I have had fibromialgia for nearly a decade now, and thankfully some really brilliant physical therapists taught me how to handle my fibromyalgia- changing the way the disease affects me a great deal.
The concept of activity mapping has saved my life so many times. The general idea is that you *never* overdo it. When they feel well, people with fibromyalgia tend to try to jam everything that needs to get done into that feeling well time.
The result, nearly every time, is a few days of utter uselessness. Our bodies take longer to recover from strenuous activity. I can remember this exact pattern, I would have a day where I was feeling normal and I would bust my butt to get everything done, and then lay around for 3 days in pain. By the time I was feeling normal again I had so much to do it was very overwhelming. I felt a lot of despair as though I would never catch up with anything.
Activity mapping is controlling the amount of physically challenging stuff you do no matter how you feel. Everyday you decide the few physically demanding things that you need to get done and you accomplish them and stop. No matter how good you feel. For a lot of months this felt extremely unnatural. After all when you're feeling good sitting down and resting doesn't feel right, but the result meant that the next day I could get up and do a half a day of physically strenuous stuff again! And then sit, and do it again the next day. The result was a lot more productive time versus time in pain.
It didn't take long for me to realize that stopping myself from overdoing it meant I could actually get most of my responsibilities done. It also meant better time management. And a lot less horrific down time where pain limited me from being at all useful.
You know what else? That time that I was forcing myself to sit down I wasn't sitting in total pain- I was sitting and I was pretty comfortable. I was working on my hobby of knitting or reading or researching patterns, or recipes on the computer. I was relaxing. And it was very healing.
You know what else was healing? Knowing that I was able to get stuff done for myself and my family.
Of course, fibromyalgia it isn't all about overdoing it and being in pain. There are many other things that affect and trigger fibromyalgia. For example if you eat certain foods, etc. You can still feel awful. But overall, the activity mapping was a winning way to live with this disease.
Today I'm finding what I learned by activity mapping is helping me get through the flu. My house is such a disaster area right now but I am determined to stay planted on my couch sweating out my fever and shutting my eyes to the mess around me. Lol.
A few years ago I probably would have pushed myself to try to clean the house despite having the flu... and I probably would have ended up with something much worse like pneumonia. See how these blessings in disguise sneak up when you aren't even noticing?