Helping women with chronic illnesses

How Much Is Too Much?

How Much Is Too Much?

When is it time to slow down or stop entirely? When is it time to really rest? In my last post, I talked about the need to slow down. A question very commonly grappled with by people living with chronic illness is how to find a balance. How much is too much? How much activity is giving a healthy nudge to carefully test the current boundaries? How much is pushing one’s luck… and risking illness flare-ups, burn-out, and/or exacerbating illness and pain? How can one know for sure where the boundaries are?

I can’t speak for others but I can speak for myself. In 29 years of living with chronic illness, I have learned there are no guarantees, things are generally not black and white, and sometimes it’s worth taking some risks (while other times it’s not).

What I’m saying is that I don’t think anyone can answer the question, “how much is too much?” with certainty. We can make educated guesses. We can re-calibrate as we go based on symptoms. We can be flexible with plans and have backup plans in case our primary plans don’t work. Generally, there are no guarantees though.

We’ll connect soon.

I will be offline for a few days. I fully realize this may seem like no great loss given the pitiful amount I have written recently! I really appreciate the patience you’ve had with me while I have been going through a busy time that has made it very challenging to find time to write. I look forward to picking up the pace in writing more frequently as soon as possible. I realize, realistically, that the remainder of the summer will probably be on the light side for new posts but I’ll do my best. I hope that you are enjoying summer (for those of you in this hemisphere) or other seasons (such as my lovely friends in far-flung locations like Australia). I really look forward to catching up with reading and commenting on blogs as soon as I can. Realistically, much of this may not happen very frequently before fall (here) but I will do my best. Thank you for your support and I’m sending healing energy your way.

This post was written by Jeanne at Copyright © Jeanne — All rights reserved.

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Reading: How Much Is Too Much?


1 Hayley CafarellaNo Gravatar { 07.18.11 at 8:31 pm }

It’s so very hard to find that balance! The recent outpatient program that I attended advised doing only half of what our body’s limits are before taking a break as a pacing technique. It’s difficult to keep up but I was finding it helpful. Take all the time that you need to take care of you. xxoo

2 allisonNo Gravatar { 07.18.11 at 9:41 pm }

Take the time and focus on you!

3 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 07.21.11 at 6:43 pm }

I hope life has slowed down for you.

You are very important to many people. Please rest and take joy in what you can to relax and revive your body and soul.

I love you!


4 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.27.11 at 2:16 pm }


It is hard to find the balance. Doing half of one’s body limits before taking a break, as you learned in the outpatient program, sounds smart! Unfortunately, I’ve been running at more like “double”. I have been pushing it way too hard. Once I recover from last week, I will be blogging about what I did to try to relax… that ended up being quite tough on my body. I very rarely travel beyond 1 – 1.5 hours from home. So, even travel that is intended to be a “vacation” can be stressful. I will be explaining this much better once I’m well enough to write about it on my blog. At least I’m finally answering some blog comments. Thank you. xoxo


I am trying. As I alluded to above, last week was “vacation”. It was a very ambitious trip for me… more so than any other trip in the last 13-14 years, on many levels. I knew going into it that it would not be stress-free (at all) and that it would push all my body’s limits. I chose to do it anyway for a variety of reasons. I will be writing more about it when I can. Right now, my body is in recovery mode and I just can’t pull together a blog post. The trip will likely result in multiple posts. There is much from the trip that might be helpful information for other patients who have chronic illness who wish to travel. I definitely need to regain some energy before I can write it, though.


I wish I could say life has slowed down for me. In reality, it has just switched gears (into something different but not necessarily much “slower”).

You are sweet. I am trying to rest as much as I can. Thus my neglecting of my blog (which is driving me absolutely mad, by the way). I want desperately to write on my blog. I just need to have the energy to do so first. I’m hoping no one thinks I have abandoned my blog. Lately, I feel like it looks that way.

I am looking for the joy and relaxation opportunities wherever I can find them. Once I recover from last week’s trip, I will be blogging about it. (I even made it to Canada, Jannie!) It was an ambitious trip for me and I am totally exhausted.

However, I accomplished a massive goal (finding a way of taking a real vacation trip without any hotels… since multiple chemical sensitivity has made it impossible for me to stay in hotels… not that we could have afforded a hotel anyway!)

So, I think the recovery mode I am in now is “worth it” in the sense that I now know that it is not impossible to do overnight travel… if carefully planned and executed. (That doesn’t mean it was easy). More details to follow when I write the blog post on it. Actually, I feel multiple blog posts about it bursting in my head. So, I doubt it will be a one-parter.

I love you, too… you sweet, thoughtful friend!




5 AmandaNo Gravatar { 07.27.11 at 2:53 pm }

I have yet to find anyone who truly knows what is too much and never pushes themselves beyond their limits, chronically ill or not! It’s one of those human traits we all seem to share, wanting to fit so much into so little time even when we have no energy to spare. In fact I often think that the more worn out I am and the more time I take to “stop” the more ideas I have about all the things I want to do, so end up finishing my break earlier than I should! So take all the time you need from the blog and internet-y things, so that you can rest as much as possible, cope with the busy summer I’m sure you’ll have, and come back with tons of ideas that spring up when we’re “taking a break” xx

6 JeanneNo Gravatar { 07.29.11 at 4:57 pm }


I agree. I don’t think anyone totally has a handle on finding the balance… whether they be sick or well. Some may be more in balance than others, obviously. I don’t think anyone has found the perfect balance for all the time, though.

Most people I know fall into one of two major categories… those with more to do than they could possibly find time for… and those who have more time on their hands than they want/need. Either end of the spectrum (too busy – or – bored from not being busy enough) can be stressful.

Like you, the more burned out I am… the more I force myself to take breaks (or – in some cases – my body forces me to take them). Like you, when I take these breaks (forced or not) my head fills up with ideas. This is a huge part of why I find myself incredibly frustrated at times like this… I have more ideas swimming through my head than I could possibly ever get written down. I want to capture them all but I know I can’t. By the time I regain the energy to write them all down, some will be forgotten, some will not seem as relevant (later), etc.

I have reached a point where if I take much longer “offline” (I am not entirely offline, as those who have heard from me between blog posts can attest to… but I am aware that to many people it looks like I’m totally offline) then I will get more stressed out about how much “catching up” I have to do. So, I may not be writing frequent blog posts but I have been in touch with people here and there (or I probably would have lost my sanity by now).

I just feel badly that I am not writing blog posts anywhere near as often as usual. There is definitely no shortage of ideas to write about. I have just been short on the time to be able to do so… for a variety of reasons. I know you understand how challenging it can be to have the blogging schedule disrupted.



7 Chronic Camp ‘Carnival’ — { 08.01.11 at 11:03 pm }

[…] it. I have come closer than I would like to regarding burning out in recent months. Posts like this and this might have given that away to some of you. It will take me some time to get back on track […]

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