I’m not going to sugarcoat it, but let’s be honest: living with fibromyalgia is not easy. You often need to make decisions based on how good or how bad your symptoms are. But living with fibromyalgia abundantly is possible. Let me share with you simple ways that can help you have a good life with fibromyalgia.
Awareness of core areas of your life is helpful for pain management, but also for living abundantly with fibromyalgia. Core areas, such as family, finances, spirituality, mental health, (and other factors) interact with each other even when you are sleeping.
How does fibromyalgia affect your family? How do fibro flares contribute to your mental health?
Of course, reflecting on these areas of your life requires time for you to sit with and think about because, in the beginning, these questions may only scratch the surface. The more you engage in these tough questions, the more you’d be able to notice the possibilities of living a good life with fibromyalgia.
You can set a block of time a few days a week to revisit the effects that fibromyalgia has stirred up in your life. You can also reflect on the things that you are nostalgic about your health prior to your diagnosis. Allowing time to grieve is so important for the acceptance of chronic illness as well as to embrace it as part of your “normal” life.
The other part of awareness that you can take advantage of is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation contains countless health benefits, including improving fibromyalgia symptoms. First of all, mindfulness meditation can reduce fibro fog, but it can also help you to identify your thoughts and feelings in regards to life with fibromyalgia.
You can enhance the quality of your life with this no-cost technique–all it takes is a little bit of time and a little bit of patience each day. I share some thoughts on mindfulness meditation here.
Boundaries and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia may present to you limitations on what you can do for today or the next day. By getting to know these “limitations,” you can create boundaries for yourself.
For example, if you learn that your energy level tends to be higher in the afternoon than in the morning, you might avoid scheduling events or big tasks in the morning.
When you set a boundary for yourself in the context of fibromyalgia, you are able to live more peacefully and freely because you make room for what will energize you for your day (as opposed to what will drain you).
One day of practicing boundaries can turn into one week, one month, one year, and so forth. Every little bit of time and practice counts when you desire to live an abundant life with fibromyalgia.
Boundaries (with others), and Fibromyalgia
Some things may be incompatible with fibromyalgia, such as staying up late with friends or taking up multiple tasks at work while still managing household duties.
Do you find yourself over-committing yourself and then needing to cancel because your body is not feeling the best?
Setting boundaries helps you to be honest with your physical (and mental capacity), so you can give from a full cup instead of an empty cup.
Of course, this means that there are going to be times that you are going to say “NO” to things that may be difficult to say no to. Very hard, right? Well, no worries. The smallest and biggest steps in our lives begin with awareness.
Be aware of what you need and don’t need, what helps your fibromyalgia and what does not help your fibromyalgia.
With time and practice, you’ll learn how to take care of your body first before saying yes to something that can potentially harm your body (if you don’t take care of it).
Positive Attitude and Fibromyalgia
When you focus on the negative, you feel more negative. When you focus on the positive, you feel more positive. Do you agree with both statements? Well, they’re both true.
You can choose which thoughts help you and which thoughts do not help you. Negative thoughts can worsen your fibromyalgia pain. You can cope with fibromyalgia much more effectively when you have positive thoughts.
You can acknowledge your pain and then choose the thoughts and words surrounding the reality of your pain. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t live the life I want” you can think instead, “I am grateful for my life” or “I am learning how to manage my fibromyalgia symptoms.”
Creating affirmations can be a powerful tool in having a positive attitude to your life with fibromyalgia. It can help your mind and body to communicate fibromyalgia differently to you. You can gain new vocabulary for your journey with fibromyalgia.
Habitually saying affirmations with confidence can help you to create new neural pathways and even reduce your pain levels.
Get your affirmations here below!
Routines can help you live more freely with fibromyalgia
When you find a few things that work for you as you adjust to living with fibromyalgia, maintaining routines can bring long-lasting benefits for pain-management, dealing with fibro flares, and other lifestyle changes.
Routines can keep you grounded, especially when you are facing fibro fog. You don’t need to refer to your memory on what’s your morning schedule because you already have a routine built up in your day. I share the amazing benefits of bullet journaling here since it’s a great organizational tool for anyone.
A few questions to consider when creating or adjusting your morning routine are:
What helps YOU feel motivated today?
What prepares YOU for today?
How can YOUR body get pain relief or energy for today?
Other questions may come up for you, but this is just to get your juices flowing.
Getting your body, mind, and interior self ready for the rest of the day can make a big difference in living with fibromyalgia. Some people enjoy starting off the day with prayer and meditation, yoga, or walking outside.
You can explore ways in which you can add more intentional habits in your morning.
By taking care of yourself first, you can be prepared for your tasks, plans, and responsibilities for the day.
Evenings routines are just as important as morning routines because it impacts your sleeping habits and whether or not you feel restful the next day. I share about sleep hygiene here.
Having a basic routine for the beginning and the end of your day can build a structure in your life. It can also help you to recognize what is important in your life. You can prioritize the things that bring you peace and joy like using some essential oils before you go to bed or even working on creative projects for your own leisure.
Yes, fibromyalgia is part of your lifestyle, but now you can narrow down the things that are restorative for your own health and wellbeing.
Don’t you find yourself getting tired of faking a smile all the time?
Do you have a trusted confidant or a good friend you can talk to about your highs and lows of dealing with fibromyalgia?
It’s such a relief when you have others who truly see you as who you really are and do not judge you for your chronic conditions. Having people in your life whom you can trust is so important for your own acceptance and healing journey.
In addition to a trusted friend, it’s a gift when we share our fibromyalgia stories with other people who are experiencing chronic illness in their own lives. Online forums, Facebook groups, or in-person groups have opportunities to share fibromyalgia stories through the lens of hope and healing.
These groups can aid you when you experience a victim-mentality, feelings of loneliness, or shame. But these groups can also help you to live more abundantly with fibromyalgia because you are creating spaces of connection, community, and vulnerability with others who are going through similar issues.
Collaborate with your doctor
You don’t want to have a doctor just to have a doctor.
Get a doctor you can collaborate with and who would explore pathways of healing and pain management together.
Having a doctor who you can talk openly about your symptoms and flare-ups without the risk of being judged as a fake or a hypochondriac comes a long way for your own peace and wellbeing.
It’s good for you to remember that although your doctor comes with his own medical knowledge and expertise, you come with your body and mind which are affected by fibromyalgia.
The more you know of how your fibromyalgia affects your life, the more information you can provide your doctor. This can help you tremendously in creating a collaborative relationship with your doctor.
Living abundantly with fibromyalgia is possible
Living with fibromyalgia is definitely challenging, but it is possible.
But guess what?
Living with fibromyalgia abundantly is ALSO possible. You can adapt to new ways of living that can add peace and joy to your life.
These suggestions that I shared with you takes time and consistency to implement in your life.
Which suggestions are you planning to work on? Please comment below!
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