Avoiding ‘Boom and Bust’ with Pacing and Spacing

I find pacing is difficult to master but it truly does help with managing day to day tasks to minimize the amount of pain & fatigue.

This blog post from ‘blogaboutchronicpain’, (Reflections on Living with Chronic Pain), discusses how to effectively navigate your time and energy by ‘Pacing’ and ‘Spacing’, to avoid overactivity and how to deal with the negative side of overdoing things. Living with any kind of chronic illness can cause fatigue related symptoms making physical activities exhausting and self management is usually the only way to prevent wearing yourself out.

There is a great infographic within the post describing the vicious cycle that we end up on that is complemented with an explanation of how you can break it.

This post is reblogged from:-

blogaboutchronicpain  –  Reflections on Living with Chronic Pain

Other useful reading:

Oxford University Hospitals NHS TRUST – Pacing pdf for download –


physio.co.uk – Pacing for pain management



The importance of pacing and spacing is one of the most useful things I learnt on the Pain Management Programme I attended. The aim of pacing and spacing is to break the ‘boom and bust’ cycle whereby I overdo things on ‘good’ days and then pay for it afterwards.

It’s a vicious cycle: Overactivity leads to increased pain. Increased pain leads to prolonged rest. Prolonged rest causes feelings of guilt, frustration, and a sense of tasks that need to be done building up. That leads to more overactivity and the cycle continues.

Pain: Boom and BustThe key to breaking this cycle is to moderate activity. Spacing is helpful in this regard. I tend to make lots of lists. At the start of a week I’ll list everything I need to accomplish over the next seven days. Once it’s down on paper I find it easier to assign certain tasks to certain days. Large…

View original post 93 more words