Ottawa Fibromyalgia Support Group
Coping with Fibromyalgia
Self-care is critical in the management of fibromyalgia.
Reduce stress. Develop a plan to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress. Allow yourself time each day to relax. That may mean learning how to say no without guilt. But try not to change your routine completely. People who quit work or drop all activity tend to do worse than those who remain active. Try stress management techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises or meditation.
Get enough sleep. Because fatigue is one of the main characteristics of fibromyalgia, getting sufficient sleep is essential. In addition to allotting enough time for sleep, practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day and limiting daytime napping.
Exercise regularly. At first, exercise may increase your pain. But doing it regularly often decreases symptoms. Appropriate exercises may include walking, swimming, biking and water aerobics. A physical therapist can help you develop a home exercise program. Stretching, good posture and relaxation exercises also are helpful.
Pace yourself. Keep your activity on an even level. If you do too much on your good days, you may have more bad days.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy foods. Limit your caffeine intake. Do something that you find enjoyable and fulfilling every day.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Hand-outs for helping others understand:
We offer several "letters" and information to help you explain Fibromyalgia to relatives, "normals" and a letter from a spouse to advise on issues of living with a person with Fibromyalgia:
We are pleased to provide a suggested Protocol of Supplements and Lifestyle Adjustments recommended by our own Armanda D'Angelo, a nutritionist, and long-time co-ordinator of the Support Group.
Diet can be important in managing your Fibromyalgia Symptoms. Check out 5 Ways To Control Fibromyalgia With Diet.
Many members of the Group have adopted a Gluten-free diet which has resulted in less severe Fibromyalgia symptoms. Please note: you should always check with your primary health care provider before making any major changes to your diet or level of activity!