Fibromyalgia Action UK

How to pace yourself when you work full time?

This is perhaps my biggest issue at the moment. I work full time and have only been in my job for five weeks. I darent tell my employer about my recent diagnosis of Fybro as I am terrified they will get rid of me (I have no employment rights due to my short length of service).

My GP has said its really important to pace myself and rest etc but how can I when I work full time? By the end of the week I am a virtual zombie - exhausted, depressed and tired beyond words. I do take anti depressants which help but not with the tiredness and the pain. Sometimes I just sit in the toilets at work and cry through pain and tiredness :(

How do others manage?

12 Replies

I had to give up wk i found it to hard i was slways off sick hope u keep ur job gud luck x


i dont know how you manage to work bless you i could not do it but good for you i suppose it helps if the company are understanding and help you love diddle x



Good luck with a full time job, I work 22 hours and find that it is

very hard on my days off my fibro is worse and as for being tired

its the worse, you try and pace yourself but its hard

I wish you well.

love viv


not sure what you do to help you pace yourself. i work part time 12 hours a week and that does me in but enjoy meeting people and as i work as a cashier i struggle with pain but have a laugh to try and forget the pain. im lucky im usually on the till your not allowed to leave although sometimes i need a bit of a walkabout to unstiffen myself!!!

ive volunteered for over time nxt week cos i need the money but have 2 days off a week to recuperate!


Keep focused and if it comes to it you will have to tell them and say you had no idea at the time (which you did not) if you not been at job long what is to say you may not enjoy it long term anyway, but fingers crossed you love it!

Make sure your breaks are breaks and rest.. It will depend if you sit or stand i guess

You have to do what your body tells you to do a lot of time aswell because physicaly it can make things worse if you push too hard.

I work i run my own and have had to give up physically (begrudgingly which is the best bit about it) was on a good little earner being self-employed but now i barely get anything back as i have to pay for help.Managing it is stressful enough. You become on 'Automatic' you focus focus all the time, so for me soon as friday comes and i am ready to finish my body just seems to collapse with it too for the exhaustion! i never seem to shut up shop though workig from home, always a telephone call or organising and the paperwork.

Need a millionaire heheh.

If was an employee wiht it for me i obviously would understand being a sufferer but this job requires physical work day in day out, so only working in a team doing the light chores would be of any use or driving really x


Thank you all - I appreciate it.

I would do anything to be able to work part time but I havent been able to find a part time job and we cant manage solely on my husbands wages. I dont know how much longer I can go on day after day working full time and feeling like this.


I work 30hrs, in one job and 6 - 8hr in the other. I have also had lots of time of sick, still investigating (that's another story lol), but I am lucky as I have very supportive employers, thank goodness, does not stop me worrying all the time.x

I say if you are struggling, be honest.(I know you say your worried, as I do. But they should be able to help and offer support). I believe good employers will always look out for the welfare of their staff, in large company's speak to HR or in a smaller company, your boss or supervisor. If you and your employer can find solutions, it will make such a difference to you both.

I really enjoy my job and even though i am exhausted at the end of the day and often spend the day battling through pain, to be honest it gives me focus. I have to get up and get dressed ( to be honest, if I didn't I would easily spend several days a week in my PJs, when I can manage). So I have to push myself. (this is my way of coping really)

It also highlights to me the importance of managing my symptoms, medication, sleep. I don't start work till 12pm daily so this is a great help. I also cherish my free time evenings weekends more, ensuring that I ensure I take time out to rest up.

Hope you work things out, am sure you will, take care Lou x


Hi Catleigh I feel for you but what i will say is be careful as you will drag yourself down very low if it's as hard as it sounds for you, like a lot of others I worked few years ago I did 25 - 30 hours then had to cut to 12hrs then finally last year had to retire I pushed myself but with hind sight not sure i did myself any favours so take care and remember no amount of money is worth killing yourself over love yourself and listen to your body

love Sue xxx


Hi, I am so sorry to hear how much you are struggling and I can fully sympathise with you.

You are in a difficult position as you have only been there a short time. In this economic climate employers have to look after themselves and their business.

Can I ask what you do. Are you on a probation period?

If it was me I woudn't say anything just yet until you ger proper advice, maybe you could contact CAB.

I know you would like change overnight, however in reality this won't happen. You will have to pace yourself as best you can during the day and try not to get too upset honey as this will make your symptoms worse.

Can you ask your partner to help out as much as he can just so you can get through the day.?

I spent a long long time at work feeling like you, the weekends were ruined as I was so ill. in the end I was having every friday off, then every Thursday, until I recognised my health was more important. However I was ok financially to a certain degree and I had been employed for 12 years, so I was protected under the Equality Act. It's not easy. I am still employed but attempting to get retired out on ill health.

I wish you lots of luck xx


Rach1977's advice on not saying anything till you have had legal advice is good. There are some places you can go for free legal advice (legal centres as well as CAB). See this page:

Make sure your GP and you are both being really proactive about treatment. Treating the non-restorative sleep that is typical of Fibro should usually be the first step in treatment and the one that will help you the most in the short-term.

Any painkillers you take should really be taken regularly, rather than waiting for pain to peak.

Stress management techniques can really help with work.

Learn to say no. Good time & resources management is never a bad thing at work so don't feel that as the newbie you have to take on more work than you can do properly.

Take your allocated breaks and make the most of them. Get out of work if you can. Sit down. Get some fresh air. Eat healthy foods that will maximise your energy and minimise other symptoms (e.g. if you have IBS).


Thank you very much :)

I work for a company which is renowned for its hire and fire attitude towards employees so I just daren't tell them. I intend to carry on looking for a part time job. Some people say employers are more aware and supportive these days but thats certainly not been my experience with previous employers and I am now loath to tell anyone about my illness.

I will ask my GP for pain relief as this would help. I spend all day at a desk and it really aggravates the pain despite frequent breaks from the screen.

Thank you for all your help and advice - I really appreciate it very much :)


I have had fibro for about 10yrs. I was employed as manager in my last job for 13yrs. I tried to pace myself and had a good team of youngsters working for me who understood my probs. BUT the job just got harder and harder, a new area manager started with all sorts of "good" idea's. I used to sit in my car after work and cry with the pain and exaustion. In March 2011 my body said "thats it I aint doing anymore".I havn't worked since. The company made life so difficult for me I resigned. I know I will not work again. I dont know what advice to give except that no job is worth the way I feel now. I struggle on benefits, I live alone. My regret is that I didnt tell the company where to go years ago, so I would be well enough to enjoy my "retirement" hugs xxx


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