I met Joan Buchman; she was the facilitator of an online group through CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help . She wrote a great article entitled How I Use Routine to Successfully Manage Fibromyalgia and I found the following questions from her article especially helpful:
I arrived at this routine by asking myself a number of questions...
- What are my present pain and fatigue levels?
- What have I learned so far about minimizing these symptoms?
- Are my social interactions satisfying?
- Am I allocating my time optimally to perform health maintenance, do home chores, have a family/social life, and engage in satisfying hobbies?
These questions seem like the appropriate guideposts for really getting started and creating a routine for myself. This advice makes me think that some of the other tasks I identified in my post Can I establish a routine in 31 days? need to be completed and/or incorporated prior to actually mapping out a routine. I need to write down my personal rules because they help me minimize symptoms and make sure I don't overdo it. I need to shorten my activities periods so I don't spend all my energy on one task, which would make it possible to switch between activity categories like home chores, health maintenance and hobbies during the day. I really need to take regular, daily pre-emptive rest breaks to recharge during my awake hours, because I already know that going, going, going all day is really, really, really no longer possible.
Joan also says,
"Some people may think that having a routine-driven life is boring, but for me it has been liberating. My illness is not running my life, I am. By being realistic about the illness and my symptoms, I am taking conscious steps to feel as well as I can."Do you think she knows about me and my aversion to the word routine?
So am I any further along in developing my routine? I definitely have more to consider and some more reading to do. I think my next steps include observing what daily activities I find myself already engaged in on a daily basis and answering the questions from Joan Buchman's article above. Well, that and to stop thinking about the word "routine" as a negative and perhaps stopping with all the robot images for these blog posts.