Getting to grips with Fibromyalgia
There is no doubt that living with chronic /persistent pain, fatigue and brain fog is challenging for people with fibromyalgia. However, you don’t have to put your life on hold waiting for these symptoms to go. There are ways to learn to live with fibromyalgia. Yes, it often means making adjustments, to many aspects of your life, but if you do, you can still achieve things and have fun, just perhaps in a different way to what you originally thought. By taking charge of your condition, you can feel a sense of control over your life and your self- esteem and confidence improve, enabling your quality of life to improve.
Working with many people suffering from fibromyalgia, I have collated their top ten tips that they use to help them manage their condition.
Top Ten Tips for Managing Fibromyalgia
- Remember the 4 P’s – pacing, problem solving, prioritising and planning. Include rest breaks into your daily planning, adequate rest and sleep are important.
- Talk to your family and friends, let them know about your condition and how it makes you feel physically and emotionally. Ask for help if you need it. Be prepared to say No sometimes if you feel that it would be too much for you.
- Gentle exercise such as walking even a short distance or exercising in a warm pool, can help reduce pain and stiffness.
- Get into the habit of writing things down to avoid the frustration of ‘fibro fog’
- Keep a journal so you can record your progress and equally notice triggers that may increase your pain and/or fatigue. This will provide useful information that you can use to manage your condition.
- Keep all your pain relieving things close by, particularly on bad day (for example: hot water bottles, wheat packs, relaxation CDs/downloads, self hypnosis CDs, cushions, pillows and TENS machine)
- A long soak in a warm bath or hot tub can help relax tense muscles
- Make time for yourself, allocate ‘Me’ time, where you can spend 30mins or so, just doing something you enjoy without feeling guilty, it’s part of your self management plan!
- Perhaps try decaf sometimes, as caffeine can increase anxiety and insomnia, be aware of your intake of coffee, some soft drinks and chocolate.
- Practice relaxation and self hypnosis, if you practice regularly it will be more beneficial when you are in flare up.
Remember long term health conditions like fibromyalgia very from day to day, so if today isn’t a good day, try not to feel too negative and try some of the above techniques, or perhaps some of my resources available on my website www.apaininthemind.co.uk such as the 3 step targeted relaxation technique or fighting fatigue master plan -tomorrow might be a more energy, less pain and fatigue fibromyalgia day.