Instead of Doing Nothing, I Defy Fibromyalgia with a Fun List

Instead of Doing Nothing, I Defy Fibromyalgia with a Fun List

Christine Tender Points

Keeping myself occupied prevents me from focusing on my medical issues and thereby worsening them. As the “law of attraction” says, “That which we dwell upon is drawn into our lives.” However, on days when my fibromyalgia symptoms are particularly bothersome, I have difficulty even remembering things I could otherwise do to help me feel better, much less doing any of them.

To solve that issue, I have created a reminder for myself of some things I can do (other than ruminating on my problems) on days when I don’t feel well enough to do anything at all.

My list includes things that require no energy, no effort, and little or no brainpower or concentration. Those are all in short supply on days I’m suffering from pain and fatigue. Each item on my list can brighten an otherwise unpleasant day for me — a day that could otherwise leave me feeling drained and hopeless.

I share my list with you here — not because I think these same items will brighten your day. I know we all have different and varied interests. Things that bring me happiness may very well bore you to tears. My hope is that seeing my list will inspire you to create a list for yourself.

My ideas may be very different from any of yours, but they may remind you of things that bring you joy when you’re not feeling joyful. My list leans heavily toward things I can do on my phone. Because everyone is not as electronically oriented as I am, I’ve also included other variations.

15 things to do when I want to do nothing

1. Find recordings (on the radio, online, or from my own collection) of favorite songs and either sing, hum along, or just close my eyes and listen.

2. Read only the cartoons in a pile of newspapers or magazines. Then throw them away.

3. Play “Words with Friends” or find a new game on my phone.

4. Email or call someone who could use a little friendship.

5. Sort through my growing stack of paperwork. Take no action. Just discard at least half of it.

6. Shop from magazines and catalogs or online for a wearable item to match another item I already own. Make a note to buy it when it’s on sale.

7. Browse magazines and catalogs or online for illustrations of places or rooms that make me want to be there. Save them in an inspiration box or as an online bookmark to brighten another difficult day. (Note: Libraries often give away their older magazines.)

8. Find a recipe for something delicious. Save it for a day when making it is a possibility.

9. Organize the emails in my inbox by discarding those no longer needed and moving the rest into folders I can add to or read another day.

10. Go through my online contacts list or paper address book and delete the names of people or businesses that are no longer relevant. If this sounds overwhelming, delete only one or two.

11. Join a non-health-related online chat room or find the name and number of a local interest group to join when having a better day.

12. Watch YouTube videos of puppies or other things that make me smile. (If you’re not an internet person, look through your collection of funny greeting cards or cartoons you’re saving for just the right occasion.)

13. Watch several episodes of a TV sitcom I’ve not watched in decades.

14. Look through dusty, forgotten photo albums or sort online photos.

15. Search for details of a fantasy vacation/home/car/job to inspire me for better days ahead.

With any luck, your new list will make your next bad day a little better.


Note: 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 other 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. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

One comment

  1. Effie Matsas says:

    Hello Christine,
    This is a gem of an article! When I’m in pain and frustrated, I procrastinate when it comes to work and these are the tasks I do when I’m in procrastination mode. These tasks make me feel guilty as it feels like I have not achieved anything. Thank you for re-framing this task list to “fun things to do” and defying FM! Now these tasks are considered fun tasks, completed without guilt and providing a sense of wellbeing. Also just like to add another thing to my fun list – cuddle my bunny!

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