3. Try New Things
Fibromyalgia is a relatively new condition and there is always some new online advert for “breakthrough pain relief” or “fibromyalgia cure” to be tempted to try. It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria of “I ate raw potatoes ten times a day and my fibromyalgia vanished” and it’s equally easy to become frustrated and cynical about the suggestions you stumble across online. Again, it’s all about finding that magical balance.
Be systematic in your approach so that you can really see whether or not something has made a difference – change one thing at a time and (back to point one) keep track of your flares. My recent discoveries have included reducing the amount of gluten I eat and rubbing Pernaton gel into sore areas, both of which seem to have made a positive impact.
Still, what works for one might not work for another so when you feel inclined, start introducing something new to your world – or taking something out. These things are unlikely to treat the cause but if they treat the symptoms, well, that’s a start.
4. Follow your Head
It is absolutely essential that you make the time to look after your mind as much as your body. Often people think fibromyalgia is a progressive condition because they feel like things are getting worse.
This emotional response, coupled with fatigue and frustration tend to lead to anger, anxiety and depression amongst other things. From there it’s just one small step to feeling like your life is getting worse over time.
It’s important to acknowledge the emotional side of fibromyalgia as well as the physical and work on coping strategies for your mental health. Make sure you do the simple things that bring you joy such as ordering in from your favourite pizza place, binge-watching the latest Netflix series or taking a long bath with candles and music. (There’s a little insight into my life for you!)
Whatever gets you to that happy place, indulge in it. And if the struggle runs deeper than that, seek psychological support to help you along the way. Whatever you do, don’t ignore your head.
5. Get a Good Support Network
There’s some truth in that good old adage “a problem shared is a problem halved.” Talk won’t take away your condition, but it will help ease the pain.
It’s very easy to seek a support network and instead find yourself caught up in a pity party. The two are very different and the latter isn’t very helpful. You need to make sure you have a person – or people – in your life who can help you through some of the more difficult times and, when you have that, you need to factor in some fun.
You could have a film night with your closest girlfriends or watch stand-up comedy, or even use those virtual friendships you’ve made in online communities to talk about your latest struggles. Whatever you do, do it in a way that makes you giggle. Laughter is the best medicine – another cliché I happen to love.