People with busy schedules and are suffering from chronic fatigue at the same time are likely running on fumes. They may be able to get things done despite the symptoms, but usually at the cost of their physical and mental health.

If you’re in the same boat, how can you manage chronic fatigue and the multiple responsibilities on your plate? How can you continue living your busy lifestyle without compromising your health? Here are some strategies that can help:

Go to a doctor as soon as possible

Early diagnosis is the key to improving symptoms and preventing them from interfering with your lifestyle. The likelihood of developing chronic fatigue syndrome can be increased by a number of things, including symptoms of thyroid problems, viral or bacterial infections, and mental health problems. If you are exposed to these triggers, you may develop chronic fatigue syndrome over time.

Pinpointing the problem early on can help you find a specialist treatment option quickly. Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), graded exercise therapy (GET), and medication. If you start to feel symptoms of chronic fatigue (insomnia, muscle or joint pain, headaches, sore throat, etc.), squeeze in a check-up in your schedule as soon as possible. The earlier you do so, the better are your chances of finding an effective treatment option before the symptoms get worse and affect your work or family life.

Ask to work from home

Working from home will eliminate a lot of tiring activities from your day, including commuting to work, walking around, and spending mental energy talking to people. If possible, ask your employer to work from home remotely, at least until you see improvement in your symptoms.

Not only will working from home give you more time to rest, but it will also free up your busy schedule for important errands that you would otherwise have to do on top of going to work. And even if you are technically working, you can do so in an environment that is less tiring and stressful.

Schedule naps

Your specialist will most likely advise you to take naps or waking rest periods during the day. But when you have to work, take care of the family, and do a million other things, taking a nap whenever you want is not always possible.

A great workaround is to schedule naps. Find a slot in your schedule where you can take a nap or rest for at most thirty minutes at a time. If you work from home, schedule a thirty-minute period of rest in the afternoon; set an alarm if you need to. Make it a part of your routine so that you don’t neglect it.

Reach out to your support system

A lot of busy people are busy because they try to do everything themselves. If this sounds like you, try to ease off this mentality for the sake of your health. Accept that in order to get better, you have to loosen your grip on the reins a bit, at least for the meantime.

Request help from your spouse, parents, friends, neighbors, and other people in your support system. Whether it’s babysitting the kids while you catch up on sleep or shopping for the next week’s groceries, don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it.

Fix your diet

One of the most important lifestyle changes in managing chronic fatigue syndrome is improving your diet. This is especially important if you mostly live on takeout, processed food, and sugary drinks. Eating non-nutritious yet calorie-dense foods can not only make your symptoms worse, but it can cause unnecessary weight gain which, in turn, can lead to more negative symptoms.

Eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and water. Consult with a professional dietitian to come up with a diet that works for you and your schedule. No matter how busy you are, you can prepare healthy meals at home with little time and effort.

Pace yourself

Post-exertional malaise occurs after exerting a certain amount of physical, mental, or emotional effort. This can make it difficult to do things without overexerting yourself, which is an even bigger challenge for people who are generally busy.

Find the balance between activity and rest by making a log of your daily activities and determining how much is too much for you. Proper pacing is an important pillar of chronic fatigue management, and it will help you live a normal life despite your condition.

Don’t let chronic fatigue syndrome take over your life. Even if you live a busy lifestyle, there are lots of ways you can manage your fatigue so that it doesn’t affect other aspects of your life too much.