Many people with CFS and FM make use of some or all of the following additional pacing strategies.
Pay Attention to Time of Day
Most people with CFS and FM find they have better and worse times of the day. For some, mornings are good, while others perk up later in the day. It’s likely you can get more done, without intensifying your symptoms, by changing when you do things, so that you use your best hours for the most important or most demanding tasks.
For example, one person with brain fog found that she could read for twice as long and remember what she read much better if she studied during the afternoon, her best time.
Control Sensory Input
Many people with CFS and FM find their concentration is affected by having too much sensory input or input from multiple sources at the same time. The solution: focus on one thing and simplify your environment. For example, turn off the TV while reading or visit restaurants during non-peak times.
If you tire or feel faint while standing, consider sitting down whenever possible, for example to prepare meals and while showering (use a plastic stool or chair for the latter). Use a scooter or motorized cart for shopping, wheelchairs in airports and a cane for balance. Use a timer to limit the length of activities like housecleaning, writing emails or fixing meals.
Other ideas: use a pedometer to limit your physical activity and a heart rate monitor to keep your heart rate within safe limits. For details on the last two options, see the articles Pedometers: A Tool for Pacing
and Pacing By Numbers: Using Your Heart Rate to Stay Inside the Energy Envelope
Make Mental Adjustments
Pacing means adopting new habits, but it also requires making mental adjustments rooted in an acceptance that life has changed. This acknowledgment leads to a different relationship to the body, described by one person as “a shift from trying to override your body’s signals to paying attention when your body tells you to stop or slow down.”
One part of this shift is changing our internal dialogue (self-talk) and expectations, so that they support our efforts to live well with illness rather than generating guilt. An example is the article Making a NOT TO DO List
Keep Pleasure in Your Life
Living with a chronic condition means ongoing discomfort and frustration. Pleasurable activities reduce frustration and stress, distract you from your symptoms and give you things to look forward to. For all these reasons, enjoyable experiences make it easier to live within your limits.