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Chronic Pain and Fatigue – Resting

17 Nov 13
Megan
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Resting… What is it really?

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Photo (c) Megan S, November 2013

To some people resting may be watching TV, or listening to music, or reading a book. But these activities still use energy, mental energy just not physical energy.

For someone with chronic fatigue and pain this is still too much energy expenditure.

To aid recovery we need complete rest. This means doing activities that increase energy or doesn’t use any at all.

What activities can be counted as rest then?

For me rest is:
~ lying down with my eyes closed and completely resting (dark and quiet, or listening to meditation music)
~ yogic breathing exercises (try my previous post on reducing stress and the Yoga Studio App for examples)
~ mindful meditations focusing on breathing or rotating through the body parts
~ Sitting/lying out in nature

These activities maintain or increase my energy levels after I’ve completed them and help to reduce any increase in pain and other symptoms exacerbated by doing too much.

What techniques do you use for resting?

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  1. Jumping_Jenny_444 November 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I lie down in bed and either 1. Take a nap or 2. Watch something on my kindle. It keeps me from moving around or doing anything with my hands such as crocheting! 😉

    • Megan S November 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

      I try to avoid my bed as much as possible during the day (therapists recommendations) so I tend to lie on the couch or outside on my yoga mat.

      • Jumping_Jenny_444 November 17, 2013 at 11:56 am

        I don’t have a couch, so it’s either my bed or the chairs in the living room.

        • Megan S November 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

          I’d choose the bed too in that situation 🙂

  2. dawnhosking November 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    My idea of rest is similar to what you describe — absolute rest with no distraction 😉

    • Megan S November 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      I don’t always get it but that is what I aim for.

      • dawnhosking November 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        It can be difficult when ‘life’ takes over the day — try and manage some today and I will too 😉

        • Megan S November 18, 2013 at 8:44 am

          Definitely. Sometimes I find I’m trying to rest and others will come and start asking questions and other times although I know I need the rest I can’t relax without noise in the background so I put the tv or an audio book on as background noise that just washes over me.

  3. The Girl in Yoga Pants November 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I have to have complete darkness and quiet, except for a fan running in order to rest most of the time. Sometimes I have to listen to meditation music or a guided visualization in order to calm my thoughts down enough to relax. (I have adult ADD). I’m bad about lying down with my iPhone and getting stuck on a game, too, in order to calm my thoughts, but that sends me into hyperfocus, so that’s not good.

    • Megan S November 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      I do the same thing if I pick my phone up before my rest I get distracted and usually don’t end up resting at all getting more and more useless and unable to make decisions 🙂

  4. Claire November 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you! My GET exercise physiologist keeps suggesting that I can take small rest periods during the day, like watching tv, or reading other peoples blogs. This is not rest! I need to lie down (usually in bed) and meditate or sleep. No sound, no stimulation.
    But I do think that it depends on your level of fatigue. I had a month of feeling a little better, and I didn’t need to nap most days, but could get a way with reading a book with my legs elevated (helps with the POTS) for an hour or two, and feel refreshed afterwards.

    • Megan S November 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      People don’t seem to get that TV and reading aren’t rest. I’ve just started reading books again today… It’s still hard but my eyes didn’t get as bad as they were before. Hoping that’s a good sign and I’ll be able to read more soon.

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