Pace Yourself

“Remember, pacing is taking a break before you need it. That’s the key to maintaining mindfulness & interrupting the over activity/under activity cycle.” “The Art of Mindfulness: Mindfulness of Daily Life”, Vidyamala Burch

A week ago I got an offer of a weeks respite in a  nearby nursing home.  I was more than happy to avail of this as I have been both mentally and physically drained for quite a while, which is one of the reasons I have not been posting.

I know the change of scenery will be good for me.


Last time  I said I would write about pacing. Writing this blog for instance – it is  so easy to get absorbed and forget about  time. Wen that happens  my muscles go into spasm making the pain worse, which in turn leads to resting more, which in turn causes more pain. Honestly  it takes discipline , but is worth it and  there is lots of  evidence that suggests that  time based  pacing helps when it comes to managing chronic pain. So now I set the timer on my phone.  Time based means literally that, working out the amount of time you can stay doing something e.g  –  writing, walking , before the pain gets worse or as Vidyamala  Burch says  to remember  to stop before you need to.

I found  that I had more energy in the  mornings and  tended to overdo things,  now I divide  activities over the whole  day. Its not an exact science but its good to have   definite goals for  each day. I feel a sense of achievement at the end of a day that I get a few things done.

Another  thing that is helping me  which I know I have already mentioned is meditation. I am  really  interested in how it can release tension and  can have a positive impact on pain and stress. There is an app which I like – Insight timer.  This app has all its meditations timed so once set, you have no need  to worry about switching off your device. I also listen to Vidyamala Burch  and John Kabet-Zinn .  I find doing a body scan and listening to  hypnosis tapes  regularly, helps me to deal with the ongoing pain.

Have a look at this  PDF on pacing .

Pacing is an active self-management strategy whereby individuals develop self-efficacy through learning to balance time spent on activity and rest for the purpose of achieving increased function. Pacing: A concept analysis of a chronic pain intervention:Pain Research & Management. 2013 Jul-Aug; 18(4): 207–213.

I am  now midway through my week. It has been a lovely break. Unfortunately I didn’t heed my own advice and overdid it on a few occasions .  Then I found myself in the over active/under active cycle. It is so frustrating and the increased pain has been a real  set back.  Still I did  get to experience been outside in a beautiful garden, breathing in the fresh air.

Once again  it brought into sharp  focus the realities of living with chronic pain and how important it is to manage it well.


10 thoughts on “Pace Yourself”

  1. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this
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  2. First off I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick
    question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
    I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    suggestions or hints? Thank you!

    1. Thanks for kind comments. Believe me I find it hard to write. I keep writing many drafts and edit as I go. It does not come naturally. Its a blank sheet of paper..just write what you feel.

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