How to Cope During a Fibromyalgia Flare-Up
Coping during a flare-up can be a real challenge, there are a few things that could potentially help you to reduce some of your symptoms and possibly even shorten the length of your flare.
Be Gentle With Yourself
Do not push yourself. Go slow. Be gentle with yourself. If you can’t do the laundry for a few days, that’s okay. Also, if you can’t get the house cleaned this week, that’s okay.
If you have to cancel plans, that’s okay, do not feel guilty about it. Treat yourself the same way you would a friend that was going through a hard time.
Communicate Your Needs With Family, Friends and Coworkers
Let the people in your life know that you are going through an especially hard time. If there are practical things you need help with, ask for it.
If you need time away from work, or simply a lighter workload, be upfront with your boss and any coworkers this may affect. This may help relieve, or avoid altogether, some stressful situations.
Stick to Your Normal Sleep Schedule
As already mentioned, sleep plays a vital role in our health and well-being, especially when you have fibromyalgia. Getting sleep and rest is important and sticking to your sleep routine will help your body heal and repair itself faster.
Stick to Your Medication and Supplement Schedule
When you feel awful and are exhausted, it can be hard to remember everything you need to do. Speaking from personal experience, I know even something as routine as taking your pills can slip through the cracks.
During a flare, it is more important than ever that you continue taking medicine or supplements. This will help to manage your symptoms and get you feeling better sooner.
Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy Food
We know that drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet can have a big effect on our health. During a flare, it can be hard to fix yourself healthy meals.
It may be tempting to reach for convenient snacks or food that we find comforting. However, those things may cause you to feel worse or prolong the flare up.
Eating as healthy as you can help you to feel better sooner. It helps to have a few healthy meals set aside in the freezer for the especially difficult days.
When you are going through a flare, exercise is likely the farthest thing from your mind. But getting in a few stretches each day may help. As tempting as it is, sitting or lying down too much can make your flare worse or last longer.
Remember, There Is Only So Much That You Can Do
There is only so much that can be done to bring relief while you are living through a flare. Much of it is just a waiting game, hoping it will be over soon. The best thing that can be done at this point is to keep yourself as distracted as possible.
Focusing your attention on positive, enjoyable things may help your mental wellbeing during this time. Read a book, binge watch your favorite TV show, listen to your favorite music, watch funny videos of cute animals, play games or use coloring apps on your phone. Spend time outside if it is possible for you to do so, nature can be a powerful healer.
I am well aware that all of the above suggestions are much easier said than done. I have often found that while living through a flare up my main priority is just survival.
If I can keep myself alive from one day to the next, then hopefully the next day will be better. And that is okay. If all you did today was survive, that is okay, that is important!
Recovering from a Fibromyalgia Flare-Up
During a flare, it is easy to become overwhelmed. You may begin to feel like the flare-up is going to last forever, that this is just how you are going to feel from now on. I have been there. But I can assure you, and the flare-up will end. You will have better days again.
Once you do begin to feel better, it is crucial that you do not push yourself too hard right away. Ease yourself back into your usual routine. Doing too much too soon can lead you right back into another flare up.