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Limiting Activities (Staying off the computer)

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Lotus97, May 15, 2013.

  1. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I was thinking about making this topic more broad and simply titling it "Limiting Activities". Well, the topic of this thread can still be limiting activities in general. However, a lot of people already know about limiting activities, but I think staying off the computer (and even watching TV and movies to a certain degree) is something many people overlook. They think with computer or TV you really aren't doing much so how bad can it be? But your body isn't really at rest. Especially with the computer. I know for myself I experience a worsening of symptoms just by spending time on the computer. Even people who are much more active than me might be burned out by the time they get home and spending time at the computer might be enough to push them over the edge. They might be better off laying in bed listening to music or meditating when they get home and then maybe spending time on the computer after they've rested a bit (and perhaps also eaten).
    Jarod likes this.
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    We used to talk about this a lot in the early days of "pacing" and ways of activity management. The term we used to use was ART (aggressive rest therapy) and within that the need for rest periods and low activity periods.

    Lots of discussion on the merits of resting in different ways (i.e. feet up as opposed to lying flat, quiet as opposed to music, lights on or off). Some people found that they could do more if they did 15 minute bursts of activity, then lay in the bed for 45 minutes.

    It was recognised then that activities like the TV, (and now the computer) are not rest. Even listening to music for me is hard and TV during the day impossible.

    It's good to remind people of all this. Those able to work may find that sitting by the computer is the last thing that they can physically do. However, some of us live alone or spend long periods of time alone and I find the computer less exhausting for "company" than for example, a talk on the phone which can wipe me out for a day.

    It's going to be really different given our circumstances are all not the same. Rest periods and how one spends them are important and you are right to bring that up.
  3. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    One thing that surprised me after I got ME is that reading, even while lying down, is not resting.
  4. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    I can relate to this. One of the things I hate most about my illness is that it has taken reading away from me. When I am feeling bad, I can only read a few pages before I find myself staring into space with no idea what I just read.
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    I can't read too much, can't focus. But am okay on the computer and watching tv.
    I went away on holiday for a month - away from the computer, little tv in the evenings. It didn't really have a positive impact on my symptoms.
    Lack of sleep has the biggest impact on me.
  6. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Yeah, sleep has made the biggest difference in my health.
  7. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 Senior Member

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    Great topic! I agree that it is easier to socialize through the computer and that's a good use for it. But many times I think I have tried to fool myself into thinking that computer time is a restful activity, when it really is not. Even playing a game like solitare, it keeps your mind active and in my case, my nervous system seems agitated, and I'm generally more tense. I have come to the painful realization that I just need to decrease computer time all together.
  8. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    One article I read about limiting activities said to include not only physical stressors, but also mental and emotional. So a crossword puzzle would be a mental stressor. Watching an intense movie would be an emotional stressor. Doing health related research could be all three. The physical aspect is what we discussed earlier, mental is obvious too, but also emotional because a lot of this stuff has a fear aspect. Anyone hear about arsenic in rice?
  9. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    I've done a gradual paring down as I've learned my stressors. I haven't watched TV in over 10 years, and I almost never go to the movies. I've don't spend time with anybody who is negative, and I dropped friends with "large" personalities. I still drive, but only local roads for short distances.

    On the other hand, I find that when I have the physical energy, gardening while sitting down is very therapeutic. I'm fine on the computer as long as I avoid negativity and arguing. Crossword puzzles and sudoku are good ways to pass the time if I don't really care whether I can completely solve or not. Reading is always fine, but sometimes I give up because I can't understand anything.
  10. Creekee

    Creekee Senior Member

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    I'm with you, madietodd. TV, movies, parties, events...not worth the energy. Computer time, gardening, reading...worth the energy. Having this disease has made me an excellent prioritizer.

    Too sick to read is the most depressed I've been. So grateful that hasn't happened often.

    I'm surprised at how well I hold up to computer time. Guess I have better mental energy than physical energy. Most of my relationships are now computerized. I rarely see my friends or the couple of clients I still have.

    Life has changed a lot, huh?
  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    It's all about what works in the moment. There are times when I have more energy and feel the need to have more activity, both mental and physical, and times when I need to just to crawl under the covers and disappear into the void. I prefer the former of course, but that can't always be arranged. :rolleyes:

    I have a great deal of curiosity and many interests, and I love learning new things, so I would NEVER give up my TV and my Netflix! I watch a lot of documentaries, nature shows, travel shows, music specials, and science shows (like Nova). I loved the five part BBC series called The Story of India, and Wild China, and so many others. I also love smart comedy, like the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and good liberal political shows like Bill Moyers Journal. I love good indie movies and good foreign films, especially those filmed in exotic places with beautiful scenery These things never tire me out. They inspire me and give me energy.

    What does tire me is talking a lot about my illness and getting into endless mental ruminations about all the many aspects of it. I am getting tired already just thinking about it. o_O I try to avoid that as much as possible, and stay focused on what I love the most: creative expression, nature and the people I love.
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    One of my symptoms is wiredness so it's hard to stay off the computer. And when I spend time on the computer I get more wired. You see the dilemma...

    If I am able to stay off the computer for a good chunk of the day and limit other activities as well then I'm able to do 10-20 minutes of yoga. That's easier said than done.

    I had to give up TV, anime, movies, video games, politics, sports, working out, and fiction novels, but hopefully when my health improves I'll be able to resume those activities because I really enjoy them and don't consider them a waste of time as long as they're done in moderation.

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