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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - Slowing myself down - pacing



Slowing myself down - pacing

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Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Catwoman81 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:52 pm

After yet another telling off from the physio about pacing I really do need to time manage better.

I get so frustrated not being able to do what I want, when I want as I'm sure most of us here do.

Any tips on pacing welcome x

Thanks
X
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby denys » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:08 am

Only thing I would say is to listen to your body, dont get overtired and take regular breaks. Break each task down into smaller pieces so you can mentally tick things off (or physically if it helps) and then jobs tend to get finished rather than you collapsing exhausted and in pain half way through.

I feel like I have achieved something when I manage to finish a task and I do believe that helps that well-being feeling :-D :-D :-D :-D baby steps instead of running is the way for me :-D :-D :-D
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Theresa34 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:16 am

I am a fibro fighter not a fibro sufferer. I will keep fighting from the minute I get up til the minute I go to bed.
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:34 am

It might help you to find out what your baseline is for doing things and resting, and use that as your starting point. This is how I was advised to find out my baselines when on a Pain Management Programme, and I find it helpful.

To determine your activity baseline, start off by timing yourself doing tasks at various times. I was told that the best sort of tasks to use were ones that are done regularly, so something like aspects of housework for example. Then, when you do something, time yourself to see how long you can do it for until things begin to feel uncomfortable. As soon as you reach that point where discomfort is starting to appear, then stop and rest. Once things have settled back down, and you feel ready to carry on, then repeat the process again. Do this over a period of days, and incl times when you feel not so bad, pretty rubbish, and as if you've been run over by a bus. Once you have a number of times, then find the average of them by adding them up, and dividing by the number of occasions you timed yourself.

Depending on the figure it gives you, and how you feel, you can use this as your baseline. Or, if it seems a little too high to manage, then take a percentage off that figure or round it down to a more manageable point, and then use this as you're activity baseline to start from.

To determine your resting baseline, when you take a break between activities, time how long you find you need to rest at different times, just as you have done with the activities, then find the average time for resting, then either use it as your starting point, or if it seems to be not long enough, then round it up to what you feel may be a more suitable amount of time to start with.

Once you have your baseslines, try working thru a part of the day using them and see how it goes. If needed, adjust timings and try again until you find what seems to suit you. It doesn't work 100% of the time, but it can help make getting thru the day a little less :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: :pull-hair: :pull-hair: :pull-hair:


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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby rich44 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:49 am

I'm really struggling with this pacing business because I'm in loads of pain the minute I get up, not to mention the fatigue.

I can quite easily sleep 18+ hours a day and still shattered and in pain.

I just wonder whether all these years holding down a full time job and then out both days at the weekends with the kids has just been too much
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:52 am

Ooooopsie, pressed Submit instead of Preview :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

If the above sounds/seems a little long winded and/or faffy, complicated, a simpler way to try out is by choosing a specific time for how long you will be active for, and a specific time for how long your rest will be, and use that to try and work thru a day. For example, 20 mins activity with 20 mins rest, 10 mins activity with 15 mins rest. There are many, many time combinations to try, so it can take a while to find the right balance for yourself.

Once you have found the right timings for yourself, you can use it as the foundations for increasing activity levels and then reducing rest periods if wanted. To do this, very small changes are needed, esp at first, along with a suitable length of time between changes. And, rather than doing it to all activities at once, choosing one activity at a time can give you a better chance of succeeding. So you could decide to add a minute onto how long you can fold the washing each day. You could then review how things have gone after a week, and depending on the outcome, decide what the next step will be. If things aren't really that different to usual, you could consider adding another minute on. If things feel just a touch worse, then try another week at the time you have worked on for the previous week. If things have become much more intense, then go back to your original time, and review it in a week's time. It could be that folding washing isn't a suitable one to start off with, and choosing something different could be what is needed.


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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby carolad » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:35 pm

Anything I read about pacing sounds very sensible...but I just find it impossible to put into practise. I have to go to work and when I'm at work, I can't take regular breaks to rest if I'm having a bad day. And then when I come home, I have to make dinner, wash up, get ready for work the next day, no matter how exhausted I feel. So I don't really see how I can introduce pacing into my life...

I can see the benefit of it...but I think it only works when your time is your own :)
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby rich44 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:47 pm

I can't see how I could do it even if I were at home, I'm tired and in pain by the time I get outta bed so haven't got any head room to start with unfortunately
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby denys » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:54 am

Pacing can be introduced, no matter what you are doing, how busy you are or how tired you just have to factor in a little more time to complete each task, carolad have you got anyone you can offload something to, even if its just a little task it will then give you that little bit more leeway.

In fact I would say its more important to try to pace when you are overworked or extremely fatigued a these are the times you are most likely to burn yourselves out and cause a flare.
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Gracious » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:59 am

I found pacing to be a real issue for me. I learned about it on a 8 week Breathworks Course, which is similar to the Pain Management Course, where you do activity sheets and calculate out your baselines. I logically understood it, but was resistant to it as it felt like enforced boredom and restriction from being able to live my life the way I wanted to, which would be Fibro free. I was angry and frustrated by my FMS and the limitations it was imposing on me. It wasn't till I came across a site that went into more detail about pacing and really explained the impact of not doing it and the knock on effects, that I realised I was actually making myself feel worse and more distressed and ill, because I wasnt pacing.

The thing is you have the choice to pace and I agree its easier to do this when just working with yourself, when you add family, friends, work etc, its must harder, sometimes you have to accept your going to trigger a post excertional malaise, but it is also a choice how you choose to feel about it.

Below is the link to the site I found helped me come to terms with my resistance to pacing and opened up my choices to how I wished to live with FMS (I really like the Videos, like little miniture leasons):

http://www.cfidsselfhelp.org/library/to ... and+Pacing
http://www.cfidsselfhelp.org/video

Areas covered:

Part 3: Pacing
Pacing Defined
Post-Exertional Malaise
Push / Crash Cycle

Limits
Four Images for Limits
Rating Your CFS/FM
Defining Limits in Detail

Devices
Heart Rate Monitors
Pedometers
More Devices & Gadgets

Strategies
Scheduled Rests
Pacing Activity, Part 1
Pacing Activity, Part 2
Habit Change
The 3 R's: Rules, Routines & Reminders
Mental Adjustments
Achieving Consistency
Assertiveness

Special Events
Introduction
Strategies

Relapses
Minimizing Setbacks
Identifying Triggers
Preventing Flares
Success Story: Houseguests
Success Story: Prevention

Hope this is of some Help
With loving kindness
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby denys » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:03 am

Thanks Gracious that was what I was trying to say but it came out a bit blunt, everything we do or dont do is a choice and it really does help to see the bigger picture (effect/causation)
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby SchroedingersCat » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:41 pm

Pacing. I do like all the well meant advice, get it loads from friends who have FM. Pacing and me just don't work. I tried it on Sunday, doing a bit and then stopping for a rest and a sit down. Drove me mental. Waste of a day. Anyone finds a foolproof way to force yourself to pace properly, let me know!
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby rich44 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:45 pm

That's how I find it been trying 7 years or so lol
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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:48 pm

It's not foolproof SC, and at times it does make me want to :pull-hair: :too-upset: :scream-1: but for me, without using it thru each day, I'd be a jibbering pile of mush in the corner. It does waste time, but at least I have some time to waste because of it. If I went at things like I used to do previously, well all I can say is that it is far from pretty :yikes: :yikes: :yikes:


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Re: Slowing myself down - pacing

Postby Helhit » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:01 pm

I motivate myself to even start a job by setting the stopwatch on my phone for 15 mins and saying I'll do as much as I can do until it goes off and then rest. Otherwise I can quite easily talk myself out of doing anything.
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