Identifying your baseline is the first step in integrating pacing into your daily life. Your baseline is the amount of time or intensity you can handle for a specific activity before it starts to impact your pain. Knowing your baseline allows you to gradually increase your tolerance for the activity, ultimately leading to better pain management. Consider the following:
Think about which activity you want to introduce or increase in your life. This could be anything from gardening, household chores, or even socializing with friends. It's essential to select an activity that is meaningful to you and will contribute positively to your overall well-being.
On multiple occasions, engage in the chosen activity and carefully observe how long you can perform it before your pain starts to increase. Keep a record of these measurements to calculate your average tolerance. Remember, it's crucial to be honest with yourself about your pain levels to prevent overexertion.
Your tolerance level will likely vary from day to day, depending on factors such as sleep, stress, and overall health. It's essential to recognize these fluctuations and not push yourself beyond your limits on difficult days. Your baseline should not be your maximum effort but rather a sustainable level that allows for gradual improvement over time.
Establishing your baseline is a critical aspect of pacing. By identifying your tolerance for specific activities, you can make informed decisions about how to increase your activity level while managing your pain effectively. This process encourages a better understanding of your body and its limits, ultimately leading to improved pain management and an enhanced quality of life.