Pace your life
If you have multiple sclerosis then you must learn to pace your life. What does this mean?
- Be calm and be steady
- Learn to relax
- Always think before saying ‘Yes, I will be there” or “Yes, I will do …”
- Never be frightened to say “No, I’m too busy” or “OK, but lets try another day…”
- Keep a diary so you can see what you are doing each day
Me and my life
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I have so much energy. I want to do all those things that have accumulated as well as doing the things planned for today. I have tried this and inevitably I fail, sometimes quite spectacularly. I just run out of steam, legs won’t move, brain won’t function and the double vision is appalling.
On the other hand I can wake up in the morning and it takes me ages to get up and get going, I am sure that a sloth would respond more quickly than me. As the day progresses I do get better and more active. More important I do all the planned entries in my diary.
How do I pace my lifeExperience has taught me how to pace my life and this approach nearly always works. My secret is to keep a diary; I now know what I’m doing each day. The magic number is 2, I must not arrange to do more than 2 different things in any one day. Just because one day is blank that does not mean I can do more the next day or the day before. I can stretch it to 3 different activities in a day but there must be a very good reason for the extra one.
Balance activity with rest
Learn to listen to your body and learn how much you can do. Learn to read the signals that are telling you to slow down, take your foot off the throttle. Everyone is different. If you say you are too tired other people will understand. Sometimes take yourself off to a quiet room, sit down in a comfortable chair, it must support the head. Shut your eyes and try to switch the brain off.
Learn to read the signals
Remember to stop before you become exhausted and hit a wall; otherwise, you may experience payback the next day. Remember — pushing yourself too hard can leave you exhausted, so don’t take on more than you can comfortably handle. Sadly there is only one way to learn, its always the hard way.
This is part of a series of articles. Managing day to day life with multiple sclerosis is the first in the series The next one in the series is A Healthy life The previous article in the series is Right tools for the job.