Stress and fatigue are inevitable in today’s world. While stress can lead to numerous health issues, it can also lead to something called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS is a disorder characterised by fatigue, memory loss, brain fog, muscle aches, joint pains, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and extreme exhaustion. CFS affects people of all ages, including children.
A. Symptoms, in case of students:
CFS often leads to poor memory, due to which a student ends up missing out on the assignments and homework. The student tends to become irregular when it comes to completing tasks given to him/her.
Appear lazy and inattentive
Students with CFS appear to be lazy and inattentive in the class. The students usually end up being too tired to focus in the classroom. They may also end up sleeping during the class.
Have depression or anxiety
Depression or anxiety is quite common in today’s world and accompany any health-related issue. A child with CFS tends to feel low and gets upset easily.
Have trouble socialising with peers
CFS makes social interactions a little difficult. Students with CFS find it difficult to interact and mingle with peers.
B. Symptoms, in case of teachers:
Teachers with CFS constantly feel tired and the fatigue is not cured even with bed rest.
Post exertion fatigue
Any activity like walking in the class or teaching can worsen the symptoms, leading to extreme fatigue.
Loss of memory or concentration
Memory loss is the most common symptom for a person with chronic fatigue syndrome. A person also tends to lose his/her concentration easily.
Feeling unrefreshed after a good sleep
While most suggest a good sleep to get over stress and fatigue, the same cannot be said in case of CFS. It has often been observed that a person with this syndrome tends to feel unrefreshed even after getting good sleep.
CFS can lead to numerous sleep disorders like sleep apnoea, insomnia, hypersomnia, etc.
Fatigue can affect the muscles as well and lead to muscle pains and cramps in people having fatigue syndrome. The syndrome also leads to joint pain.
Stress leads to headache and teachers with CFS are more prone to headaches than others.
Tenderness around the neck
CFS can cause pain or discomfort around the neck.
What can be done to help people with CFS?
There are no official tests or cure known for CFS and diagnosis is often on the basis of symptoms. However, here are some precautions that can be taken to ensure lesser stress:
1. For students:
Students can be given lesser assignments and homework, to ensure that they are not stressed too much.
Assist wherever possible
Teachers can assist the students wherever possible, to help them overcome the feeling of being stressed.
Permit extra time
Since CFS does not allow students to stick to time, teachers can provide the students with extra time to complete their assignments.
Encourage physical activity and peer interaction
Teachers and parents can encourage physical activity and peer interaction among the students to help them overcome depression and anxiety.
2. For Teachers:
It is important to exercise as it will keep the person strong and active. Basic exercises like hand stretches, wall push-ups, picking and grasping objects, and sitting and standing can go a long way in handling fatigue.
Teachers should give themselves extra time to complete their work and not be too harsh on themselves when they are unable to complete work on time.
Teachers should be aware of what they eat and avoid foods that they are sensitive to. Portion control can be practised and foods with high carbohydrates can be avoided as it tends to make a person sluggish.
Teachers can use planners to schedule tasks and keep notes handy. They can also set reminders and play puzzles, word games that might help keep the mind active and improve the memory.
People with CFS can get help by talking to others with similar issues or by talking to a doctor.
While these are some ways to diagnose stress, teachers can ensure a stress-free life by taking good care of themselves and visiting a doctor as soon as they observe any of the symptoms.