I was looking for a section or sub-section on pacing and was surprised not to find one, given how central it is to illness management. Anyway - it has occurred to me that although we repeatedly (not least myself) talk about listening to our bodies, we rarely define this clearly, and it may be hard for newbies especially to understand what is meant or how to do it. I wonder whether we all even mean the same thing when we talk about it! I thought it might be a good idea to discuss what it is and how to do it. I'm a bit tired at the moment so can't think very coherently, but I'll try to start. When my muscles are aching or weak, they are telling me to rest. At better times, I may feel a subtle involuntary contraction in a muscle (not the twitches that sometimes happen in my muscles when they are recovering from being used), and it just feels (instinctively?) as though it is functioning well - it feels good. Then I may try a few movements using the muscle, and if that keeps feeling good I may do it for a few minutes, e.g. bending and stretching, sometimes in the course of an everyday activity. Or when walking along, I may remember a set of muscles that I 'rediscovered' recently and thought might be useful for walking, and try using them during walking. As soon as those muscles feel tired, I will stop and start just using those that feel least tired. If necessary I may revert to trudging along, dragging my feet. It may not look nice, but it uses less energy and I can walk further. Sometimes it's obvious - if you are having to reach up to do something your arms may become very weak and quite painful, and you have no choice but to keep putting them down. Then it's really best to stop the activity, but necessity may make it impossible. Another day it may be easier. Sometimes it's best to pre-empt listening to your body, and take preventative action such as resting as often as you can during an activity so as not to get tired in the first place. It may take a while to learn how much, how often and for how long you need to rest, not helped by the fact that it will tend to vary from one day to the next. So then the listening comes in again. You may not feel tired, but you find quickly that you are fatigable that day - you can't do much before getting fatigued, so will need more-frequent rests. I think it's a never-ending process of learning, but you can get better at it over time, and get more done while getting less PEM. I'll be interested to hear other people's ideas. It would be nice to be able to sum it up in a few words!