Things You Should Do Every Day with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A lot of people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have days where we can’t do anything, whether it’s because we literally don’t have the energy to move, or whether activity causes searing pain that breaks us down physically and mentally. We never know when this might happen.
On these days, we need to limit ourselves to the basics of survival without setting ourselves up for more days like this. How’s that possible? There are some things that I have to do every day or else I pay the price with more days in bed.
The first three are things we should all do, every day, no matter what.
#1 – Take Your Medications & Supplements (if prescribed)
Many of the medications we’re prescribed have to be maintained at certain levels to be effective. If you take them erratically, you’re not going to get the full benefit. During a flare is the absolute worst time to make your meds less effective!
#2 — Eat Something Healthy (or drink at the very least)
If you’re like me, “cooking” is a bad word even on a good day. On my worst? Forget it! Some days, it may seem like too much just to lift the food to your mouth.
If you’re often alone most days, it can help to keep nutrient-packed drinks like Ensure on hand. At least you’re putting important things in your body to fuel important processes. Keep a handful of almonds, a few slices of cheese, or some yogurt handy. I also know that I feel better when I eat more fruits and vegetables.
Of course, I can’t eat a perfect diet every day – it takes far too much work. By keeping healthy foods available as much as I can, I give myself a better chance of at least eating something that’s good for me every day.
#3 — Get Plenty of Serious Rest.
This is by far the most important thing. On active days, your body probably tells you when it’s had enough. On down days, you might think all you’re doing is resting. Make sure you take time to turn off the electronics, close your eyes, and really rest. If you end up asleep, that’s even better!
#4 – Light Exercise if Possible
Our doctors tend to recommend exercise – yoga, walking (just a few minutes a day to start) or stretching if possible.
As always, start slowly and do the bare minimum for a while, then increase your time slowly and carefully as you’re able. If it makes your pain worse than STOP!
#5 — Laugh
Laughter is good medicine. You don’t want to overdo it! Not only does laughter pick up your mood, it changes your brain chemistry. They say it actually has effects that are similar to exercise, only with less exertion.
Taking Baby Steps – Start Everything Slowly
Remember, these are things to do every day to give you the best possible chance of making improvements. And yes, these are things that I do every day, with very rare exception. They’re part of the self-care that can make the difference between getting better and staying the same.
Every time you adopt a good habit or change a bad habit, you’re taking a step forward in your illness management which is important as you work toward your goal of feeling better.