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Don’t try to cheat sheet your pacing approach!

As I’ve said before, there are no quick fixes and miracle cures when you’re on a fatigue rescue journey. Gosh I wish there were! But if there’s one thing that comes close, then it’s pacing.

I’ve been helping people get back from their fatigue challenge for over five years now, and I’m yet to meet anyone who’s managed to make considerable progress without learning how to pace their energy. The opposite of pacing is often called ‘booming and busting’ - where you’re pushing yourself way beyond your limits one moment (the ‘boom’) but then experience a sizeable negative impact afterwards (the ‘bust’).

I see time and time again how helpful it is for someone to work out their daily activity limits and start to get their energy flowing fairly evenly throughout the day. This means their system can function within a more consistent and predictable state, and allows it to start to work on whatever healing and restorative work needs to be done.

The problem with booming and busting is that it pushes your system beyond its comfortable tolerances, and it then needs to work on dealing with that. Which diverts resources away from the helpful healing stuff it should be doing.

Do you need an expert like me to help you crack pacing? Nope! But does it help you get there faster? Probably!

Many people try to pace intuitively - and, indeed, I’d suggest that’s the ultimate goal. To get to a place where you’re so knowledgeable about your energy usage and limits, that you can work your way through each day without having to fixate on the detail.

But - and here’s the important bit - I truly believe that you can only get to that intuitive place by getting into the detail first. You need to learn the important lessons about what your comfortable limits are. You need to unearth insights about which activities are surprisingly energy heavy for you. And, most importantly, you need to be able to quantify what your daily activity limits are right now (your ‘energy baseline’) and how to scale that up in a measured way when you’re ready.

Once you’re skilled at working out how you can carry out each day without triggering symptom flares and crashes, you can start to use these learnings to move to a lighter touch approach. But if you try to move to that lighter more intuitive approach before you’ve learned the helpful insights, it’s likely you won’t get it as right as you need to. You can’t cheat sheet your way to cracking pacing!

I’ve been helping people figure this out for several years now. But it is possible to do it by yourself - as long as you take the time to get into the detail and figure things out properly. If your current pacing method is largely about relying on how you feel from one hour to the next then you might find it helpful to give a little more upfront thought and planning to each day. Here are some thoughts to kick things off for you:

  • Are you relying on routines? If so, that might work well right now - but once you start to get your energy back, you’ll want to vary things. Tip: routines are fine at first, but when you realise it’s possible start to flex and vary your days and learn those helpful insights into what makes a day go well

  • Does your pacing approach allow you to react to changes in your day? Life doesn’t stop throwing us curve balls just because we have fatigue! Tip: make sure your pacing method allows you to make last-minute adjustments, while ensuring that you’re sticking within your baseline for the day

  • Does your pacing approach make you feel CONFIDENT? Tip: your pacing method should work on clear detail and information. You should be able to make precise decisions about what you can commit to doing each day. Think about how you can quantify this? The best bit about pacing properly is the confidence it brings! So don’t decide you’ve cracked it until you’ve got to that place.

One of the frustrating elements to a fatigue challenge is that we can’t always trust the fact that an activity feels ok at the time… post exertional malaise is a common issue for those who haven’t cracked pacing yet. It’s often, confusingly, because the activity that pushed someone’s system beyond its comfortable tolerance felt quite manageable at the time. But pacing well can mean that this becomes a thing of the past.

Pacing properly isn’t difficult, but it is different. As I often say to the people I’m helping: “If your pacing approach feels easy, you’re not doing it right!”

If you do want my help in figuring this out, I’ve turned my successful pacing method into an on-demand online course. It’s helped hundreds of people get their fatigue symptoms under control and achieve wonderful improvements. I get glowing feedback from those who have benefited, and I’m regularly told I could charge much more than the £75 it’s currently priced at. But I don’t want to! Fatigue journeys are often financially draining and I don’t want to add to that any more than I have to.

I wish you all the best with your ongoing fatigue rescue journey.

Bye for now,


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