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FAQ 7. What is pacing and how do I do it? 

 

Pacing is a self-management strategy that people with ME can use to prevent or lessen the symptoms of post-exertional malaise (PEM). Pacing is important because by listening to your body and spreading tasks or activities out, you can help to limit the amount of PEM you experience. 

 

Since PEM can manifest 24-48 hours after physical or cognitive exertion and can last for days or weeks, the goal of pacing is to balance activity with recovery so that you can minimize having a frustrating cycle of pushing and crashing. Planning ahead so that you reduce the crashes can also help you to include more meaningful activities in your life.

 

Health care providers should already be familiar with pacing for other conditions (like multiple sclerosis or head injuries) so it is something they should be able to help you with. Occupational therapists are particularly used to this concept since the people they treat often have to adapt to a new way of life when they are experiencing health issues. PEM often doesn’t come on until later so it is important that you listen to your recent or previous experiences and plan accordingly.  

 

Please visit our pacing resources: Pacing resources | MEFM SOCIETY OF BC