Making some changes in your life could really help Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue Syndrome. I know change can be scary, but don’t think of change that way. In our case, change could be a good thing. Take it at your own pace and you could see some changes.
- Pace yourself: Because people with Fibromyalgia and CFS have low energy, pacing yourself may make things easier. I know we all have a lot to do in a day, but try not to push yourself. I know when I push myself I pay for it the next couple of days. When I try to clean the house in 1 day, I can hardly walk that night into the next day. I hurt all over and then I am mad at myself becayse I didn’t pace myself. To be successful at pacing, you have to pay attention to your body and know your limits. If you have a big project (cleaning house), take breaks in between tasks. Try to prioritize your tasks, that way you just focus on those tasks. Keep track of your daily tasks in a journal or a pad and cross off as you go. I know I always feel better when I cross things off of my list.
- Working a job: One of the big stressors in my life was “Am I going to get fired?” I always felt guilty and upset with myself if I called in sick into work. When I was let go from my job almost 2 years ago, I finally realized that I had to stop fighting the Fibromyalgia and work with it. I researched into stay at home jobs and found virtual assistant. With a lot of research and soul searching, I started my company, Virtual Assistance 4U – http://virtassist4u.com. I love that I can work from home, make my own hours, can work from my bed with my laptop if I am having a bad day. I can still make an income while being sick. I know a lot of people have different circumstances, but if possible, maybe give some thought to working from home. Don’t forget that Fibromyalgia and CFS are covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Make sure to read my post – Having a job and fibromyalgia.
- Your diet: If you have fibromyalgia or CFS, you know that it is good to watch what we eat. We need to alter our diet by eating the right foods and taking out the bad foods. You should read my blog post – Fibromyalgia and your diet.
- Exercising: We all know we need to exercise for our health. Weather you go to the gym or just stretch to start out, it all helps. We just need to be consistent. I am so bad with exercising. I always feel worse after and then don’t want to do it. I’ll come up with so many excuses not to do it. Do something that you like. I love to walk so that is something I am trying to work into my daily routine. Get my music and just walk. It will be nice to take a break from work and walk with my baby!
- Better Sleep: It doesn’t matter if I get 6 hours or 10 hours, I feel the same way when I get up – EXHAUSTED. My tired is a lot different than a healthy person’s tired. I am trying to get to sleep before midnight, and have done well with that. Because I have been so busy with work and taking care of my son, I am really tired and am asleep between 10-12 almost every night. To learn more about better sleep, read my post – Tips for better sleep with fibromyalgia.
- Coping Skills: a chronic, debilitating illness can make us feel afraid, insecure, hopeless, depressed, and bad about ourselves. One way to change our coping techniques is to change our outlook on things. I always tell myself and my husband that there is always worse off then we our. Our disease is something we can deal with and move on, but think of someone with cancer. Almost every conversation I have with someone, they know someone with cancer or someone passed away because of cancer. I am thankful I have something that is manageable. Another way to cope is to accept your illness. Don’t give in to your illness, accept it. Don’t fight it but work with it. I have to say, since I decided to work with my illness, life has been easier. Talk to someone you trust to tell them about your feelings. I know talking about my feelings has also helped.
- Change little things in your life: I am always trying to stay warm because when I am cold, I feel myself tense up, which makes me hurt. I also try to stay away from bright lights so I don’t get headaches or migranes. No matter how dark it is outside, you will most likely see me in sunglasses. I also try to make the TV and radio low. I hate loud noise, which is very hard for my husband to understand. Once a month, I make sure to get a massage. If I miss a month, I definently feel the difference.
- Getting through busy times: holidays or getting ready for vacations can lead to stress, which is not good for us. The preperation can take up so much of our energy, we can’t enjoy anything. I know my recent vacation, I tried to plan and prioritize, but in the end, I was very stressed out and coulnd’t wait to get on that plane. Every Christmas is very stressful because I want to make sure my house and yard are decorated, I have a gift for everyone, I have enough gifts, and everything is wrapped and under the tree. I never really have enjoyed the holidays in my house because it is so much work to decorate and then take it all down.
- Managing Stress: rememvber to BREATH. I know when I am stressed, I get very tight, which in turn, makes me hurt. We have to find ways to reduce our stress and breathing is a great way. Check out my blog post – Don’t forget to breath. Once you learn how to breath, you can find your inner peace!
- Your Support System: When I was first diagnosed over 15 years ago, no one had really heard of Fibromyalgia. Now that it is a known issues, more and more people have it. Even though Fibromyalgia is all over the TV and more articles are being written, people still don’t understand. Thank God for my husband, my family and friends. Gravitate towards the people who want to take the time to learn about your disease and that have positive things to say. If you don’t have that support system, it is going to be very hard to survive through this. I still have people in my life that don’t want to take the time to understand my disease, so I don’t really talk about my issues with them. You should also look into support groups in your area. Talking to people who are going through the same thing as you can make it really easy to get through this. Remember, you have to talk about your issues and to breath!
What are some things you have changed in your life to make living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome easier?
Make sure to share your thoughts and ideas!