M.E and Grabbing Rest


I thought I had got out of the habit of ‘grabbing rest’ but it seems to have made a return due to the hot weather.

I have fond (NOT) memories of needing to ‘grab rest’ when I worked full time, making the most of every spare second in which I could lay flat and close my eyes. When I was still in employment my morning routine would be make/eat breakfast, get dressed, sit on my bed to put make up on, lay flat for 2 minutes before heaving my body off my bed, and dragging myself to my car to make my way into work. That sense of dread that the 2 minute ‘energy grab’ wouldn’t last long and wondering when I would next be able to ‘rest’. By ‘rest’ I mean, sit/lay down somewhere quiet for more than 2 minutes.

Self-employment means I have far more control over my energy usage and, of course, the commute to work now involves walking through my house, across the decking, past the fishpond (saying ‘hello fish’ on the way past), and across the lawn to Foggy HQ rather than a 10 minute drive in heavy traffic and a 2 minute walk from the carpark to the place I worked.

I enforce rest breaks now, I ‘designed’ the office interior to made sure that I had enough space for a ‘gamer beanbag’, which has a kind of headrest built in. Fortunately for me, my Hypermobility

The bean bag

Syndrome means I don’t have difficulty getting down low to sit on it! It has been very amusing to see my parents attempt to sit on it with accompanying groaning and contortioning!¬†Every hour or so, or when I get that slightly confused feeling that is the alert that energy is starting to wane, I move 4 ft to my right, flop onto my beanbag and listen to a mindfulness exercise on YouTube. 5 minutes of enforced ‘switching off’ and the confusion recedes again.

However, this current spell of hotter-than-usual weather has thrown by body off kilter. I had got into the routine of starting work at 9, rest breaks, lunch at 12, sleep, bit more work mid-afternoon then ‘clock off’. However, it is now too hot to work inside Foggy HQ after 11am every day, I’m not a fan of working in the evening (my M.E isn’t very keen either!) so I’m now trying to get into the habit of starting work at stupid o’clock when it is cool so I have done most of my work before 11 am. This change of routine is making my M.E go haywire…add in a high pollen count and I am more perma-knackered than usual at the moment.

This week, my morning routine has been cuppa at 6.30am (I wake up between 5.23-6.35am every morning – don’t want the neighbours to think there are intruders in the garden so I wait until at least 6.30am!), head to the office in PJs, turn laptop on – rest break while laptop warms up (so slow!), an hour of work, head into the house to have breakfast and get dressed¬† – grab 5 minutes of rest on my bed, head back to the office, another hour of work, beanbag/mindfulness rest break, more work then at 11am head ‘home’, and grab 5 minutes of rest laying flat on my bed with the curtains drawn. I do a bit more work later in the day on my laptop in front of the tv but the heat is making ‘usual’ working impossible.

The high pollen count is making me feel incredibly sleepy and so when I am ‘at home’ not working I spend most of my time propping my eyelids open! I find myself ‘grabbing rest’ at every opportunity as the pollen/heat combination is wiping me out. My parents are getting used to me disappearing for hours on end at usual times (for me) when I literally cannot keep my eyes open (pollen – not M.E) but naturally, the change in routine is also having a knock-on effect on my M.E.

Do you ‘grab rest’? Is it a sign to you, as it is to me, that your routine is off kilter? Perhaps it’s a sign that my energy management prowess has dipped over the past few weeks. After 16 years of practice, it’s a reminder that M.E is never static as it always has to adapt to its environment and new routine.



and Foggy OBVIOUSLY xxxx

ps. Foggy’s globetrotting adventuring is returning in July 2023, get in touch if you can help him with his adventuring in mid-July – August.