Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A '20 minutes' day

Yesterday I woke up feeling pretty rotten. Lack of sleep, EDS and POTS will do that.

But I also have a lot on at the moment, so I still needed to get stuff done.

My POTS means that sitting upright and being able to concentrate is in very short supply on days like that, and usually runs out by early afternoon. My blood pools when I sit, instead of circulating nicely, so I get very fatigued and foggy if I sit still for too long, and once it's bad I usually have to lie down for an hour or more. If I move early enough, simply having a good wiggle and changing position or making myself a cuppa can be enough.

Sitting still for too long also causes pain - and once I've reached my limit, the pain really does ratchet up - and take longer to reduce to normal levels too.

So I decided I would be really strict about how long I sat at the computer for. 20 minutes maximum. No 'I'll just finish this first' exceptions.

Yes, yes, I know I often write about pacing, and have various posters etc on the topic, but it's still an ongoing learning experience. My pacing frequently slips: I go down hill - then I realise, and re-visit my pacing basics - and start to get under control again. Sometimes the slips are due to things beyond my control - illness, emergencies etc. Sometimes due to complacency. But whatever the reason, pacing has the benefit of being something that you can re-start or re-assess at any time.

But I digress. This 20 minute lark turned out to require a lot of determination!

But...I actually got a huge amount done, despite it being a day when I'd normally achieve very little.

I paid my bills - then did some laundry
I did more paperwork - and had a cuppa
I sorted out some photos - then did stretches and had a lie down
I updated my website - and put the dishwasher on

 - and so my day continued. It turned out that not only did my overall time on the computer while fully conscious increase, but I also did a lot more housework than usual. Only 5 minutes here and there, and I had a few lie downs.

Pacing might take determination and dedication, and a leap of faith against the instict that says "I must finish this first" but it is definitely the way for me to get the best out of my time and energy!

So today is a "20 mins" day too.

And it's shaping up to be a good one.