Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Share Your Wisdom On Cognitive Exertion

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by Never Give Up, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Never Give Up

    Never Give Up Collecting improvements, until there's a cure.

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    What have you learned about expending cognitive energy without developing PEM? My son is working on finding the balance- and not finding it. He would benefit from your experience and wisdom.
     
  2. Keela Too

    Keela Too Sally Burch

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    I think it is personal for each individual. And some things affect each of us more or less than you would guess:

    eg
    When writing a blog post I often feel passionate about what I am writing and that is when I'm most likely to feel the consequences of the mental exertion. To cope with this I try to - write short posts only, - write in chunks, - wait after writing to do the sharing part later.... little things like that can help.

    However I also play online boggle http://weboggle.info/ which you would think would be mentally exerting... but it doesn't seem to be as stressful as blog post writing! Boggle can even help my heart rate drop if I've been fired up about something and need to wind down a bit!! Of course, I usually only play a couple of games at a time.

    Then there are days when boggle isn't a good idea either..... so no easy answers. Think the answer is to break things into small chunks. Take more rest time between periods of cognitive exertion (my pet theory is that the processing of info that we do subconciously also takes longer - so we need longer breaks between moments of cognitive exertion than others....)

    I guess it's all a bit trial and error....

    Sorry ... those are just some random thoughts. xx
     
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  3. eafw

    eafw Senior Member

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    You need to work out where his baseline is and what activities are draining or restful. Example, I play a lot of computer games because it is good distraction from pain - however this is a high demand cognitively (screen time and decision making is not restful). Also, good old fashioned pacing, do a bit then have a break. Relaxation exercises or something similar. What sort of level of functioning are you dealing with ?
     
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  4. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Doing cognitive task horizontally is less prone in giving me symptoms compare to sitting or standing.

    And within my cognitive tasks, I have developed strategies of switching between tasks to make sure I don't tire too quickly while doing a task requiring too much concentration. So on the ipad, I may be preparing a letter, then I will quit that for a bit and go check facebook for a little while, then I will go check You Tube. then I returnto my letter. Then to relax my brain, I will check out beautiful things on pinterest. And to get away from my brain, I then start a handcraft in order to do something mindless with my hands and relax the brain.

    Like I said, lots of switching of activities, so my brain still functions, but differently, with less concentration required, and of course the option to drop everything and have a nap or a rest for a few minutes (or more)

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  5. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    This is pretty subjective since we're all different.
    There are hours of the day in which my cogntive skills are typically impaired, usually in the early afternoon and in the evening, past 9:00-10:00 pm.

    I try to avoid anything that requires much concentration in those parts of the day, and I usually refrain from pushing myself when I feel the brain fog taking over.

    Taking a nap, especially in the afternoon, seems the only solution to reset the fog.

    Other than that I've found that methyl-B12 plays a major role in my mental clarity. It has taken me a quite a long time to get used to it, as I was very sensitive to even small doses. With patience my body started responding and now it's the most effective tool I have to maintain a decent level of productivity during the day, even if I am homebound.

    my 2c
     
  6. Silencio

    Silencio Senior Member

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    I find I can do visual cognitive work, like editing video, easier than I can write or read on screen. I also have stopped using a laptop and only use an iPad w Retina display. Since a tablet screen is held closer to eyes it is significantly easier than the position and maybe resolution of laptop.

    The, lots of rests for eyes between using screen. Always lying down, sometimes feet up.
     
  7. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    I think much more clearly and readily from a supine position.
     

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