Lifestyle change can be very helpful if you suffer from ME/CFS, but change can be challenging. On top of the usual obstacles to change, those with ME/CFS also have to contend with brain fog, fatigue and pain. Keep an eye on small steps and approaches that can begin to make a difference and keep challenges within the capacity of post exertional malaise (PEM).
Everyone differs as to what they can achieve. Luckily as attested to in the books, Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg and Atomic Habits by James Clear, small steps which accumulate over time can have a very positive impact on your life.
Often those living with ME/CFS have gut issues and inflammation. These can be addressed through any number of approaches; what and how you eat, how you sleep and how you manage stress. And within these areas there are multiple approaches, so finding which ones work for you is key. While exercise has a profound impact on health, many ME/CFS clients are not well enough to address exercise, so generally leave exercise until energy levels start to improve.
Developing a vision of what you want your health to be in the longer term is a great place to start. From there identify the first small step on your vision journey, and see where it takes you. Be curious about what will happen, give it a try and learn from the outcome. Did you try to do too much? Was the support system you put in place enough? Was there an obstacle you weren’t prepared for? What would you do differently next time? Is this taking you in the right direction? Can this approach be adjusted or is it the wrong approach for you at this time?
Celebrate when you advance, and acknowledge what you learn along the way.