Because you have good days and bad days with fibromyalgia, start each morning assessing how you feel. If you didn't sleep well the night before, plan your day accordingly and arrange to do less. If you feel well rested and your pain is tolerable, do more -- but remember that moderation is key. Always be flexible. You never know when you'll have a flare, so listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
Stuck in the same place?
At times, moving may be the last thing you feel like doing. But moving can actually make you feel better and more energised. Regular, gentle exercise can help ease pain, stress, and other fibromyalgia symptoms. Start slowly and try activities like walking, swimming, and stretching, even if it's only for a minute or two at a time. If you feel good, you can increase how long you work out and how hard.
In pain and stiff?
Heat, especially moist heat, may relieve soreness and stiffness from fibromyalgia, by boosting blood flow to the places where you hurt. Apply a warm, moist washcloth to the painful area or try taking a shower or soaking in a bath. You also can reduce the deep muscle pain of fibromyalgia with a cold pack.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Fibromyalgia often disrupts sleep due to pain, restless legs syndrome, or other reasons. Try to set a sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and avoiding naps. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine -- maybe reading and a warm bath. And make your bedroom conducive to sleep by keeping it dark, cool, and free of distractions like TV and computers. This is called practicing sleep hygiene
It may not be easy, but you may have to become a little bit selfish. When you are pressured by too many demands, it's time to learn how to say "no." That means not accepting every invitation or going on every outing -- you might even have to back out at the last minute once in a while. Your friends and family will understand when you just don't have the energy for everything and have to put your own needs first.
Too much stress may trigger your fibromyalgia symptoms. Reducing stress may ease depression, anxiety, and fatigue and improve sleep. Make time for yourself every day to decompress and relax. Be sure to do something you love like read, listen to music, or take a walk. You may also want to use that time for meditation or deep-breathing exercises -- whatever it takes for some guilt-free time to de-stress.
If "fibro fog" is hurting your focus or memory, keep a pen and paper handy. Make to-do and even "to say" lists -- to help you remember topics you want to talk to your spouse or family about. Keep shopping lists, friends' names, and important phone numbers and addresses in a notebook that you carry with you.
Fibromyalgia puts stress on you and those around you. Communication is critical. Don't try to always put on a happy face. Your loved ones need to know what makes your symptoms worse. Plan talks for your best time of day. Try focusing on one issue and look for solutions. And don't be afraid to ask for help -- from friends, others with fibromyalgia, or a counsellor.
Support groups can play an important part in the lives of people with a chronic illness. Whether in person or online, they offer a safe place to talk with others who may share your frustrations and concerns. Support groups provide emotional support, information, and tips for coping.