Vintage Secrets to Avoid Fatigue

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If you are going to follow a ’50s housewife schedule, you need to prepare for a lot of work. Tiring work! And while there were shortcuts (hello, amphetamines!), those shortcuts could burn out your health QUITE fast. Fortunately, some experts had better ideas for conserving both energy and health. Here are some mid-century tips for avoiding fatigue as a housewife, from Marion Hurst.

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Table Of Contents

Avoid Fatigue

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  1. Get enough sleep and plan for a nap in your daily schedule.
  2. Eat wisely, including all of the daily food requirements. A between-meals glass of milk will replenish your energy.
  3. Short rest periods every hour or so are important. 5 minutes to read the morning paper, listen to the radio, or just relax, will send you back to the job with new vim.
  4. You will tire less if you like what you do. Pride in accomplishment will carry you a long way. Music while you work may help.
  5. Avoid worry. There is no more energy-consuming habit than worry, especially needless worry.
  6. Whenever possible, sit down to work. A chair or stool of the correct height makes it possible to sit when ironing or preparing vegetables.
  7. Practice good posture while working. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes, not discarded dress shoes or bedroom slippers. Keeping the body in good balance is less tiring than slumping.


Good posture, like exercises, is a habit. Toning your muscles, being in good shape, and using your body properly are all going to help reduce fatigue and pain. It may take practice and retraining to correct your posture, but it is worth it. If you have very poor posture, wearing a corset can really help you remember to be straight and tall.

  • Practice standing and sitting straight. Keep the back straight at all times.
  • Stand straight with arms straight when lifting. (No, I don’t know what she means either.)
  • Do a knee bend instead of a stoop.
  • Stand on both feet. Don’t sag.
  • Stretch and reach to do cleaning tasks.
  • Have windows open while cleaning. Provide adequate ventilation during more strenuous activities.

And that’s today’s advice for avoiding fatigue! Some of it seems very modern. I recognize FlyLady in that “rest a bit each hour” advice! How many of these things do you use to help you manage fatigue?

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