don't judge your emotions. You don't need to determine which emotions are “reasonable” or “acceptable.” You do not need to feel guilty for your feelings. If you are experiencing them, then they are normal for you. You can be assured that there are many others learning to cope with CFS that are feeling the same way you do.

If you are not used to acknowledging your emotions, you may need to spend time discovering your feelings. This takes honesty and a lot of introspection. Most of us are out of habit and may need some prodding. Try this simple exercise to improve your emotional health: Sit down with a piece of paper. Begin writing “I feel...” and let anything follow. Continue writing until no more thoughts come to mind. You might be surprised by what you find out about yourself.

Try to find an outlet for your feelings. Some people use physical activity to vent. Others find a trusted friend that they can confide in. If your emotions feel too raw or overwhelming, try writing them down. Writing in a nightly journal not only gives you a voice and improve your emotional health, but it can help you sleep better at night. An online blog is a good way to talk about your experiences and to find others going through the same things you are. It is comforting to find there are people who have already been there and can understand.

Don't be afraid to reach out to others. There are many caring people out there who are willing and waiting to help. You may find that your experiences can help and comfort others as well. Find a support group, either locally or online. Leave a comment on someone else's blog. You will quickly find that you are not alone!

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