Helping yourself is all about YOU doing the things that help YOU improve the quality of YOUR life.
It can be hard to maintain a positive attitude to life when your symptoms are dragging you down, but it is important that you try. A study in 2004 showed that people who maintained a self-help programme and didn’t take medications were less fatigued, depressed and anxious than a group that were just taking medications.
There are many ways in which you can help yourself cope with Fibromyalgia:
- Maintain a Fibromyalgia Diary or use an app for your smart phone.
- Do your best to exercise. It can be difficult, because of the pain it causes, but exercise will keep you healthier.
- Try low-intensity exercise options: swimming, walking, tai-chi and yoga. Start slowly and increase in time.
- Planning and pacing are your guide words. Try to plan one activity for achievement and one for enjoyment.
- Meditation will be effective in reducing pain.
- Use heat and cold for pain relief. Hot shower/ bath with Epsom salts can ease aching legs.
- Maintain good posture throughout your day. Bad posture can put strain on your neck and back.
- Rest is essential. Power nap or simply laying down for 15 minutes, can recharge you and keep you going. Even try sitting with your feet up.
- Maintain good sleep hygiene. Try to get to bed and get up at the same time every day and keep daytime napping to a minimum.
- Avoid repetitive motions that can cause muscle burn and joint aches.This may cause severe pain later in the day and contribute to restless legs etc.
- Use mobility aids such as a walking stick may help. There are many options. Just having the right potato peeler can make a big difference. Check out the Independent Living Centre WA Site for ideas and info. Here…
- Relax, stress is one of the worst triggers for fibro. Smell the flowers, read a book, do some deep-breathing exercises. Try not to dwell on things, even thinking about the things you used to be able to do and are now a challenge. It will only get you down.
- Maintain a positive attitude. It can have a big impact on your symptoms. Have healthy eating habits and make sure that you have a balanced diet.
- Educate yourself. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to manage your illness.
- Get out of the house and meet other people with fibromyalgia as it can be a very isolating illness. Our social coffee catch ups are one way to help with this. Check our calendar for details.
- Encourage family and friends to learn about fibromyalgia. It is important that people close to you understand some of what you are dealing with.
- Distraction therapy can be a big help. Things that take your mind off your pain can improve your quality of life.
- Have a life and do things that make you feel valued. Volunteering, working part time and helping out family and friends, can be fantastic for your self-esteem and your mental state.
- Talk to a professional. See a psychologist or counsellor to learn how to better manage what is going on in your life.
- You may have your own ways to deal with your Fibromyalgia symptoms. Send us an email if you would like to share or you require more information on these points.