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Supporting Your Partner With Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom for those with endometriosis, and for many it is one of the most difficult and debilitating. We’ve all had days where we’re tired – it’s difficult to concentrate, you forget words for things, your eyes sting, and you can be made to cry over small issues – but for most of us, this is an occasional occurrence. For someone suffering with chronic fatigue, my partner included, this is an everyday reality. I see first-hand the effects that this relentless tiredness has on her wellbeing and productivity, and I’m there to pick up the pieces when it all gets too much.

Fortunately, there seems to be simple steps that we can take as a couple to reduce the effects of this fatigue, small changes that we can make to our day to make the following one easier. Here are some of the things we do, and how I (as the partner of someone with endometriosis) have an impact.

Have a structured bedtime

Firstly, we’ve found it really important to have a structured bedtime. This will differ depending on your lifestyle and commitments, but for us it means we stop working around the same time every night, get ready for bed around the same time every night and get in bed around the same time every night. It isn’t to-the-minute accurate, but we try to keep it as accurate as possible. A structured bed routine contributes to a good night’s sleep, which in turn makes waking up the next day easier.

This has definitely changed the way I sleep too. As someone who doesn’t suffer from fatigue, I can stay up until 4am one night watching episode after episode or hanging out with friends, feel tired for one day, then catch up on sleep the next night. This isn’t an option for my partner, so I make sure that I don’t stay up that late. Sometimes, I hate going to bed early, hate having my life dictated by a strict routine, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me feel great the next day, and the positive effect it has on my partner is priceless.

Go to sleep early

Another aspect of this routine is that it has to be early. For the first time in my life since probably primary school, I now go to bed at 10pm. That’s not because I need 10 hours sleep a night, I’m good with less, but if you’re someone that feels fatigued after 8 hours sleep, get 10. Staying in bed for longer in the morning isn’t always an option, but going to bed earlier is, so much sure your fatigued partner can get as many hours as possible without affecting the morning the next day.

Take care of the morning routine

Another important step I’ve found is to be the first person to wake up. Sometimes, there’s nothing I’d like more than to stay in bed, have my partner get the kettle on, get the breakfast going, and that does happen sometimes. But more often, I’m the one with the energy to get up, so I do. It’s so much easier for someone with fatigue to drag themselves out of their slumber when there’s someone there with a hot cup of tea and the smell of food wafting through the house.

Stick to it

Lastly, and most importantly, be strict with yourself. None of these changes to your routine will become changes to your routine unless they are done regularly and without fail. Even if you can sleep 4 hours a night and skip breakfast every day, commit to a new routine that will benefit your partner. From what I’ve observed, it makes a huge difference to their fatigue levels, and who knows, you might even feel better yourself!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Endometriosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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