I need help learning to slow down

I just don’t understand how to slow down. It just sucks that I spend 2 days recovering from 6 hours of work. I just need advice.

We all do it, Kate. No one is that good at pacing that we do not set ourselves up to feel badly over it. It may involve setting a timer to know when to just stop! Do a little and rest is a good way, but knowing when to stop is crucial too! It will get easier, at least sometimes!

So glad you are on the way, Katie!



Hi Katie, I tell myself to pace myself, slow down, rest, but I never do.i have basically been in bed for four days after doing yard work on Monday. If you figure something out, let me know!

I agree with SK that setting a timer helps. I try to do 15 minute intervals and move about so I'm not doing a repetitive action for more than 15 minutes. So each hour would be 15 minutes of washing dishes, then something I could do while sitting down like paperwork, then vacuuming, then rest. It's so hard to get started sometimes that you just want to keep the momentum going until you finish the task, but then you'll wear yourself out and will have a hard time motivating yourself to get started next time.

The other thing to remember is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I don't mean just health-wise. I don't know what you do for work, but try to look for ways to make it easier on yourself. I'm so far behind on so many things that I feel overwhelmed at times, so my goal for now is just not to fall any further behind. I tend to be a perfectionist, so I have to learn to settle for "good enough."

Well thanks :wink: I think I’ll try the timer thing. I’m just one of those people who didn’t stop till everything is done. I never had to think about breaks or anything. I guess I could pick up smoking again it used to make me take breaks. (just kidding the 15th will be a year smoke free not about to screw that up)

Let me know how the slowing down goes! I've been trying to tell myself lately not to take as much work onto my plate, but it doesn't seem to work. I'm currently working 6 days a week at a stressful job. (I'm the head editor at a wedding photography studio) and I'm also their go to person when they can't figure out how to do things like use the internet.

When you finally figure out how to slow down let me know! And if I figure something out i'll let you know. I think for me it'll be finally admitting to myself that I just simply can't do the things a healthy person can, but I hate feeling useless and mostly I hate feeling like someone else is thinking I'm lazy.

I think that the hardest part of this illness is exactly that, your "I'm done" threshold. From the others that have posted so far, you have some great ideas. If your working environment allows you to leave the desk, set your cell phone (on vibrate of course) about every 45 minutes. This way you can better gauge how long you have been sitting is one spot. You can get up and get a drink of water or whatever you like to drink. You can make a trip to the Ladies' Room, this one is one I used all the time. When I went, I would get into a stall and just breathe for a few minutes. That is unless it is busy, its rough then. But if you get lucky just enjoy the quiet and "aloneness", to give yourself a mini-break. Hopefully one or all of our suggestions can help you through your day.

Then when your week is over, make sure you take the time for yourself the best you can. If you have kids, this might be difficult. Do they know if you have fibro, if you have kids? If they don't you can describe to them what is going on with you. As you are their mom, figure out the best way they would understand. See how that works out. Lay on the couch if you need to "chaperone" the kids. Or if you can stay in bed all day and (if you have one in your bedroom) watch TV or you can read, if you feel up to it. I have a Kindle and it has been the best Christmas present my husband ever gave me. It weighs close to nothing and you can turn pages with the touch of a button instead of trying to hold an actual book awkwardly and hurting your hands from reading too long. If you can do a little of both, alternating from one to another. Nap if you can too. There is nothing you can't put off to another day that is so pressing that you HAVE to do it at that moment. Unless of course you have to make an appearance somewhere. I would either call and say you can't make it or only go for a short time (an hour or two).

I hope that some of these tips can help you some. Just remember you are not alone. We have all at one point or another we have been in your shoes and empathize how you are feeling. Get some rest and feel better.

Thank you everyone, I feel popular lol. I’m going to give these suddgestions a try. I’m lucky that I have no kids I don’t know how I would have made it through all this taking care of kids too and I have a ton of respect for those of you that do. I think most of why I never slow down is that I don’t really want to admit that I need to. (sorry just a bad day seems like I’m crying all the time lately.)

You are popular! Each and everyone is a valuable member of this group! We are all in this together, Katie!

Wearing yourself out can easily put you into the crying fits!

I have my therapy here now, he is 2 years old, he is good for me, he gets me out, gets me moving and makes me laugh! He is my great grandson, and he is my heart! Do something good for your heart, but take the breaks, I am on one now!



Blessings, Kathie! Baby steps. . . now when I have energy I have to stop before it is too late. . . twice I have had to take steroids for my back. . . lifting. . . it is not nice! I JUST HAVE TO HAVE IT IN MY MIND THAT I HAVE TO TAKE IT EASY EVEN IF I HAVE THE ENERGY - which does not happen very often. . . divide those 6 hours into 3? I proritize - even it that means giving up a shower! I miss my mom sooo much - my husband wants to make the trip in one day which means I have to be sitting down three hours each way - it takes me a week to recuperate. . . now, when my husband is ready I am not - I have not seen my mom in one year - she is 81 - it saddens me soooo much that she can do a lot more than I can. . . she went to Miami last year. . . Surprisingly, she is the only one who now understands what I have. . . JUST, PLEASE - LEARN TO TAKE IT EASY. . . I KNOW IT IS NOT EASY - YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!

I was missing my mom today too. She always had a way of making you feel like its going to be okay no matter how bad the situation was. Been 11 years now and I miss her.

Hi Katie, there is a common theme all of us with fibro seem to have and that is that if we over do, it we pay for it . We have to learn what our limit for us is, each person has a different limit. The hardest thing in the world is to accept that limit and maintain our daily activity with in it . It’s hard !!! Hard to comprehend that if I take a shower, have lunch with a friend, that’s it for that day, shopping will have to wait till tomm, if I pushed to shop after lunch, chances are great, that pain and fatigue will be higher the following day. Wow, that stinks, but we have to focus on what we can do otherwise we will go crazy.
Hugs& blessing for a happy day

Hi Katie,

Your body is telling you 6 hours work is too much. I know you're very keen to get on, but if you take it easier you won't lose those 2 days. Pacing ourselves is really important to managing the illness. Can you cut dow the hours or days or spread it out over the week?

I hope you can find your balance soon. Listen to your body. Good luck and gentle hugs,


I just don’t know. I used to work 24 hour shifts and not sleep the next day. I guess if life is gonna slow down atleast I lived it to it’s fullest. I just think that life lived in bed isn’t life. I can’t even get myself to go out and pull the weeds in my garden that are almost as tall as I am after 3 months of neglect. I miss the woods and nature and long walks with my dog. I miss my life. I got 1 year to be happy and now it’s stolen from me again. 1 year out of my 30 has been good and now I dread the future. I just feel like my life is over. I didn’t even have kids and now it would be stupid for me to have them. I always wanted children to give them a better life than I had even known was possible before I got away from my family and now what am I going to do? If it weren’t for my husband I would have killed myself already and I’m having to make myself not resent him for making me promise not to. I’m sorry I’m sure you all have your own problems to deal with I just don’t have anyone to talk to that understands other than this support group and I’m having a bad day.

Katie, I’m so sry you are having such a bad day. If it helps I know how you feel, sometimes I feel like my life is over, I can’t do anything in the way I used to, it’s so unfair ! We could go on for ever listing all the things we use to be able to do, and we certainly are entitled to have a bad day, but please try to focus on the positive, there is always someone far worse off. You have a husband that’s a positive, I feel like at 48, and my condition I will never find someone to put up with me or love me the way I am, but if I think that way I will never find anyone. happiness is a direct result of gratitude, make a list of everything you are greatful for, that helps me. I’m curious how did you have the one year ? And I’m so sry about missing your mom !!! Is there someone that knew her that you can call and share good memories with.
I feel your pain , we are so blessed to have this site, you are not alone !

Thank you funny my husband called after I finished writing that. It’s been one year since my family disowned me and my life became my own and I’ve been married for 1 year. I was raised Pentecostal in an abusive home. I don’t talk about it much (unless my therapist forces me to) just the past. The list thing sounds like a good idea.

Hi, I know just what you are going through. I am just recently learning to pace myself, doing a little at a time. Take it easy and do what you can each day. I am getting used to doing this and I feel less pressured in my life. Hope you feel better.

We all are with you, Katie.

I guess I'm "lucky" - I was old enough to retire early after only a short attempt to continue working in a high-stress multi-tasking job. But now that my husbands passed on I realize how much of the home load he was carrying.

I have three main coping mechanisms:

1. Friends who listen and keep me from curling up in a ball (that includes all you wonderful folks on this forum!)

2. Hiring out as much as I can. I have a gardener every 2 weeks, and I only do the things I like while he pulls the weeds and cleans up the flower beds. Soon I hope to hire a maid service for at least once a month (not sure if I can straighten up more often than that!)

3. The calendar app on my Android. I plan my day and put every activity in my calendar, including rest periods. That way, on the 'good' days I don't wear myself out to the point that I spend the next 2 days in bed (yes I've done that, I think we all do).

Hang in there. I can't promise it'll get better, but you'll find ways to cope.

Gentle hugs and loving thoughts.

Hi I agree with everyone that posted here. We all overdue it and we do not even realize it, until it's too late. Yeah, we suffer that day, or a few days later. I try to plan my days on my calendar in my phone, and of course I have my appt planner that I care with me. But, some days before I even realize it. I've over done it and I'm totally wiped out. It knocks me on my but, and I'm down for a couple hours, until I can get energy to get back up.

I've blamed it on the heat, because of our hot temps this summer. It could have had something to do with, but I just think it's my CFS. Hey, I'm doing better, I used to be laid up for a day or two, Now it's about 3 hours before I can get my second wind.

Pace your help, and take smaller steps one day at a time. Hope you will find a way to do better. God bless you.

great post, I think a lot of others feel as you do.