Resting is part of pacing (see section on pacing.) You may well find that you can do more altogether if you do an activity in short bursts and stop to rest before the symptoms flare up.

Your need for rest will be individual so experiment to find out what works best for you at your current level of health. Some people benefit from having rest periods at set times every day (including good days). This could be in form of one long rest in the afternoon, or many shorter ones spread throughout the day. If well enough, you might be able to rest adequately sitting quietly in a comfortable chair with your feet up, or you may be better off going to bed to rest, especially if you live in a busy household. When in other people’s houses ask to lie down if you need to. Listening to the radio, talking, reading and sitting up, all take energy; remember that M.E. brains need rest as much as M.E. bodies.

Rest will be more effective if you relax as deeply as you can. Turn off the phone or use an answering machine to avoid being tempted to jump up in the middle of a rest. Also turn off central heating and electrical appliances if they disturb you. A ‘Quiet Please’ or ‘ Do not disturb’ sign can let householders know when you particularly want quiet. If it is noisy, try earplugs or ear defenders (see Noise Sensitivity). A blindfold/ sleep mask or a darkened room may be helpful. Blindfolds are available from some chemists (e.g. ‘SUPERDRUG’) or if you know anyone who is travelling, airlines give them out on long flights.

Make sure you are warm or cool enough, lie down flat and close your eyes. Try to get as comfortable and fully supported as you can, perhaps using extra pillows or rolled up towels by your sides, and under your arms, knees, or legs (slightly raising the legs relieves tension in the lower back).

Learn meditation or relaxation techniques to improve the quality of rest and help you cope with the frustration. To find an approach that suits you, try listening to several different guided relaxation recordings. In time you will be able to practise relaxation without needing a tape and you may find silence less energy consuming. If you are too ill to listen for more than a couple of minutes, you might like to play short pieces of relaxing music before a silent rest. Some people find recordings of rain and other soundscapes easier than those containing music or speech. You may find familiar pieces of music take less energy than pieces that are new to you. It may also be easier to listen to a recording of one or two instruments, rather than many different parts.

Bed : Coping Strategies : Light Sensitivity : Meditation : Noise Sensitivity : Over-Stimulation : Pacing : Pain : Sleep : Travelling

Diaphragmatic Breathing and Autogenic Training Free Your Mind