Firstly I yet again have to start with an apology for the lack of posts. I had a couple of posts ready to go but without photo’s before I went into hospital, but didn’t want to just find photo’s to use I wanted to have taken them myself (the found photos weren’t quite right for what I wanted to say!!) I then have struggled to get back to doing much because of my recovery and this relentless heat, which has made me a sofa slob (enforced though not through choice). Although I’ve been online I’ve been having to have regular naps and for once have been actually trying to pace myself and trying to listen to my body which hasn’t been easy!! Pacing has always been a struggle for me, listening to the signals your body is telling you when it’s telling you to not go out or not to leave the sofa is difficult. You find yourself trying to ignore the signs and signals that your body has had enough, and if you are anything like me those signs and signals are screaming at you but your head and heart are screaming back saying “not on your life, get up and keep going you lazy slob.” Even other people say things to you, making fun of you for falling asleep in the middle of the day; or getting annoyed because you have cancelled for the second time in a row because you are “tired.”
Now pacing seems like such an easy thing to do, one of the dictionary meanings of pacing is very simply “do something at a slow and steady rate in order to avoid overexertion.” Simple isn’t it, “do something at a slow and steady rate in order to avoid overexertion” “slow and steady wins the race” but what about when your whole life is pacing, your whole life is slow and steady?? It isn’t so easy now is it? You have 30 tasks that need doing this week, if you just do them they will take the whole week to get done……but your body doesn’t want to know, doesn’t want to play ball. It’s sluggish, you need to sleep all the time, even a small movement takes maximum effort. So you have to think and do something at a slower rate and so those 30 tasks become 10, but which do you do? Which do you prioritise? They’re all important, perhaps they’re essential. Maybe they’re forms that need to be completed and sent in or you don’t get your benefit, they might be things for work, they might be emails that need to be sent to get equipment etc, so which can you leave? They’re all essential, so you push and push and push some more and then inevitably you hit the wall. As you will know if you’ve seen my blog before I like products from Stickman Communications, they are so simple and so well put, she has a pacing pack which you can find here if you would like to look. The pacing pack has a number of items to help you plan your day so that you can do what you need to without over doing it.
The red activities are those that take a lot out of you and you can only do them for a few minutes at a time, yellow you can do for a little longer but still have to limit and green you can do all the time; so can do to recover from the red and yellow activities. Unfortunately for me so many of the tasks I need to do are red/yellow and when they are time sensitive you cannot take the time to pace or you don’t get them done in time. That is when you push through and make yourself ill. I tend to be more a burn and bust sort of person, I try to work out what is most important and also what tasks take more out of me but so many of the tasks seem to be in the red group now that it makes it hard to find green activities to fit into the mix!! I’m also terrible at sorting out the most important tasks, what is more important or most important. It’s hard when you have anxiety too as often you perceive things as being more important than they are, but I really do have to learn to do it!!
So since my op I’ve been trying to pace a little more. I’ve been doing the things I need to do and trying to get them done in good time but trying to listen to my body as much as I can too, especially as it’s starting to get to the stage that if I don’t soon my body will start to fail even more!
Do you have problems with pacing too? Do you have some way that you pace yourself that you have found works? Are you a push till you drop sort of person or are you more able to pace than me? I’d love to know. Let me know below, also let me know if you like or find the pacing pack useful or interesting as I’d love to know. Hopefully normal posting will start again soon and I’ll get back into writing more and finally finish off the posts, and photos that those posts need too!!!