Improving your working life
There are a number of things that people with FMS can do to increase their ability to continue to work. Here are a few ideas.
You should explain your Fibromyalgia to your boss, co-workers and anyone else you feel needs to know. If they know about your condition they should be willing to give you a hand when you need it.
2. Physical Activity
Your work can be adapted in order to have minimal physical activities. This does not mean no physical activity as this would be harmful. Get colleagues to help rather than do things for you. Participate in activities but pace yourself.
If you know that an activity will lead to pain, get a timer and time yourself doing the activity. When the pain hits, that’s your limit. Take 20 % off your time limit, stop and take a rest before restarting – you do not actually want to reach your pain threshold. By pacing yourself you may be a slower than your colleagues but you will manage to carry out an activity. By adapting, your colleagues will be happy to work with you and you with them.
There are a few adaptations and things to bear in mind when working with FMS.
- Request a desk away from high-traffic or noisy areas. Having a quiet place to do your work can help you to accomplish more.
- When attending meetings, sit close to a door. If needed, you can make a quick exit without causing confusion or bringing attention to leaving the room.
- Find a quiet place to take a few minutes for relaxation exercises and deep breathing techniques.
- If possible, listen to relaxing music, such as classical or New Age music to increase relaxation. Use breaks and lunch hours to exercise, even if it is taking a walk.
- Find someone you can talk with to relieve stress and cope with events that may be triggering anxiety.
- Write down your goals so that you can focus on what you need to achieve rather than on things that may be going wrong.
This is part of pacing. You know your limit so give yourself short rest periods frequently like changing position, closing your eyes and relaxing.