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Fibromyalgia ME/CFS are complex chronic (meaning ‘long term’) health conditions that have different levels of severity of symptoms, ranging from: Muscle and joint pain to extreme exhaustion causing the sufferer to become bed-bound.

The significance of pacing for people who have Fibromyalgia ME/CFS (FME) is extremely important for both our primary and secondary symptoms. Pacing helps us to succeed at tasks in a way that supports us to limit relapses, crash and burns that heighten our symptoms of pain, fatigue, exhaustion, muzzy fog, hypersensitivities and other symptoms, depending on how FME affects each of us as individuals.

The level of pacing we will need to consider will depend upon how low or high the intensity of an activity is for ‘you’. For each of us the intensity rate is going to be different. Those of us at the lower end of the severity scale will be able to do more high-level activities, compared to those at the more severe end of the scale.

When we think in terms of pacing, we need to think in terms of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Physical      How is this physical activity going to affect my pain, fatigue and exhaustion levels?

How can I take care of my muscles why doing a physical activity?

What are my possible consequences of doing this particular activity?

What do I need to do to take care of my physical wellbeing during this particular activity i.e. support aids?

How can I pace my physical activity to lessen my primary and secondary consequences of pain, fatigue, exhaustion, hypersensitivity etc.?

Is there someone who can support me, by doing or helping me with my activity?

What is the best thing I can do for my wellbeing while doing this activity.

During this physical activity, can I immerse myself to STOP-REST-PACE?


Mental    How is this activity going to affect my intellectual cognitive ability?

How is this mental activity going to affect my brain fog?

How much time do I have before my muzzy foggy symptoms begin?

Will this mental activity trigger a headache/migraine?

How long before my muzzy fog lifts?

How painful is my minds-eye going to feel i.e. screen time / reading?

How painful and fatigued are the muscles in my eyes going to become?

During this mental activity, can I immerse myself to STOP-REST-PACE?


Emotional    How is this activity going to affect me emotionally?

How can I get the most out of this activity emotionally?

What emotion/s am I feeling while doing this activity?

How can I take care of my thoughts, feelings and emotions at this time?

How can I offer myself emotional kindness and compassion during this activity?

Am I able to notice and observe my internal world whilst doing this activity, so I am aware of how my body is feeling?

During this emotional activity, can I immerse myself to STOP-REST-PACE?


Spiritual   How is this activity going to affect me spiritually?

Is this activity going to affect/change my core values and beliefs?

Will this activity lower my fears, anxieties and stress levels?

Will this activity improve my immune system, increase serotonin, lower cortisol levels?

Is this activity going to cost me social connections i.e. self-isolation recovery?

By doing this activity will I experience compassionate kindness and gratitude for myself and/or for others

Will this activity bring me a sense of joy and happiness?

During this spiritual activity, can I immerse myself to STOP-REST-PACE?


Other considerations

How can I keep myself safe while doing activities i.e. personal health and safety assessment before and after activities?

‘Personal Self-Management’ is ‘My Responsibility’ to Me!

‘To know thyself;’ so I can improvise and adapt my activities to meet my personal FME self-management needs

Learn to understand how activities affect ‘me;’ we are not in competition with each other. No two people ‘PACE’ at the same rate.

What is a low intensity activity for me?

What is a moderate intensity activity for me?

What is a high intensity activity for me?

How can I best adapt a moderate or high intensity activity to make it low impact on my body?



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