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Controlling Symptoms by Setting Limits
Presented by Bruce Campbell

One part of pacing is setting limits. Limit setting means that you stop doing some things entirely and reduce the amount or time spent on others.

You can find an example of the former in Eunice Beck’s article Making a NOT TO DO List. Constructing a list of things you no longer want to do gives you permission to take things off your “should do” list, eliminating activities without feeling guilty about it. Having a “not to do” list gives you a justification for taking steps to protect your health.
Eunice Beck includes in her list “not volunteering or being manipulated into commitments that I know will be a strain on my energy and pain level.” She also lists putting the needs of others before her own.
You can find a good example of the power of setting time limits on activity in Bobbie Brown’s article The Many Reasons Why I’ve Improved. Bobbie used limit setting and other strategies to increase her functional level from about 15% of normal to about 35% or 40%.
Two items in Bobbie’s list refer to medications, but most of her strategies involve changes in her daily habits and routines. She uses pacing techniques, such as taking regular, scheduled rests and living within limits. In fact, almost half her items are techniques for setting limits on herself, including limits on: 
  • Driving  
  • Computer and phone time 
  • Stress and sensory input
  • Socializing
  • Travel and time outside the house 
  • Household and family responsibilities