Ways to make it ok that I'm unable to do more than I'm capable of. Suggestions?

I get caught up in a cycle of "if I'm improving, then I can do more, without causing myself problems". The thing is I don't recognize where my stopping point should have been, until I've gone way past it. Then I get upset that I'm a mess, feel like I really am not improving and then take a couple of steps back to recover, for a day or two or three. Has anyone found something that works for them to deal with this? Thank you in advance.

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  • It's trial and error. Maybe try and stick to written goals? Or time yourself with activities?

    Finding this balance remains difficult so you're very wise to be seeking strategies that work for you.

    Discipline helps, which I lack terribly :/

    I walked for 45 minutes last week This week I did a more challenging walk for 45 minutes and then stood talking for another hour. Wasted myself for the whole day. I know these strategies and still get caught out.

    Stick with one level for at least a week-two before trying to increase anything too. And only add in small increments. The body and brain have to build up strength.

    Caroline

  • This is one of the things that I really struggled with. Even having asking some physios/OTs they couldn't give anything to measure how much is too much - only the really condescending advice; if you have done something that afterwards takes you a long time to recover then you have done too much. Well isn't that obvious!!

    The trouble for most of us is that we are so determined to improve, that if someone said do this and you would get better if you achieved it, we would push ourselves regardless of cost. A sleep doctor told me that I should walk for 90 minutes a day to help with my sleep, when I mentioned about mobility problems,I was told I should push through it. At which point my wife had her head in her hands because she knew no matter what the pain or physical damage would be, I would force myself to achieve it. I did it for 18 months, saw no difference apart from having to take more painkillers and require knee surgery earlier !

    There is a middle ground between acceptance and wanting to improve further, I must admit, after 4 1/2 years I haven't found it yet.

  • It is a very fine line indeed, as you know everyone's brain injury is different. Still, there is a point where enough is enough which we do not know until afterwards when of course, it is too late! Personally, I view my energy reserves like a battery and have some idea when I am running low. ie. My eyes start to glaze over, I become slightly irritable with any form of sensory stimulation. These are my warning signs to STOP and have a neuro nap. If I ignore these warning signs, I am flat for days afterwards. Hope this helps. :)

    Claire

  • ps....if I am out and about and my warning signs emerge, I will find the nearest quiet place to sit and close my eyes and just breath deeply (meditation). This tides me over until I have a proper rest at home.

  • Can only commiserate Sca as I too am short on discipline. I worked in the garden all afternoon yesterday and had to be reminded at 7pm that it was waaay past dinner time.

    The thing is, when we feel well enough, it's like we have to do as much as humanly possible before the inevitable 'bad' days hit (and they hit regardless of 'overdoing' it.

    So other than carrying a timer around in our pockets (preferably one which repeatedly screams 'Stop Now You Fool !!' ) I'm not much help ; sorry.

    Actually any timer of mine might end up being hurled at the nearest hard object ! :o xx

  • Thanks for your humor. So true.

  • I'm another epic failure at the 'pacing' theory ! I need someone on standby with a chloroform rag to drag me to bed some of the time. I will run my body until it all breaks down. Yesterday I way overdid cleaning and ended up going round Sainsbury's looking like a puppet on a tangled string, frightening shoppers who were doing the concerned 'Is she going to stay upright/should she be out' look ! ( I was actually wondering that and scaring myself ! ) I'm rough today. Still , I've done a cracking job on my bathroom walls and got my new plastic drawers in place, all ready to fill up when I get some energy back : ) I think we all know the theory but push our luck anyway when it's something we really want to achieve ! Angela x

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