Recently I have been learning a new skill, well new to me anyhow. Pacing! With any chronic illness will come the inevitable fatigue. That exhaustion that is so past tiredness, if feels like you have nothing left. The advice to reduce and hopefully avoid it is to pace yourself.
Like any new skill this has taken time to improve, no I will not say I have mastered it yet, however I feel I am improving all the time. So small positive steps! So what is Pacing and why should you care? Well if not a sufferer yourself, you will probably know someone who needs to pace. In the first instance I thought it meant do a job, tick it off the to do list, sit down, do some writing and answer those emails (I thought I was resting, well I was sat on rear!) then go back to the list and tackle another job. In the evening if I was very lucky I would have enough energy to cook the evening meal and eat it but then I was totally wasted, could not lift a finger. Whole body felt it was on strike and I had no control.
You got it! I was doing it wrong, what I thought was pacing was just another way of trying to cram in as much as possible into my day (well I wasn't working i.e. getting paid so it didn't count did it?).
I needed to have it explained further and this is what I learnt. Pacing is about breaking down the task, into smaller ones and completely resting in between! What? You mean no emails, surfing the web, writing my novel in-between, nothing at all? Exactly in actual fact, try to relax, meditate. Huh? Lesley totally relax, meditate, I thought I would never get anything done.
However, now that I have grasped the idea, broken down tasks, I actually achieve much more. How is that possible when doing less and resting more?
Well I have more energy now. I have found my trigger to relaxation which was one of my passions all along. The beach, now a few deep breaths and I am there, walking on the sandy beach, light sea breeze blowing my hair, smelling the salty air and I feel revitalized. So I break down the task of making a meal.
I have always been a planner, so now I play to my strengths and plan more. I plan my meals ahead, see what I can double up, freeze half or have a quick alternative if energy is starting to flag and no its not picking up the phone for the takeaway.
What is the benefit to you and to me? Well by pacing, eating better, cooking smarter, I have more time, more energy, so much so I was able to attend my first Fibromyalgia support groups today. My husband drove me there as not mastered enough energy saving to safely drive again yet but I feel I will try that one soon.
It was lovely spending a couple of hours with other people who are constantly learning just like me and we were able to share our ideas. Information to share in the group. So now I am networking face to face, not just through this blog.
Our main topic of conversation today was how do we describe how we are to others in order than they will understand. Well I would like to share just this one thing and if you have only picked this one thing out of this blog, then I am very happy and have succeeded.
Anyone who has a chronic condition even if it is not visible to you; they are not going to get better. The name kind of give it away, it is chronic, meaning long term in some cases no cure. So please do not wish someone a speedy recovery or get well soon, as that cannot happen. You can however wish them better days, if they are smiling, it is either to hide the pain or they are happy but they are not well.
To more good days for all of us.
Please share your thoughts, if you have someone you care for in pain, a chronic condition, if you have an idea that I have not mentioned or something that worked for you, please share, this blog is your opportunity to do just that, I will reply to all.