Letting fibromyalgia get to you

As with any chronic illness, there will be days when you feel down, maybe even way down. Finding activities you enjoy will bring balance and joy to your life.

“Learning to do things takes your mind off the pain,” Dr. Baethge says. “This tends to be better than sitting at home moping.”

Many people have found that attending church, spending more time with a grandchild, or picking up a new hobby can help.

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Taking life too seriously

“Humor is important,” Dr. Baethge says. “Do things that make you laugh or smile.”

That could be as simple as watching a DVD that’s funny.

And if your pain prevents you from sitting through the entire show, watch it till you laugh, then pause it.

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Not moving because it hurts too much

“Yoga, swimming, and walking have all been shown to be of benefit in managing chronic pain, and it’s really important for fibromyalgia,” Dr. Baethge says. “It’s hard to get people to buy into this because when they first try it, they hurt even more.”

Some people even forgo medication and try to get by on exercise alone to help with pain. “They tend to do pretty well,” Dr. Baethge says. “They’re high functioning.”

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