a woman dancing

3 Ways To Get An Energy Boost

Just to set the stage-—I’m not the one with AS. My husband, Keegan, is. And I’m his caregiver. We both are at home all day. I work from my garage that’s being slowly turned into an office. He takes care of our kids. Almost every day when I pop up for my afternoon snack, I see it in his eyes. The dreaded AS fatigue. (Some days I see it sooner. Like right after breakfast sooner.)

I will also caveat this as activities I’ve noticed when Keegan isn’t in a flare-up. These tips don’t usually do much until he’s finished with the flare-up. They sometimes can provide some help, but can also do some damage if poorly timed. That’s one thing that always amazes me about AS. Timing is everything!

Dance it out, get some loud music on

Let your body feel something good!

Whenever Keegan does housework he has his Bluetooth headphones in. A great holiday gift, I’ve learned! He often has the tunes cranked up and is dancing while doing the dishes. I can tell he’s losing himself to the music. And music is a great way to boost mood along with moving the body. He’s not doing some fancy choreographed routine. It’s just some small movements. That’s one great thing about dancing-—even if his mobility is limited, he can dance!

Be in nature

Take pictures of a cute bug. Or meditate. Or people watch. Just go outside.

Keegan will take afternoon walks with the kids and while he looks tired, it’s because he pushed two kids in a stroller. It’s the good kind of tired. The endorphins are pumping through his body. But what I’ve noticed even more is that he finds joy in being outside. No matter the weather or the path. He loves finding bugs with our preschooler and taking photos that they show me when I’m off of work. Sometimes he draws. Whatever it is, I see how much simply being outside recharges him.

That also means some days he can't move his body very much, but having a picnic in the yard provides a similar mental recharge. Meet your body where it's at while still supporting the mind.

Get rest, but only when mind and body are resting

If you feel guilty, then it’s not resting!

There are times I encourage Keegan to rest. But no matter how much I reassure him that everything is fine, the guilt of hearing me deal with two screaming kids takes over. It’s 45 minutes of laying in bed and stressed out. I recently read that rest isn’t restful unless both mind and body rest. So, when setting up time to find rest, keep the outcome in mind. Rest is to rejuvenate and replenish. What is needed to do that? Is it blocking out sounds? Lighting a nice candle?

That also means giving yourself permission to rest. (Literally, I have to tell myself at times, "It is okay to rest right now. Finding space for myself will let me give my energy to others.")

How do you get an energy boost? What tips and tricks do you have?

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