Fibromyalgia Action UK
38,760 members51,019 posts

How many new pacing habits can you do at the same time?

I'm trying to learn to pace myself with activities that tie me out or increase my pain. That's pretty much everything. I've made a long list of all the activities I want to improve my pacing with = over 20.

I'm pretty sure this is too much but I don't know how many I should limit myself to so that it is manageable. I definitely am not managing all of them right now, but I know I can do more than 3.

How many have you been able to take on and stay on track with?

Are there are books or articles on this that you could recommend?

9 Replies

Personally once I have gotten up and ready usually takes me two hours. I Set myself just two jobs for the day that really need doing even if they only take a short time I still get tired and would have taken the old me minutes to do. I rest I between each of those jobs and still sometimes don't have enough energy to do the fun things just for me like playing the piano or pottering in the garden in warm weather. Or trying a bit of knitting to keep my hands moving. please don't try and do too many things or you will just spend the next day in pain unable to anything then beating yourself up about it... I know its really hard to accept.... I have had fibro 20 plus years and some days I still get mad cos I am only in my 40s and want to do so much more than my body will let me. Sometimes life doesn't give the chance to pace for certain reasons and some days I HAVE to do more than I am comfortable with and I pay for it so much the next few days. So please take it easy do what is comfortable rest do some more don't expect too much of yourself



Hi leebeloola -- I am now managing to pace myself carefully and this keeps my symptoms to a minimal level -- I work part-time (12 hrs/week) also walk the dog/yoga class once a week/ swimming twice a week/ -- I have found the following website very useful -- -- you can access an NHS endorsed booklet with great advice on how to live better with pain called "the pain toolkit" (this is easy to read and makes a lot of sense) The hardest part is actually putting all the "tools" it describes into action in your everyday life. Try it -- hope it helps you xx


Thanks for the link. I knew most of this, except that pacing goals have to be something you can do even on your bad days. I tried to apply this to my many goals and there were about 3 that were left.

I'm still not sure what to do about the others, like not eating sweets or takeaways when I'm not up to making myself some proper food, or walking the dog which I can only do on good days, but at least I'm more aware of why I can't do things.


Lee I personally wouldn't worry about the sweets and takeaways part, concentrate on trying to do one activity however small, followed by 10-15 mins resting (see below for ideas on how to rest). Pick a reasonably good day to try pacing.

If you manage one activity with a rest period afterwards and you don't feel too bad, slowly increase this to two activities with a rest period between each activity.

(I had Pacing Therapy at a local CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Clinic locally with an Occupational Therapist teaching me what to do. I went for about 4 months to ensure I had learnt properly how to manage the therapy. It really made a huge difference to me and how I manage my pain and energy levels. I personally thoroughly recommend pacing. It might also help you, enquire asking your GP about this. to make sure this is suitable for you and also whether there is a clinic near you that teaches Pacing Therapy.)


I take each day as it comes and depending on how I feel when I get up, I set myself targets - usually 2-3 activities each day. These activities can be anything from hoovering through the house (I don't mean blitzing, I mean flitting, haven't got enough energy for a blitz too often), making a pie, doing the washing and ironing. If I feel particularly bad then it's zero or perhaps one activity.

All activities are spaced out with rest periods in between which is what I was taught at Pacing Therapy at my local CFS Clinic. Most days I can manage 2-3 activities, some days I can't manage one, it all depends and I take it as it comes.

I like the discipline of pacing myself because I feel like I'm achieving something, I like to feel my day is worthwhile and by pacing it is. Sometimes I can do more than I realise through pacing, like quite a bit of pottering round my garden which I love, then I feel really great! :)

Pacing is my weapon in my fight against Fibro, and my Fibro isn't going to win! ;) :P


What do you do in your rest periods? How often do you have them and how long are they.

I have started having rest periods, but still have not found a system that works both for the fibro and my to do list. I only have 2-3 things on the to do list now, but still I do not get more than 1 done if I pace, sometimes not even that.


Rest periods can be anything from 10 - 15 minutes on average depending on how you are feeling after an activity.

To rest it simply means sitting in a comfy chair and doing absolutely nothing else resting with your feet up perhaps. Lying on the sofa is another option. Sitting up on your bed propped up with lovely soft pillows or cushions is another option. Those sort of things. The main point being that you are doing absolutely nothing at all, close your eyes so you don't become distracted.

Don't worry if pacing doesn't work one day, try it again another day when you feel up to it. Not if you are feeling really poorly or during a flare-up.

Hope this helps! :) xxx


I feel the same liberty, you just gotta try don't you xxx


Thanks Claire! :)

The danger is if we don't pace ourselves we will invariably feel more exhausted because we are better keeping active. Obviously sometimes this is impossible because we feel too ill with our pain etc., but when we can try to do something however small, then follow it with a small rest, then try to do something else, it really does work and makes you feel better too.

Obviously it's not possible to try this when we feel really ill or during a flare-up.

Pacing for me personally literally changed my whole way of coping and managing my Fibromyalgia. :) xxx


You may also like...