Early on, my doctor asked me to keep track of my activities. This was easy because I had already read Bruce Campbell’s book Recovery from CFS and started using his activity log. It is a great, simple document that I print out, put in a folder and fill out every day.
Over time, I’ve adapted some of the columns. For example I added in a column to chart my resting heart rate each morning and use the ‘comments’ column to write in things that aren’t exercise or physical activity but take up energy, for example having visitors or going out for a social visit.
I also stopped using the ratings, just because I found it depressing not to see improvements and sometimes feel worse that the weeks before, but you might not feel like that. I did use them for about a year though.
I drag my activity charts along to every doctors’ and specialists’ appointment, even the psychologist’s ones, to show them what I can do. It is also a defensive thing, I think, so I have evidence that I’m trying really hard to improve. Doesn’t feel great to admit that, but I’m sure you know what I mean. It takes away the feelings we talk about that can be interpreted a variety of ways and gives the medical professionals some hard data to work with.
It is satisfying to write in exercise, even if it is only in one-minute increments, and it helps me to clearly see things that help, like taking proper longer rests.
Next to yoga, swimming is my favourite form of exercise. Well, swimming might be an exaggeration, it is so nice to float around weightlessly in the pool. It seems much easier to move around in the water, especially if the pool is warm.
It isn’t the best read in the world but I recommend writing one. Do you keep one already?