How to Pace Yourself When Recovering From a Serious Illness

Pace YourselfIf you have suffered from a serious illness you will probably struggle at first just to be able to manage normal tasks such as bathing and preparing meals. You will find it very difficult to pace yourself if you run a business, or have a hobby you are very involved with, or look after active children.

As you get stronger though, you will gradually manage to do more and more. Depending on your disabilities (are they physical or mental), they will dictate just how much you will be able to do.

Are you a workaholic (like I am)? Well, guess what, you had better slow down or suffer some really bad consequences. Unfortunately one serious illness can often lead to another. Just when you think you are coping, you could be struck yet again. Stroke victims often have more than one stroke. A sister-in law of mine had over 200 mini strokes. If you have cancer or a tumour you know that you have to be checked for a number of years (sometimes for life), to make sure it is not coming back. So how do you pace yourself?

First of all do not ignore your checkups or medication because you’re feeling fine. My uncle died because he stopped taking his blood pressure tablets because he felt OK after taking them for a couple of months. A friend has diabetes and does not take her pinprick tests “because I feel guilty when it is too high”; nor does she watch what she eats she is “too busy to think of it at all”!

Another friend had not been to see a doctor for nearly 20 years. He said “I don’t want to know if something is wrong with me”. Then he had a stroke with paralysis and the doctors discovered a cyst in his kidney. Surely prevention (or at least early treatment) is better than having to undergo unpleasant medical procedures that may (or may not) cure you. If you don’t take time to ‘smell the roses’ then it is about time that you did. Stop and have a sit down breakfast. Talk to your partner/spouse and make this a relaxing time to start the day.

Have a break for morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Don’t just make a ‘cuppa’ and return to your work desk/computer. If you don’t have room for a garden, grow some pot plants. Flowers and herbs can make you feel relaxed.

But the most relaxing thing you can do is to pat and groom a dog or a cat. This is not only relaxing for you, it is also relaxing for the pet as well

Set yourself sensible goals. Don’t try to accomplish too much in one day. Whereas I used to paint on my silk for 8 hours a day, now I stop after one or two hours. I also do stretching exercises every 15 minutes. Then I do some computer work, or writing; much of my tome is spent in marketing my product.

Stop working during the evening. Watch T.V, knit, write a book ir talk with your family. If you can take some of the stress out of your life, your family are likely to follow your example and enjoy the process. You never know, if you set a ‘stress free’ example, they may follow your lead.

And what if you don’t pace yourself? I guess you can look forward to recurring medical problems; next time may lead to you being an invalid or can even result in you losing your life.

You can read how I coped with my serious illness and learnt how to pace myself.

Tips and Hints

* Obey doctor’s orders.
* Take time to smell the roses – literally
* Have proper meal breaks
* Don’t work night and day
* Pat a pet
* Above all – RELAX!

25 thoughts on “How to Pace Yourself When Recovering From a Serious Illness

  1. Jack J

    Great article, I know it is hard to be patient and try to do everything right when recovering but it is very important.

    Reply
  2. Dan Reid

    Simple yet crucial tips! Starting small and a having a lot of patience is where it’s at. It seems kind of silly and almost embarrassing to do things slower, less efficient, and take it easy especially if you previously a fast-paced go-getter. It’s understandable and really a must to take your time in order to be the super-worker you were before. Give yourself a break!

    Reply
  3. Jennifer

    Great tips. One of the best things my grandmother did after her second stroke was get a dog by the name of Tipper. She was the perfect kind of pet for her. I definitely agree with the idea that pets help you recover and add years to your life.

    Reply
  4. Jane

    Thanks for the article. I relative of mind recently suffered a stroke. It is important to allow them to be independent and to help them reach their goals.

    Reply
  5. Jane

    Best to take each day at a time. There is a lot to learn when recovering from an illness. At the end slow and steady wins the race. Try and create a routine which is easy to adhere to.

    Reply
  6. suzanne mosso

    My parents are elderly, my mother has COPD and my father has knee problems where he has a hard time walking. I live with them and leaving them alone is very stressful. This opportunity would be perfect for me to stay with them full time and spend time with them during the day and night.

    Reply
  7. Samantha R.

    The anxiety you get when you go through something so stressful not knowing your going to make it is overwhelming. Getting through it and keeping up with all your appointments is highly important to make sure you stay where you at. I completely agree with you.

    Reply
  8. caitlin

    I agree. Pacing yourself is very important when recovering from an illness. It is all to easy to overdue things and then experience setbacks.

    Reply
  9. Ana B.

    I agree with this post completely. It is helpful to pace yourself when you’re recovering and not immediately jump back into things, lest you suffer the consequences. Work is important, but you need time to heal.

    Reply
  10. sarah

    I have to take your advice and stop working at night. It’s so hard when you have your own business not to be working or thinking about work 24 hours a day. But breaks are important, especially during recovery.

    Reply
  11. Michael

    Don’t overwork yourself. Take it slowly. You just went through a tramitic event in your life. You deserve to relax for a little while! Maybe get a new hobby.

    Reply
  12. Vatrecia

    I think that being more open and obeying the wishes of your doctors could be distasteful at first. But being able to get plenty of rest is the best thing that could happen, due to chronic illness or what ever the case may be. Because being able to be around family and enjoying there company on any day off would be more joyful in most peoples eyes, sit back relax and enjoy the smell of your coffee.

    Reply
  13. Kris H

    I love the advice. When I’m ill I really wanna get to work or my regular schedule. I think taking a break and taking time to smell the roses is great advice when on the mend.

    Reply
  14. Nicole Evans

    Your advice is so simple.. .yet so hard to follow through on. Although i do not suffer from a serious illness like yours, i do suffer with ptsd and depression and yes, when i read “do not stop your medication when you feel better”, i had shamefaced moment, i am all too familiar with that one. First, you simply forget a dose and doesnt do much harm, then you think “hey, im ok without this” and before you know it, you are on a spiral downwards, dragging you deeper and deeper. Thank you for this reminder that it is important to keep taking meds, keeping up my appointments and, to go easy on myself.

    Reply
  15. Max Torini

    This is very helpful. I really like the above all relax point, that is so true! You continue to inspire me. Stretching on the regular is also a very good tip. Thanks! good read!

    Reply
  16. Gary R

    No matter how good you may feel if you are suffering from a major illness you must use wisdom in taking care of your health. Taking your medication; seeing your doctor on a regular basis are mandatory.

    Reply
  17. austin

    A really informative article,especially the hints and tips at the end showing how to easily manage your illness.Very Helpful.

    Reply
  18. Tara

    Serious illness recovery is always difficult. But when our family take care this recovery, This time we feel peace and happy. This article written well.

    Reply
  19. Nicolas

    Thank you for providing your thoughts on this subject. It is very important to enjoy yourself with hobbies and not be strapped down to your work.

    Reply

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