when to push/when to rest

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by nan2dance, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. nan2dance

    nan2dance New Member

    This seems to be one of the hardest, most confusing parts of CFS/FM. When do you push through the pain and fatigue to exercise/get things done/go out and "enjoy life" and when do you rest and pamper yourself and let yourself feel crummy. ?? Sometimes, at this stage of my progress, exercise helps me move out of a slump. Sometimes it just makes me sick. How do you decide? What do you think about this? I used to be very hard on myself. As if it were just a weak will that kept me disabled. So I just compounded feeling lousy physically with feeling guilty. I forget over and over again that a certain amount of this (a lot, really) is NOT in my control. In retrospect, when I was bedridden and housebound and SOOOO sick rest was ESSENTIAL to my getting better. Docs who insisted I get out and exercise had no idea what I was actually dealing with and were just plain wrong. At that point. Now I can exercise and it is just as essential to getting better at this point. Once I realized I was being really mean to myself about things (I would never boss someone else around like that!) I was able to kind of leave the drill sargeant behind. Being mean isn't part of the equation any more. But I still have the dilemma so many days, should I push myself today? or would it be better to go with it and rest? Maybe if I knew what the heck was going on with my body in the first place it'd be less confusing. I'd know what the situation called for. Do you guys deal with this?

    ~nan2dance
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I think I pushed just too hard yesterday and feel so bad today, I feel I will never recover.


    Everythibng is trembling. Can't post long. I would say, I overdid it. Love Anne
  3. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    Finding the balance between doing too much and doing too little is an ongoing challenge for me.

    One thing this illness has taught me is the importance of pacing myself. Instead of doing much much much when I have a good day or rest rest rest when I have a bad day I try to do something productive and take some rest every day. If I'm in a bad flare I push myself to do a little something and if I feel well I stop myself from doing too much.

    Their are exceptions for example I'll push myself a little past my comfort zone for the important things (visits with my children, going to a play or concert etc.) and I allow myself to stay in bed all day without guilt if I'm feel too darn sick to do anything.

    It's the same for exercise. I walk for exercise every day. On a bad day I may only walk 1/2 block or some days only up and down my driveway. On a good day I'll enjoy a longer walk making sure I stop before I'm exhausted and/or in too much pain.

    I'm glad you're being gentle with yourself. I've let go of my inner drill sergeant as well and I'm better off because of it.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  4. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    Hello nan2dance ... I understand what you are talking about .. I have been in the same boat as well .. sometimes I think if I just push myself a little and get over this hump I'll be better for it .. some times it works and other times it does NOT.

    It is truly too difficult to know until you reach that point of I can do this .. or this is TOO much for me .. it can be especially hard if you are a bit OC .. everything I start makes me sick if I can't finish it a certain way .. it wears you down .. on top of all the health problems we have to handle these episodes of trying to decide what is best for us at the moment is incrediably stressful .. and it happens almost every day of our lives .. no wonder we are in such bad shape !

    Today I couldn't decide whether to try and walk on the treadmill .. all morning I flipped flopped .. then I though at "this moment" I think I can ( yes .. the little train story ) .. so I did .. I just got out of the shower now afterwards and I'm happy I managed what I did.

    BUT .. that is today .. I have no idea what tomorrow or even later on ths evening will bring when I think of trying my yoga .. every moment is a process of deciding when it comes to things like this .. most of us are in the same boat, so I know I'm not alone.

    It can be very depressing and defeating when we have too many bad days on top of each other though .. so I just hold on as best I can till a good one breaks the cycle and a little hope developes.

    Do what your instinct is trying to tell you .. trust yourself more .. and even if you make a misjudgement you can learn from it . Hang in there !
    Fudge : )
  5. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    nan2dance:
    I spend more time resting rather than exercising. When I have a good day I will get all done that I can and then I pay for it the next day. To your question I just want to say: I want to read every response because I do not have a clue either about it.
    Hugs,
    NyroFan
  6. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    When I have good days, I try not to do too much. I force myself to rest, either in bed or I watch a movie or read a book. I don't go more than 4 hours without resting on good days. For the longest time, I didn't "get it". When I had a good day, I would just act like the "old me". I would keep going non-stop until I dropped. I would pay for it big time.

    I have finally accepted that I AM ILL and it is up to me to take care of me. Nobody else knows what I need or how I feel. I embrace my illness and talk to myself as if I was a little girl. I really do. I say to myself "Sweetie, do you feel like cooking or do you want to rest?". I have stopped punishing myself for being unable to do the things I used to do. So, to answer your question, I don't think it is ever a good idea to push yourself. Do a little and rest, do a little and rest, etc. on good days. On bad days, rest, rest, rest.
  7. cczub

    cczub New Member

    I usually push myself too hard most of the time. I had found that by resting all weekend I'd just about make it to Thursdays then start to really crash. I had been doing good if I kept with that but felt like I was wasting away the free time I had on the weekends by staying in bed or in the recliner watching TV.

    THe past two weekends I've been fairly active and I'm paying the price for it. 2 weeks ago I spent the day working on my boat cutting out the floor then this weekend waxed the work truck and did some repair on my wife's car. This morning when I woke up my body felt like it was friday already!!!

    Finding the happy median is not easy but if you can you should notice yourself feeling a little better!


    Good Luck
  8. danaroo

    danaroo New Member

    This is one of the toughest parts of this for me. I am way more liable to push than to rest. I almost never rest but then by end of day I am tired and cranky with my kids. So that 5 pm witching hour with small children is hell because i'm witchy too! Sometimes i can tell that i'm about to flare by a funny feeling in my skin. Then i try to not push. I don't rest really (have to learn that one) but i won't exercisei f my skin is hurting. I do find that regular exercise (i use an elliptical trainer or take walks) does help me. I think however, that if you are going back and forth and decide to push, do so very lightly. So go to the store or take a 10-minute walk. Not the 30 minute run! :)

    Good luck. It doesn't help, but we all struggle with this one i think!

    dana
  9. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I deal with every day as we all do..I am not affected by pain like some of you, so that is not as much an issue with me as the fatigue..

    I have no answers except try to listen to my body but not get lazy..One of the hardest thing for me is not to overdo when I have a good day..I just want to catch up with everything..

    I had a very stressful and active weekend and it hit me today..I thought this is a day of rest didn't think I could get out of the house..My granddaughter called from school she was sick and I had to go get her..Then went to walmart to pick up a few grocries..Getting out seemed to snap me out of the way I was feeling but I did have to take a xanax to make it.. So I never know what to do..I am going to fix dinner then rest..

    I am anxious to see what others say..sorry I am no help but sure can relate..

    greatgran
  10. cczub

    cczub New Member

    I too when I'm having a good day tend to way overdo it... When I feel good I tend to say to myself, " hey you feel great, keep going and get as much done as possible." Don't do that.. I pay for it dearly and it usually sets me back a few days...
  11. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    Yep, agreed, I have the same struggle.

    The biggest obstacle for me is having little ones. Often times I just can't choose, I MUST get my 3rd grader to school, no matter how horrid I feel, which of course only makes me feel worse. And then once I get to work, I'm exhausted- and then after work with homework and bath time and dinner -- I don't know how healthy Mom's do it!!!

    It's a vicious cycle of push, push, push.. and dream about rest, rest, sweet rest.

    Sharon
  12. nan2dance

    nan2dance New Member

    I'm so glad I asked! Thank you all for responding so thoughtfully. I especially like the idea of talking to yourself like you would to a child. It's a care-taking role instead of a drill sargeant role. Yeah...

    I was also struck by the idea of simply resolving to do both every day - rest AND be active. What a great attitude! What a simple concept!

    Of course, I have the "luxury" of being active nowadays. Most of the time. I'm a firm believer that when you're deadly ill you should rest rest rest. I regret the stupidest times that I did push earlier on and I see now how it set me back. But it gets confusing precisely when you're supposed to start feeling grateful!

    There is such a fine line between when you should push and when you should rest.

    On a slightly different note. Often it's not a question of "can I do that?" as it is a question of "what will I feel like afterwards?" Like spending down money in the bank. I think the biggest reason why I overdo instead of resting and doing in moderation is DENIAL. I love to forget, if only for a moment, that I have a condition. Heck, I don't even know what to call it - that I am sick, that I am handicapped, that I have limitations. Nothing seems to fit. A "condition" will do. So when I am able to be active I don't even want to care about the repercussions. I want to feel like me. You're out there, loving life, to hell with consequences... Fine, but not the best way if you want to inch yourself toward normalcy and health with a routine. Which I do. But, geez, I do hate to be prudent when I can just pretend for a moment I'm a healthy 20-year-old!

    ~nan2dance