Living with fibromyalgia can be incredibly difficult. Coping with constant pain and extreme fatigue takes a toll on your physical and mental well-being, so it’s important to look after yourself as best you can. To help you improve your everyday life with fibromyalgia, we’ve put together a list of tips based on information from WebMD and Practical Pain Management.
1. Eat well: Every fibromyalgia patient is different. Some may find that certain foods trigger flares and make symptoms worse, so an elimination diet may help determine which foods aren’t sitting well. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, with a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and steer clear of processed foods as often as possible.
2. Exercise as much as possible: It may seem counter-productive to exercise if you’re feeling fatigued, but exercise will increase your energy levels, boost your mood and help you sleep. You don’t have to run a marathon, just do as much as you can manage as often as you can.
3. Have a massage: Massages help to reduce stiffness in the muscles and relieve pain. They are also very relaxing and a good way to de-stress and unwind. Fibro patients often report decreased pain and improved movement and flexibility following a massage. Using essential oils during the massage may also help.
4. Avoid stress: We know that it’s not possible to eliminate all stress from our lives, but we can limit the amount of stress we subject ourselves to. Look for ways to help relieve stress like meditation, taking up a hobby, and scheduling in some quality “me time.”
5. Improve your sleep: We know this is often easier said than done, but trying to get a better night’s sleep will improve your fibro symptoms and generally make you feel better. Try to get into a good bedtime routine, taking an hour before you go to bed to wind down. Make sure your bed is comfortable and the room is at a nice temperature. Some like to install black-out blinds to make their bedrooms dark. Avoid stimulants before bedtime such as alcohol and caffeine.
6. Be one step ahead of fibro fog: Take the time to write a list of things you need to do the next day, or fill in a wall calendar with important dates and appointments. Both will help you focus on what’s important and help you remember everything you have to do. Try to stay as organized as possible to make everyday life a little easier.
7. Take a bath: Having a soak in warm water will help relax your muscles and your mind. Taking time out for a calming bath or hot tub will also relieve pain and help you de-stress. If you struggle to get into a bathtub you could put a stool in a shower and let the warm water do its magic. Doing this before bedtime can also help you sleep.
8. Cut back on caffeine: Caffeine may give you an energy pick-up, but the downside is that it makes it more difficult to sleep and can bring about anxiety and heart palpitations if you drink too much. Limit caffeinated drinks to the mornings and switch to decaf in the afternoons. Watch out for caffeine in soft drinks, tea, and chocolate, too.
9. Look at how you work: Could you work from home a couple of days each week? Can you change your hours to ones that suit you better? Do you have a comfortable working space? Discuss ways you can improve your work life with your employer so it’s more beneficial for both of you.
10. Get support: Find out if there is a local support group for fellow fibro sufferers, or look online for a forum or Facebook page you like. Talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling and if you need to, enlist the help of a counselor when you feel down. Don’t suffer in silence.
11. Keep a journal: Keeping a journal is a great way to track your fibro flares and symptoms. Write down what you ate and did each day to see if any patterns develop. You may be able to identify foods that trigger flares or situations where your symptoms felt better.
Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.