Adriel's Tips for a Fibro-Friendly Home
When you have fibromyalgia, the world around you becomes a giant minefield.
Will standing in line at the grocery store cause your legs to throb and ache for the rest of the day, or even the rest of the week? Will an uncomfortable desk chair at work make your back spasm so badly you are forced to leave early?
Our own home should be a place of comfort — as much as that is possible with fibro. Our home should be a sanctuary for us. How though can we make a home that is fibromyalgia friendly?
Find a ‘Comfy Spot’
Make at least one spot in your house a comfy spot for you.
Have a pillow or two nearby. Keep a blanket and heating pad close. Have a table close enough to keep a glass of water and a snack. Make sure there is a place to put your feet up or to lie down.
Be sure everyone knows that this is your spot — in a kind way, of course!
Easy, Accessible Kitchen
Keep things you use frequently where you can get to them easily.
Do you have to strain or bend to reach glasses or dishes you use daily? Maybe it would be a good idea to reassess and switch things up, possibly asking a family member or friend to help you do that.
You may find it is easier to do certain tasks while sitting down, such as mixing baked goods. The kitchen table can serve as a good prep station for you.
Would certain tools make preparing food easier for you? For instance, could a food processor be used to chop veggies and nuts? Would that help reduce some of the strain of cooking?
Easy, Accessible Bath
Baths and showers can be a challenge when you have fibro, for multiple reasons. So anything we can do to make it easier is a good thing.
Using an extendable showerhead and chair can make things a little easier. Epsom salt fibromyalgia baths are a nice way to relax and to soothe sore muscles. But you may find yourself getting overheated and feeling dizzy and lightheaded. You don't necessarily have to give up baths altogether, though.
Try easing yourself into the bath slowly, perhaps sitting with your feet in the water for a few minutes, letting your body have time to adjust to the heat. And be sure to have a glass of water with you to drink as soon as you get out. This will help to replenish any fluids you lost.
Keep your meds, vitamins, and supplements where you can get to them easily every day.
I have found having a pill organizer for my daily morning and nighttime pills helps me keep on track. Any pills I need for occasional use are also organized in a way that I can quickly find what I need.
Obviously having a one-story home is ideal when you suffer with chronic pain. But, as I know all too well, we may not all have ideal circumstances.
If you have stairs in your home it is important to find ways to minimize the strain that this can cause.
During the times I lived in multi-story apartments, I found it was helpful to keep a basket or container at the top and bottom of the stairs. When something needs to go up or down, place it in the basket, then take everything at once only when you have to use the stairs anyway, avoiding any extra trips.
The more stuff you have, the more stuff there is to clean, organize, and maintain. The more stuff you have, the more stress you have. So adopting a less-is-more attitude can benefit you in the long run.
One suggestion is, a little at a time go through your home and find things you don’t use or need. Maybe once a week, look through a cupboard, drawer, or closet. Have a bag or box somewhere out of the way and place the unwanted items in it as you find them.
Once it’s full, drop it off at a charitable thrift shop. This helps you to declutter and destress, plus you are helping those in need — a win-win situation.
There is so much that is out of our control while living with fibromyalgia. One thing we do have a small amount of control over is how we live and function in our own home. Making our homes a refuge from the un-fibro friendly world, puts us one step closer to improving our health, one step closer to healing.