When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, pacing myself was one of the biggest challenges I faced. I was used to running around from thing to thing, all day long. I was like the Energizer Bunny on crack. Fibro/CFS has a way of bringing you down a notch or two or ten and adjusting to that has taken me almost two years and I’m still learning my limits every day. Today, I thought I’d share some of the strategies I’ve learned for getting things done without killing myself.
- Give all your focus to what you’re working on. Don’t focus on time or on other tasks. Set an alarm for breaks and anything else you have to get done in between.
- Listen to music while you work, it’ll make time go by faster. Check in from time to time to make sure you’re staying on task and to pat yourself on the back for what you’ve done.
- Break up tasks into small pieces and take breaks in between to stretch and drink some water or have a snack.
- Ask for help if you need it. If no one is there to help, get what you can done. Don’t attempt things that you know will cause you too much pain. I know I can’t lug baskets full of laundry so I let my kids and hubby do that for me. Sometimes that means waiting until they’re out of school or the hubby is off work, but that just gives me time to work on something else.
- Have daily goals. Little things that make you smile and get you in the mood to start cleaning. My little things are making the bed, opening the shades to let in the sunshine and picking up the bathroom.
- If something is driving you absolutely bonkers, deal with it first. The easiest way to get something off the hamster wheel in your head is to take care of it.
- Don’t let yesterday’s triumphs or failures effect today. If you got a lot accomplished yesterday, don’t put yourself down if you aren’t able to accomplish as much today. If you didn’t accomplish much yesterday, don’t think about that today.
- Be patient with yourself and wait for those moments when you are feeling well enough to do things. Then, take advantage of those moments but don’t overdo it.
- Be open to changes in your routine and if something is frustrating you, try to find a solution instead of continually hitting the same road blocks and beating yourself up about them.
- Just because you don’t work outside the home, doesn’t mean you don’t contribute. It also doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a day off. Just don’t be a complete bum. Go for a walk, still do your stretches, yoga or meditation.
I may be jinxing myself by posting this because every time I think I have everything figured out something comes along to knock me back down to square one but hopefully this post helps someone else.