Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in soft tissues and muscles throughout the entire body. It can cause sleep problems, fatigue, and more often than not, emotional and mental distress. People living with Fibromyalgia can be more sensitive to pain than people without this condition.
Living with Fibromyalgia is full of ups and downs. One day you can feel great, be full of energy and be motivated to check off an entire list of to-dos, and other days you are so tired you cannot out of bed. There are many steps you can take to avoid fibromyalgia pain and reduce flares of your condition.
- Do – Listen to your body
Fatigue is one of the major symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. It is the body’s way of telling you to slow down and take a breath. Make sure to rest when you feel tired, as fighting it can cause exhaustion and your fibromyalgia symptoms to worsen.
- Don’t – Always put others needs before your own
This one is especially for moms struggling to raise children while also living with Fibromyalgia. As a mother, it’s natural to put your kids needs in front of your own. Taking care of yourself will make it easier to care for your family, which means things like, not skipping doctors’ appointments to attend your child’s soccer match.
- Do – Learn to say no
This one can be difficult, but one of the most important. If you have too much on your plate, try to say no to non-essential obligations such as hosting large dinner parties or baking for a school event as they can cause an increase of stress, and in turn, a flare in your Fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Don’t – Become in-active
It might be tempting to avoid exercise and lay on the couch when suffering from this condition but exercising regularly (even just a walk or light yoga/stretching) can keep flares of Fibromyalgia at bay. Do enough exercise to feel good but be careful not to overexert yourself so you are exhausted the next day. The easiest way to do this is to take short daily walks and every week or so adding a minute (or two!) onto your time spent walking. Track your progress and gradually increase it until you are taking 10,000 steps a day.
- Do – Stay mentally active
Keep your mind active by working on Sudoku, crossword puzzles, or watching a thought-provoking movie if you don’t have the stamina to go for a walk or complete household chores/tasks. Not only can these activities reduce stress, prevent anxiety, and brain-fog, but they can also take your mind off the pain and help your body relax and reduce your symptoms.
- Don’t – Internalize your feelings
Sharing your condition with your friends and family is important. Explaining to them how you feel on bad days, may help them understand what you are going through. Talking about your condition may help to relieve stress that can worsen your symptoms. Staying connected with friends and loved ones gives you vital support, even when symptoms make life difficult.
- Do – Ask for help when you need it
Asking for help is never a bad thing. If you’re having a bad day, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help with things like picking up the kids from school, cooking dinner, or grocery shopping so you can take some time to focus on feeling better.
- Don’t – Stray from your schedule
Maintaining normal everyday routines and activities make it easier to identify your energy levels so you can plan the best times to do certain activities such as playing with your kids, going out to lunch, and doing household chores. Make set schedules for exercise and try to go to bed at the same time every day.