What this looks like can be slightly different for everyone, but it essentially means being strategic about how you coordinate your life scheduling rest around activities and listening to your body, stopping before your body reaches tipping point. This requires understanding your baseline (which can unfortunately fluctuate), recognising your triggers and structuring your day, week and even month accordingly.
So, how can you get the most out of pacing?
Here are my 3 top tips for effective pacing.
2. Don't use up your energy budget just doing the boring day to day stuff like cooking, cleaning, and work commitments. Make space for things that bring you joy, relaxation, and fun. This is important for healing and improving quality of life. Schedule something into your day that you enjoy. This could be as simple as listening to music or talking to a friend on the phone. If possible, find a new hobby that fits within your limitations. This may mean thinking outside the box and finding ways to focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t.
3. Use concepts like the 'energy budget' or 'the spoon theory' to educate those closest to you and help them understand why they need to respect your boundaries. It can be difficult for an able-bodied person to understand why you need to rest BEFORE you get too tired and why it’s difficult to be spontaneous. Using analogies like the ones above can help them understand why you need to be so cautious about what you do and when you do them.
Navigating a new normal is distressing and frustrating for someone with a chronic illness, especially conditions that are unpredictable in nature. Pacing as one part of a holistic approach that can help you manage symptoms better and improve quality of life.
Kelli Kieselbach BHSc (NutDMed), Adv Dip (Nat), Adv Dip (WHM)
Kelli is an Adelaide based Naturopath and Clinical Nutritionist who works with clients of all ages to restore health and prevent disease using nutrition and herbal medicine. Kelli has a special interest in pain and fatigue management working closely with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients to empower them to live life with more energy and less pain. Kelli sees patients one on one both in clinic and online, as well as educating businesses and community groups on various health related topics through workshops and guest speaking roles.
Kelli works Thursdays at Marion Physiotherapy. To see how she can help you please call 82967594 to book an appointment or visit our Naturopath & Nutrition page.