By Julie Holliday in ProHealth.
There is nothing in our once healthy previous lives that can prepare us for what’s involved in getting good at pacing––at least in the way that the very limited energy of illnesses like ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease demands. Pacing to someone healthy, might mean something like keeping their speed down on a long-distance run, or having a couple of breaks when pulling and all-night study session. It tends to be only for special occasions that demand a long haul of energy expenditure.
When you have a chronic illness, pacing is about every day. Day in day out, we aim to be careful with energy so that we can minimise flares and do what we can to get the most out of a now, very restricted life. Unfortunately, taking good care of our energy means unlearning automatic patterns of behaviour that no longer work for us. These behaviours became our automatic program only because they were so successful when we had a healthy body, so unlearning the automatic is hard!
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