Fibromyalgia

Pacing with Fibromyalgia

We did a lot of gardening this weekend and I completely overdid it! I really struggle with pacing during the spring and fall months. The weather is so perfect for being outdoors and I always end up thinking there is more value in the fresh air and activity than the suffering that comes from pushing through to much. Until of course, I am struggling to walk down the stairs the next morning!

They say that pacing is key to managing your fibromyalgia and I believe it. But pacing is not an easy thing to learn, and it is kind of an art form that needs constant tweaking.

Pacing involves:

Knowing Your Body

How much physical/mental exertion can you handle. What activities take the most out of you. What time of day you have the most energy. Recognizing the signs that you are reaching to your limit.

Setting limits

Incorporating short activity spurts followed by breaks. Not pushing past, or only slightly past, your body’s limits.

Scheduled Rest Periods

More than just a break between active periods, but an actual rest period. My everyday schedule has three scheduled rests, it is the rhythm that now dictates my life.

Prioritizing

Determining what must get done, what you would like to get done and what you are okay with dealing with tomorrow or another day.

All of this sounds pretty practical right? Well, it is much easier said than done. If you are anything like me, you will forget all of it the minute you get in a groove. It could be hiking, cleaning the house, gardening, organizing, walking, crafting…anything that your focused mind needs or wants to accomplish and pacing goes right out the window.

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Like yesterday, all I was going to do was pot some annuals for the back patio. Instead, I potted flowers, separated some hostas, weeded three beds, turned the soil with compost, mulched the front and back yards, set up the new veggie planters, went to the store to buy more mulch and herbs, mulched some more, watered everything and then finally called it a day. I ignored my body, ignored my limits, and didn’t prioritize anything.

Last weekend, I walked six miles, three on Saturday morning and three on Sunday morning. It was so beautiful out and I just kept going. I love to walk, especially in the morning when I have energy, but there was definitely a voice in my head telling me I went to far. Both days, I was feeling more pain in the evening, but I have to say, I think it was worth it…it felt good.

But today doesn’t feel good at all. Every muscle between my shoulders and knees feels like I had a massive workout, they burn and ache. If I didn’t have fibro, I think I would still be sore. 

I guess it is a process, both learning and finding the discipline to keep yourself at that perfect level of getting things done without doing to much. I really need to work on setting limits before I get started and sticking to the priorities. I’ll get there…

If you have any tips and or tricks on pacing, please share.

Have a great week!

xoxo

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