Tory Majority Day 31: Rest. Noun. An Essential Part Of Coping With CFSME

Rest / noun / [rest]

An essential component to coping with CFSME symptoms

The opposite of rest to someone with CFSME is “activity.” defines rest as: 
  • refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor:
    to allow an hour for rest.
  • relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.
  • a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity:
    to go away for a rest.
  • mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity.
  • cessation or absence of motion:
    to bring a machine to rest.

People with CFS or ME require regular periods of total and complete rest in order to minimize and address their CFS or ME symptoms.

In the NHS CFSME clinics, rest is clearly proscribed as ‘not sleep’. Sleeping isn’t rest. Rest is different. Rest breaks can include meditation and guided visualisation, for instance.

bed rest

The technique of rest requires the mind and body to be completely unstimulated. The environment is important to good quality rest.

Not rest 

Watching TV is not rest, listening to music is not rest, lying on your bed in the dark texting your mates every now and again isn’t rest, shutting your eyes when your family is noisy around you isn’t rest, being in an an environment that can interrupt you with noise or demands or light isn’t restful and taking 5 to make a cuppa while you are in the middle of a busy day in the office at work isn’t rest.

Going on holiday to get away from it all isn’t rest either.

What is rest 

Rest is both taught and learned. It is a behavioral, non-pharmaceutical method of treating CFSME.

Rest is an art form as well as a doing word. Many people with CFSME say that regular rest breaks are essential to help them cope with the symptoms that occur because of the bodily and psychological responses to an over-stimulating environment and the inherent symptoms that ME and CFS brings.

“Over stimulation” for some people with CFS ME can be as simple as taking one phone call in a day.

Rest is not a cure. Rest is a way some people cope with having CFS ME. 

Today I need to rest.

My ME symptoms are shouting and screaming at me. My head aches, my body feels wavy and wobbly. I feel nauseous and weak, like I have run a marathon. My head is woolly and confused.

I have learned that on days like I have to totally rest to quieten down to a stop.

© Lindy 2015 

2 thoughts on “Tory Majority Day 31: Rest. Noun. An Essential Part Of Coping With CFSME

  1. Good explanation Lindy. The need for rest as part of pacing and helping to maximize energy and avoid post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE/PEM) is something quite difficult for many to truly ‘get’. Also to ‘get’ what rest really is. I was lucky enough to have Dr Carruthers, lead author of the Canadian Consensus Criteria and the ME International; Consensus Primer. as my doctor. When I told him I was finding myself unable to meditate, he said that meditation is exertion and energy-draining also. And I had to greatly change how it did it, chi gung, energy work etc.


    • Hi and thanks for your comment.

      I’m very interested in what you do for ‘rest’ and the advice you’ve been given.

      When I attended a UK ME Clinic, it was their advice that guided visualisation, meditation etc was considered to be ‘rest.’ However at the same time they told me that mental exertion like listening to music to relax, or having the TV on low in the background was not rest. I felt the two messages directly contradicted each other.

      When I asked them why something I find very relaxing, listening to light music with my eyes closed and lying flat in a darkened room, isn’t rest yet guided meditation or visualisation which uses so much more of your mental faculties is rest, they didn’t give me a clear answer as to why the two are different. They simply said they were different.

      Thinking about this afterwards I wondered whether for them the bulls eye is the goal of meditative rest and anything you do along that path is therefore worth expending energy on.

      I think anything you can do which brings your mind and body back to a restful state, should be counted as rest.

      Does that reflect your conversations with Dr Carruthers as well?

      What techniques did he say people should use?



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