Pacing and overcoming fatigue

8) Practical tips for pacing yourself

Hand writing on a notebook

  • Plan your day. Use diaries / timetables to balance activities with quieter times / rest to manage your symptoms.
  • Listen to your body. Watch out for, and use, warning signs to set limits (for more information please see our section on What makes you breathless). Don’t keep going with something “just to get it finished” if your body is telling you to stop.
  • Remember symptoms can vary day-to-day. Take this into account when planning your day.
  • Think about the true cost of activities. Is one task worth more to you than another?
  • Break each activity down into manageable chunks (Occupational Therapists are trained in analysing the detail of activities and can support you with this if necessary).
  • Alternate activities throughout the day.
  • Use energy saving devices. Sit down to do the ironing. Use your microwave oven to cook small portions rather than lifting and bending to get dishes out of your cooker oven.
  • Relaxation – include the things you enjoy, the ‘nice stuff’!
  • Watch out for times you feel pressured to do too much. Set limits and say “No”.
  • Let people around you know what you are doing. They can provide support and encouragement.
  • Think about your goals and make plans. “People who fail to plan, plan to fail”. For more information please see our section on Self management and how can it help you?.