Know Your Body’s Capacity

Welcome, today we are doing something slightly different, I am going to share my professional & personal experience…to bring awareness to the issues that many are living with…

So grab your favorite beverage, a treat & sit with me while we share the following reflection together…

If you’ve been traveling with me here, then you may be aware that I am a Mental Health professional. Counseling chronically ill patients in pain management & coping strategies was a part of my career for many years…

I would often be asked by patients, how they could explain their experience of chronic illnesses to their family & friends.

This is a bit tricky, especially in the chronic health conditions of Fibromyalgia (FM) & Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) including other chronic conditions where the patient looks well!

My advice to them, at that time, was to be honest in what they were experiencing in their lives.

Then I entered Chronic Health issues… I also wanted an analogy to describe how the body acts physically within chronic illness & impacts us psychologically.

I was discussing this with a professional colleague of mine & we agreed upon the following concept…

The “Healthy” battery verses the “Chronically ill”  battery… 

The healthy body battery; 

  • 30% is used for the normal functioning of body systems, such as the cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, neurological etc…
  • +30% energy for working life,
  • +30% energy for socialization, relationships & emotions,
  • +10% energy reserve,

= 100% 


The chronically ill body battery;

  • 75-85% energy is used for functioning of dysfunctioning autonomic systems, 
  • +15-25% energy is used for work, relationships, socialization & emotions.
  • 0% energy reserve, already used up!

= 100% 

You can see that energy levels are severely hampered by chronic illness. This is why fatigue is such a huge factor, this is why our emotional capacity becomes quickly depleted, this is why our cognitive processing can be compromised, also known as mind malaise & our ability to socialize, greatly limited!

And why so many of us have to lessen our workloads or stop work…

As the body will always prioritize its energy into autonomic systems to function to normal levels to keep us alive!

This knowledge helps us to prioritize & pace ourselves in the activities in which we choose to participate in on any given day to live our new normal.

I hope this has been informative & helpful to you, whether you are living in wellness or in Chronic illness, we need to be kinder in our expectations of ourselves & others but at the same time live the fullest life we can within our own body’s capacity…

Until next time dear friend…


You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook

Or in Prayer

© 2018 Jennifer M. Ross, All Rights Reserved. Photo on

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36 thoughts on “Know Your Body’s Capacity

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  1. That makes a lot of sense because some mornings, even after a long night’s sleep (which is also rare), I wake up with no spoons…I begin from a minus position, all my energy has focused on just existing. Thanks Jennifer for sharing your lived & learned experience. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am having one of those “depleted” mornings, after many days in a row of intensity. And while I am so glad to be able to have held up under that necessary intensity, your words are a comfort today as the fog settles in. Thank you for sharing these insightful words. They are a true blessing, to be able to rest with Jesus here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennifer, thanks for sharing this in such a clear way! I don’t necessarily have a chronic illness, but I do experience a lot of neck and shoulder pain, esp. after a day of a lot of physical work. So I understand how people can look fine but feel terrible. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TeaAndWord.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post, Jennifer. The analogy and stats of the “well” and “chronically-ill” battery is eye-opening. It helps get a glimpse into how the body works and how it also will affect us emotionally and psychologically. Visiting by your invitation as a page buddy at Moments of Hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jennifer
    Chronic pain and illness can be very hard to live with…but having realistic expectations and hope at each stage of recovery are crucial parts of the healing journey. Thanks for sharing. ( I came across your post at moments of hope)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to have you drop by Jade 😀
      This is true with acute (short term) illnesses but sadly with chronic illnesses (long term incurable conditions), there is no physical healing journey unless a cure is found or a miracle occurs (which those of us who have chronic ill health are very open to). So knowing how our body distributes its energy within chronic health conditions/disease can help us to have a greater understanding of our changed capacity & live our lives within that kinder understanding 😀
      Instead of being frustrated in our incapacity, we can live as fully as possible in our new capacity 😀


  6. I so identify with this post. I hope you can email me sometime. I would love to discuss issues with you about my dealings with chronic health issues. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this week.

    Liked by 1 person

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