Image by anselm23 via Flickr
I'm afraid this is going to be one of my posts where I talk about a good idea that I clearly struggle to implement regularly...
First I should clarify. We all plan for special events, like birthdays, holidays and vacations. Maybe we create a packing list or a menu or go shopping for a present. But when you have chronic illness, planning for special events takes on a whole new dimension, because traveling, shopping, cooking and decorating use a lot of energy.
So now I need to plan for allocating my energy before, during and after a special event. And to be honest, doing anything outside my normal, daily routine is now defined as a special event.
Thankfully the online CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help group introduced me to a concept that makes planning for special events much easier:
The key to filling out this form is to allocate plenty of time to tasks and adding lots and lots (and lots) of extra rest time.
So, if I had been smart, two weeks before Halloween I would have worked out my costume for handing out candy and run my Halloween related errands. The following week, I would have spread out decorating the house over a long weekend, with rest days scheduled before and after. I would have set up for candy dispensing at least a day in advance and spend most of Halloween resting before and after the main evening event.
I am spending this week staying home and resting to make up for my poor planning over the last couple of weeks. I am skirting the edge of a flare-up and doing everything I can to insert extra self-care activities into this week to prevent one from happening. Let's see if I can avoid one altogether.
Next time, I need to remember this form and complete one in advance to prevent a setback or worsening my symptoms. After all, I'm not going to pass up on fun just because I have chronic illness. I know that if I plan ahead I can do these things with minimized impact on my chronic pain and fatigue.
So do you plan ahead? After reading this post, will you give it a try or give it another try? (You can download this form by going to CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help.) Please add your feedback to this post or head over to the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page to join the discussion.