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The mindset shift that will help you cope better with your ME/CFS symptoms

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Anyone who’s experiencing life with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) knows that one of the most frustrating things is not knowing when or if things will start to improve. Whether you’ve been formally diagnosed with ME/CFS or are experiencing the symptoms due to another condition - perhaps fibromyalgia or post-viral fatigue - this lack of any firm prognosis can be very difficult to get your head around.

So I’ve got an important message to share with you. And it’s very simple:

Look at every day as a learning experience, and a step in the right direction.

It can take months or years to achieve a partial or full recovery. But what you do every single day can help you move forward. Yes, it’s true that you probably won’t feel a noticeable improvement from one day to the next - not when you’re looking at the overall picture of your health journey. But every single day you can learn something about your body, your mind, and how you’re coping with your symptoms. Recognise that, and be curious about it.

I talk to my clients about helping them achieve Life Rescues - those of you who follow my social media posts will perhaps have spotted that these words form my ‘handles’ for these channels. And the reason I love talking about life rescues with clients is because it allows us to clearly frame their small improvements as being part of a journey. It took me seven years to fully recover from ME/CFS but that wasn’t 6 years and 364 days of feeling awful, and then one day waking up and being miraculously better! It was a slow rescue journey.

No matter how long it takes, or how much of an improvement you manage to achieve, you can absolutely rescue your life to some degree. And every day that you learn something about how your mind and body are dealing with this health challenge, is a day that’s moved things forward. Even just a tiny bit. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.

As an example, next time your body gives you those little signals that indicate you’re close to overdoing it, try not to get too frustrated and upset about the fact you can’t currently do all of the things you want: go to the gym, stay up late, or even just have a long conversation on the phone. Instead, recognise that this is your body giving you useful signals to learn from. And thank your body for giving you these early warning indicators that you can use to gauge how much you CAN do. Only once you’ve really tuned-in to this, can you start working through how to cope a little better. This is all part of pacing, and it’s something that I spend a lot of time exploring with the people I help. Just this simple switch of mindset can be hugely helpful though, and I urge you to give it a go. If you find it difficult, get in touch and we can chat through how I can help.

Some days will be easier than others, sure. But look at each day as a learning experience, use that learning to help you cope a little better, and day by day you’ll be moving forward in at least some way. 

Take care


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