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Chronic Illness & Decision Fatigue

By: Shawne Poplar, MA LPC Licensed Professional Counselor

Poplar Counseling & Wellness

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People with chronic illnesses know the feeling of fatigue. Fatigue is the experience of both physical and mental tiredness. An additional category of fatigue is decision fatigue, which is a state of mental overload that prevents decision-making. This can affect important decisions, such as choosing a wedding venue- or small decisions, like selecting a show to watch for the evening.

How to Battle Decision Fatigue:

Find ways to automate tasks

  • Automating tasks takes upfront energy, but will save energy long-term. Next time you have a spike in energy, try automating a few of your daily/ weekly/ monthly tasks.

Create a weekly to-do list or schedule

  • Decision fatigue is often coupled with general fatigue and brain fog. Maintaining a clear list or schedule can help you stay on track.

Meal prep

  • Scheduling a specific day and time to complete all the cooking for the week is a great way to ensure you will have prepared meals, even when your energy and symptoms fluctuate through the week.

Use the evenings to prepare for the morning

  • Those with chronic illnesses know the mornings can be hard! Use your energy during the day to save your energy in the morning.

Use digital timers and reminders

  • Timers and reminders can be especially helpful to those who have a chronic illness, as symptoms tend to affect focus and concentration.

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