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6 Tips to Help Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms

I am often frustrated by my inability to do as much as I want to do. My heart is in it but fibromyalgia says otherwise.

Over the years I have adopted a few tricks that have really helped me to combat some of the most debilitating symptoms.

1. Low Energy: A simple shower can make me feel exhausted so I generally take them at night. I often skip the hair washing and save it for the morning. This cuts back on my morning routine and helps me feel a little less fatigued in the morning.

2. Leg Pain: Applied heat really seems to help my leg pain. I really like microwaveable rice packs because there is a little weight to them. Sometimes I’ll heat a blanket in the dryer which works well for me as long as I am careful not to overheat my body and create a separate issue.

3. Headaches: Staying hydrated is imperative. I get a lot of headaches and they are always worse when I’ve neglected my water intake. I’ve also been using peppermint essential oils on my temples at the first signs and I feel it’s helped.

4. Sadness: The best way for me to fight sadness is to laugh. It’s hard to find humor with illness but watching a comedy, playing a game with the kids, spending time with friends and enjoying a hobby help a lot.

5. Brain fog: This is one of the hardest things to deal with. I keep lists. At work I use them to stay on track and it really works. At home I use a phone app like Google Keep to jot things down but in all honesty, if I need to get things done, I need a list on paper that I can add to and cross off as I go.

6. Attitude/Mood: We can’t make others understand or empathize with our illness and it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap. I regret that I once told someone, “Oh, I’m sorry you don’t feel well… Just think, I feel that way every day.” It may be true, but it’s completely unnecessary to say. That person didn’t feel well – it wasn’t about me. With that said, the more I keep my focus on others the less time I spend focusing on my illness, which lightens my mood. I can’t explain why – it just works.

What are your tricks and tips that help you manage your symptoms?

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Thinkstock photo via vladans.