Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fibromyalgia - It's the Small Things

Let's be honest there is nothing small about Fibromyalgia, but finding relief or comfort while living with Fibromyalgia can be reduced by doing a few small things.
When you think about it most things in life are nothing more than a grouping of small things. Fibromyalgia is nothing more than a grouping of symptoms, and finding relief is a grouping of items that can help you overcome this illness.
In my practice I learn a lot about people and their lives. Throughout the years I have found small things that patients can do that can make a whole world of difference in their lives. While most of you have heard about eating right, or exercise as ways to reduce the influx of symptoms with fibro, there are quite a few more that I've learned that I will share with you today.
1) De-Clutter YOUR Home or Work Space
Nobody likes clutter, and often times this can lead you feeling stressed out and make your fibro symptoms worse. Everybody has a room or a drawer in their home or office that is just full of clutter and is disorganized. This is a great place to set a small goal for yourself, not only are you going to be clearing up space, but you'll also begin to feel better because you are getting exercise!
Remember to move at your own pace, each person who has fibro has to take things at a different pace than others, depending upon how your fibro affects you. So take your time, I can promise you the clutter is not going to go anywhere!
Do some light stretches before you start, and begin to move things around, throw them away, or put them in their place. My wife constantly reminds me "A place for everything and everything in it's place" and this holds very true. I find after someone who has fibro de-clutters a room, or a drawer that they begin to feel rejuvenated and optimistic.
Your home should always make you feel comfortable and at ease. A cleared out space, nicely organized can make a world of difference for you mentally and with your fibro symptoms!
2) A Creative Outlet
I've noticed in building a fibro community that there are a lot of talented people that inhibit it! Whether it be musically, writing, painting, or any of the other arts, patients of mine have found great relief through expressing themselves creativly.
Many patients of mine started out writing a "pain journal" for their doctors, detailing when and where there pain started and how it affected them. Before long they realized that while writing they were finding a way to feel better about themselves or their lives emotionally and began to write other pieces.
This is a great thing to do for yourself, it allows you to not only express yourself, but feel good while you do it. Everybody feels a surge of pride once they create something, they can look at it and say to themselves "I did that!" and this is a great feeling. We all know that when you have fibromyalgia feeling good mentally is a big part of the struggle. By allowing yourself time to dabble in the creative arts, you can begin feeling better about yourself, and help kick fibro right out the door!
While this isn't a cure - there is no illness that you can cure by painting as far as I know - this is one of those little things that you can pick up that can go a long way in helping you feel better, and improve your quality of life.
No matter what it is. Be it painting, model building, or even a hobby such as gardening and cooking these can go along way in helping you begin to feel better. Stress is a major factor in everyday life now-a-days, and more so in fibro patients who not only deal with the normal stresses of day to day life, but also the stress of this illness. It has been proven again and again that dabbling in the creative arts can help reduce stress, and start allowing you to feel better.
3) Daily Structuring and Routine
Life is chaotic enough without adding to it! Some days it feels like there is so much going on that you can't seem to keep a handle on anything. When you add in suffering from Fibromyalgia this becomes not only more important but down right crucial!
In this sense a daily agenda, a few lists, and a whiteboard can go a long way. Waking up every morning and making a list of things you hope to accomplish that day, and working that into your schedule between soccer practices and meals can make you feel not only good but accomplished. If you go one further and cross of your list at night you may find that you accomplished all you set out too and more!
Though you cannot be too hard on yourself if you have an "off" day or your fibro flares up too much and you are unable to cross off everything on your list. Don't knock yourself, even people without fibro have a difficult time in completing their lists too!
Remember when creating your daily lists, or structuring your day to make sure that you do not overtax yourself. So many people (myself included) can sometimes feel like they are superhuman and make lists that are just too complicated, or too full to fulfill regardless of how much coffee they drink!
Work some of these items into your routine, follow it daily. Devote enough time just to yourself, maybe here you'll read a book, work on an art project, anything that you like doing. Even if it is just sitting in your favorite chair and enjoying the silence. Always make sure that you include something that helps you relax.
All of these ways will help you reduce stress, and begin to feel better. The most important thing to remember is to move at your own pace, do things your own way, and you'll find that at least mentally you'll begin to feel a lot better, and even more optimistic!

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