In my recent pacing workshop we touched on the concept of ‘Allostatic Load’
This is how much chronic/intermittent stress the body is put under – and all the physiological changes that happen as a result.
Some stress is good obviously – exercise. mental and social stimulation: being bored and inactive is bad for us.
But too much and we tip over into a state where we are just coping (or not) and the body cannot keep up with its housekeeping, never-mind recover and repair well.
When it comes to pain we might think about not overdoing things that are directly painful: this is the basics of pacing for pain. But actually ALL the overdoing it, and overloading in all aspects of our lives is important.
Being in constant stress is incompatible with recovering from persistent pain.
Which is why my first conversations with clients often involve questions about what they can drop or delegate, at least temporarily.
Surprisingly often what can be dropped is something that they are doing for their pain.
Something that’s not helping, but they feel they have to persist with because it’s ‘what you are supposed to do’. This might be appointments for adjustments that involve a stressful journey, or feeling obliged to do ‘core exercises’ rather than going for a walk outside which they would actually enjoy.
If it’s not generally improving your pain over time, or making you feel more resilient, and it’s adding to your load, is it hindering rather helping your recovery?
Do you think you are overloaded at the moment?
Is that something you could change? You need to lighten the load well before you get close to the ‘last straw’.
If you want some help with looking at where you might be overloading yourself, and how to use pacing that’s about your whole allostatic load, you can book a chat with me here.