Living with a chronic invisible illness like fibromyalgia can be a daily challenge. The key to living well includes finding ways to maintain your lifestyle, making adjustments, and, most importantly, taking care of yourself and listening to your body.
Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with fibromyalgia for years, here are 10 tips and tricks that can help you live well with fibromyalgia.
#1 Acceptance: Most anyone, when first diagnosed with a chronic illness, goes through a grieving period. You think about the things you have to give up, how your life will now be different, and miss all of the things you “used” to do.
The first step in living a good life in spite of your illness is to find acceptance. Realize that yes, you will have to make some adjustments in your life, but there are a lot of things you still can do, in moderation. Understand your life is not over, it’s still worth living, and you can still be happy.
#2 Balance: Know what your limits are. Unfortunately, you may have to say “no” sometimes to certain things as a way to maintain a sense of balance in your life. If you have a demanding job, you might want to consider changing professions, reducing hours, or even taking some of your work home.
#3 Relaxation and Meditation: No this is not some woo-woo, hippy-dippy mumbo-jumbo. Taking time for yourself is not something that “would be nice” when living with a chronic illness. Taking time to relax is essential! There is no way around it: you have to make time to allow your body to recharge. Meditation and relaxation benefit you, not only on a physical level but as a way to help maintain your mental health as well.
#4 Give Back: Finding ways to help others through your pain and struggles helps you find purpose and understanding. It’s easy to get caught up in the “why me?” mentality of illness. (Believe me, I’ve been through all of the emotions surrounding this illness.)
#5 Sleep: Sleeping well and being well-rested are essential when your body is dealing with chronic stress, which seems to follow chronic illness. It is important to listen to your body, and to know your limits. Don’t stay up late and burn the candle at both ends.