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28 Unexpected Coping Techniques That Help People Manage Fibromyalgia

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When you’re battling the pain, fatigue or brain fog of fibromyalgia, there’s not always an easy solution for relieving the symptoms. Although some may find relief from certain medications, there is certainly no one “cure-all.” Often those with fibromyalgia must go through much trial and error to find methods that alleviate or at least distract from the symptoms.

To help those struggling to find relief, we asked our Mighty community to share some of the unexpected coping techniques they use to manage their fibromyalgia. Maybe some of the following can help get you through your own difficult flare days.

Here’s what the community shared with us:

1. “Hot bubble bath. I guess it’s unexpected for me because of my heat intolerance. The bubbles feel amazing and don’t bug my skin which I expected because everything seems to. It’s now the best part of my day.”

2. “Coloring helps take my mind off the pain as does painting. However, some days I can’t get my hands to do as they should, so those days I watch TV. Especially if I have brain fog, that way I’m not reading the same thing over and over and not getting it.”

3. “I would play apps on my phone, like memory games or rhythm games to help me try and drown out the noise of my pain.”

4. “An extra jacket in case I get cold and a tank top in case I get hot are in the back seat always. I also have three different blankets in case my skin hurts or I get too cold or hot.”

5. “Honestly, Pilates and going to the gym have been great for my pain. It’s really helped strengthen my joints and muscles. I feel so much better since I started going.”

6. “I write short stories, turning it all into something funny, adding a twist of humor to my pain.”

7. “Ordering my groceries to be delivered. I can place the order in the middle of the night if that’s when I’m awake. It’s easier with brain fog to go through my list and not miss things when I can just search the item. And of course the added help of not having to walk, carry bags and have that much stimulus overload.”

8. “[I] watch so many YouTube videos. Sooo many. It makes the day go by pretty quickly.”

9. “Cuddling with my cat. She love to sit on my lap and just purr while getting her face scratched.”

10. “I drink a lot of hot tea and eat a lot of buttered toast and watch a lot of Masterpiece Theatre. For me, it’s about the ritual of it. I had no idea, when I first got sick, how comforting simple routines would be. So much of my life feels out of my control right now. Making tea and toast gives me a little consistency.”


11. “I sing my heart out. If I’m sad, I sing sad songs. I sing my emotions!”

12. “TV and music are my two go-tos! Music keeps me motivated to get through life’s daily tasks and TV numbs me from the reality of the pain by allowing me to slip into another world for a small while.”

13. “Marijuana in many different forms has helped me to manage the pain better and to function daily.”

14. “I read. When I read I can ignore the pain I feel everywhere.”

15. “Nature! Ten to 20 minutes of gardening in my bare feet and with bare hands and smelling the compost-enriched soil (absorbing those wonderful microbes that induce good mood). Sitting along our creek and listening to the water burble over the rocks. Sitting on the deck and listening to all the birds singing in our woods. On a beautiful blue sky day, just sitting there enjoying the blueness. Slowly walking through a greenhouse and smelling, touching, and dreaming of more flowerbeds.”

16. “I do yoga to help my muscles and joints.”

17. “I play video games to help keep my brain busy and distracted. It helps me not think about the pain as much.”

18. “When I swim I meet my old body again. It’s great – either sea or pool. It’s amazing for my body and my soul.”

19. “Many [people with] fibro deal with sensory overload, where sound, light and touch is just too much. I’m sensitive to sound. When I get like that, instead of constantly asking my family to quiet down, I picked up some noise dampening ear plugs to use. I carry them with me everywhere.”

20. “Heat packs that stick to your clothes for pain relief on the go.”

21. “A shorter hair cut I can air dry, so my arms don’t get tired with blow drying.”

22. “Putting a blanket/pillow between my knees when sleeping on my side… relieves the tender bone areas.”

23. “Because of brain fog and a certain amount of anxiety about leaving the house, I get flustered and forget things, which has sometimes resulted in situations where I feel worse. So I pre-pack a little zip bag with things I need for going out. I know it’s got everything in it so I can grab that and go. At the moment it has spare pain meds, sunglasses, earplugs, snacks (usually nuts), charged battery bank and charger, handkerchief (for crying, or to hold up if there is a strong smell), spare makeup, headphones, little notebook and pencil. I grab that, make sure I have my phone, and I’m all good to go.”

24. “Disposable dishes and utensils. I just do not have the energy to cook, much less clean dishes. I make myself feel better by only getting recyclable and disposing of them in our apartment complex’s recycle bin.”

25. “I write computer code, or some other activity that makes my mind hyper-focus.”

26. “Monthly float sessions in my local floatation center. Something about the perfectly body temperature water, the heavy concentration of Epsom salts, the darkness and the calm really eases my symptoms and stress. I get amazing sleep for the whole week after.”

27. “Wearing loose clothing like sundresses or soft joggers, especially on bad pain days. Tight pants like dress pants and jeans might look cute but most days it’s just too painful to go there. I’ve learned it just depends on the day and I have to be open to trying new types of clothes I might not have worn before.”

28. “Reminding myself of my past accomplishments which then motivate me to push onward.”

What techniques do you use to help manage your fibromyalgia? Share in the comments below!

Originally published: August 10, 2017
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