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A day in my life with Chronic Illness

07 Nov 13
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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, if I’m sticking to my limits I can only manage 6 minutes of walking (at a reasonable pace), 10 minutes of yoga (max, usually only manage 5 minutes) and I need 2.5 hours rest during the day. So what does my day look like on a typical day with no appointments or major outings?

When first trying to work out what my day should look like I looked for examples online and the best one I found that helped me to develop my own was Jess B’s daily routine over on My Journey Thru M.E.

So I used her daily routine to develop my own.

As with Jess’ routine the following statements apply to my description below.

@ times in bold are approximate just to give a clearer picture of my day. The exact times at which I do things is not particularly important, it is the pattern and sequence of rests and activity that matters.

** time durations given in italics are my current levels of function. I am working to increase these slowly through pacing.

So without further ado, here is what a typical paced day looks like for me:

Wake Up (@ 7.30/8 am) – if I wake before this I typically lie in bed and rest until this time.

Physical High (shower sitting down and dress)

Breakfast (including taking all my morning pills @ 8.30 am)

Physical Medium High (clear kitchen and feed fish)

Physical Low (brush teeth)

Rest 15 minutes (@ 9 am) – Advanced Breathing Exercises

Mental High Activity – blog, card making, dealing with stressful phone calls 15 minutes

Physical High (Yoga) 5 minutes

Rest 20 minutes (@ 10 am)

Snack + mental medium (Internet/TV, games on tablet/phone)

Rest 15 minutes (@ 12 pm)

Physical Medium High (lunch prep)

Lunch + Mental Low (TV)

Rest 15 minutes (@ 1.30 pm) – Advanced Breathing Exercises

Physical High (Walk) 6 minutes

Rest 50 minutes (@ 2.15)

Physical or Mental High – blog, card making, sewing 15 minutes

Snack + Mental Medium or Low (Internet/TV)

Rest 15 minutes (@ 4 pm) – Advanced Breathing Exercises

Physical High Activity – cleaning, sewing, guitar 10 minutes

Physical High (Yoga) 5 minutes

Rest 30 minutes (@ 5 pm)

Mental Low (TV) until E gets home


Mental Low (TV/Chat with E)

Physical Medium Low (get ready for bed) – 8.30/9 pm

Lights Out 9.30/10 pm

Obviously on days I have appointments and outings I can’t stick to this schedule. On those days I just aim to keep my 5 minutes yoga in the morning and my 2.5 hours rest throughout the day (timing may be different and I may have longer rests when able to fit them in). I don’t worry about my paced walk as most outings include more walking than I should be doing already.

I think it is important to have this flexibility in your routine. Especially given the number of appointments you usually have when dealing with a chronic illness.

Do you have a daily routine?

How do you pace yourself if you’re living with chronic pain and fatigue?

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  1. Jumping_Jenny_444 November 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Wow, you’ve definitely got a busy day (even with rest in there)! I’ve got a daily routine for the most part, but it changes a little when I have volunteer work. I make sure that I get in some rest either during the midmorning or the early afternoon.

    • Megan S November 7, 2013 at 10:46 am

      It is rather busy and half the time a lot of those spaces get filled with low level activities like watching tv because I just don’t have the energy to complete whatever it was I was meant to be completing.This is just what I aim for so that I feel like I’m making progress/being useful in some way.

  2. Megan S November 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I forgot to say that I also have multiple short naps between (and sometimes during the activity time frames). For example, my 6 minute walk is really two 3 minutes walk with a 5 – 10 minute rest in between. I also rest straight after my shower before I get dressed as the shower always wears me out completely.

  3. someonesideaofluxury November 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    It is really interesting to read about your daily routine!
    I keep an activity chart but I’m interested to map out my days like this, I’ll try it.
    I’m going to go over and look at Jess B’s now.

    • Megan S November 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Sounds good, I’ve really found her blog helpful and well written. All the posts are interesting and relavent.

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