Monday, October 14, 2013

Why Make a Day List During a Flare or Relapse?

Are you having a flare or a relapse?  Many people call any extra ache or pain a flare, whether it lasts two days or two months.  However, I think it is more reliable to think of a flare as a symptoms that have gotten stronger or come back for a shorter amount of time -- probably for a twenty-four hours or less. To me a relapse has the connotation of a return of symptoms that are stronger and last longer than a week.

Do you  ever have a problem with deciding on the appropriate designation for your symptoms?  I wouldn't worry about it.  Either way you feel worse ;  and, there is a negative impact during these times.

You could take time to pamper a little.
Do you need a bath or shower?
However, if you can get past the pain and doldrums, as well as the sickly, icky feelings that come with flares and relapses to take action in your home situation, you might feel better mentally and emotionally.  Knowing you have done at least one thing on your daily schedule,  can help most people improve confidence and  satisfaction during the day.  The problem is getting yourself moving, and being careful not to do too much.  Pacing yourself is an imperative, which means rest.  Don't push yourself too hard or you may end up feeling worse.

Should you work during a flare or a relapse?  That is a question each of you have to answer;  and the answer probably depends on how serious your relapse is.  Have most of your symptoms returned?  Are you fighting off an infection or a virus?  What are the circumstances of your life?  Are you more stressed than usual?  All of these things need to be taken into account. 

The List

You have seen a possible weekly cleaning schedule, which can enhance developing a routine while ridding your house of clutter.  However, have you thought much about a daily list that has definite goals written down?  

Brain fog is a debilitating factor of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Some people feel like they have fogginess every day, even on more normal days.  

One way to combat brain fog is a designated list for the day, written on scrap paper or in an inexpensive notebook. 

During my relapses, I would accomplish very little, relying only on my weekly schedule.  I need to see specific tasks written down, so I can cross them off.  When I see a task crossed off my list, it boosts my morale.  I may still feel worse than usual, but I am not as bored, nor do I feel like I've completely lost a day.  

Even if you only accomplish very small tasks, it is a good thing.  Working helps dissipate depression;  moreover, it means you will not have as much to catch up on when you are able to do more.

One hint about your designated list for the day:  even on good days, do not make it too long.  Don't write down more than three things on it.  In fact, if you are having a flare or a relapse, more than three things will probably be too much.  The principle of three works.  If you have more energy after getting three things done, you can always add another thing you want to do.

I hope this helps you on your more difficult days.  I can't guarantee that you will always feel better if you do something; but, after a flare or relapse, it is harder to get moving if all you have done is sit all day.  

During a relapse or flare, I have found that when I am able to do at least one active thing every day, my morale is higher than if I sit all day.

Therefore, try to keep moving on your flare days;  but also, remember to rest when you feel like you are shaky, dizzy, or over-fatigued.    

God bless you all.  Have a good week!


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It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah