“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings.”
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, it’s best to plan ahead to try to avoid a flare rather than recover from one. Between visiting family and friends, shopping, and cooking, who has time right now to deal with the pain and exhaustion of fibromyalgia? Not me, that’s for sure! Who’s with me?
Here are my top tips for avoiding a flare during the holidays:
Get your Zzzz’s. Yes, it’s tempting to stay up and visit, or get up early to get that turkey in the oven, but don’t sacrifice your sleep to do so. Your best offense is to get maintain your schedule and get those 7-9 hours of sleep! Your body will thank you.
Take care of yourself. Hosting the family get-together? It’s OK to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Make it a pot luck. Or cater in part of the meal. I like to set the table and prepare desserts and part of the meal the night before so I am not overdoing it on the day of the big event! Consider buying some fancy paper plates instead of using the good china. And when the kitchen is clean and the guests are gone, try a relaxing bath before bed. 🙂
Eat properly. Yes, it’s the holidays. We are all going to indulge a little. But try the three bite rule when it comes to dessert or your major weaknesses: take just 3 bites of that pie or casserole. It allows you to sample and enjoy, but not overdo it. Chew slowly and pause between bites. Avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, or those foods that you know trigger your flares (Fibromyalgia, migraines, and IBS can all be triggered by food).
Exercise. Taking even 10 minutes for some Pilates, yoga, or a walk after that big meal will help keep everything in check. Here are some yoga moves to try to keep your digestion working properly.
I love the holidays: the food, the parties, visiting family. But I don’t love being curled up in bed because I overdid it. I prefer to enjoy my family time and count my blessings. I can skip that pecan pie if it means I won’t be in bed the next day.
“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.”
– Terri Marshall
Avoiding disaster is far better than recovering from it, and just a few simple steps can help you enjoy your holidays, so you’re not missing out on all of the fun!
Do you have other tips for avoiding a holiday flare?
“If the worry is reasonable, do something about it. If it’s irrational or out of your control, recognize that.” – Eric Barker
I am a worrier. I come by it honestly, as my mom is a worrier too. And I fear I have passed this trait on to my daughter. I have gotten better the last several years about stressing less, especially about things I have no control over. Living with a chronic condition has helped me with that. But I still have my moments. And when I do, I recite this quote to myself to help me let things go…
“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Take a Cue
I read this article this morning in the Washington Post by Eric Barker, called “Take a cue from Buddhists and Stoics and ask yourself these 5 questions to get through stressful times” and thought I would share it with others as a reminder of ways to help cope. A little more zen and a little less stress would do us all some good.
Here’s a summary of the five questions to ask yourself:
1. “Is it useful?” Most worrying isn’t. Make a decision to do something or to let it go. 2. “Does the world owe me this?” No. Don’t be entitled. Have realistic expectations and you won’t get angry. 3. “Must I have this to live a happy life?” Probably not. It takes little to make a happy life and there are many ways to get those things. 4. “Is this who I want to be?” Act the way you do when you’re at your best. 5. “Have I ever felt that way?” Respond to others’ problems with compassion and you’ll both have fewer problems.
This line from the article hits home for me: “If the worry is reasonable, do something about it. If it’s irrational or out of your control, recognize that.”
Stress is a normal part of life – both good and bad stress. It’s how you react to stress that can lead to adverse effects on your health. Needless worrying can produce extra stress, which can flare or exacerbate health problems, such as my fibromyalgia. I don’t want that. My family doesn’t want that. My co-workers and staff definitely don’t want that. I am a much happier, productive person if I control my stress and my health; and irrational worrying has no place in that picture.
Do you have other tips for getting through stressful times, to avoid the useless “worry-rocking chair” situation?
In addition to nutrition and medicine, you need other strategies for coping with the daily pain and major flares that occur.
You have probably experienced something like this before: You go to bed feeling fine….maybe just OK….no worse than usual… And when you wake up in the morning you have some new pain. You roll out of bed. You’re stiff and moving slow. Every step hurts. You think you are never going to straighten up again. And then it hits you that there is some new ache that wasn’t there when you went to bed last night. For some of us, that may just be the aging process. For others, welcome to life with fibromyalgia.
“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ~ J. K. Rowling
I have a super busy next couple of weeks, as my software upgrade project at work is coming to fruition. User training starts today. As I am the project manager, I need all of the energy and strength I can get. Failure is not an option. Nor is taking a much needed break, so of course I am in fibro flare mode, and my shoulder and neck are acting up.
Although I tweeted this out for #MondayMotivation, I am recycling this quote for a little #WednesdayWisdom to get me through the next few weeks.
“With a new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Remember, every day is a new day to begin again. Hope you all have a beautiful rest of your week! Positive vibes and thoughts for all!
Chronic physical pain often also creates emotional suffering. Seven steps to deal with the loneliness and isolation of chronic pain.
You know the drill. You are in pain and suffering, often silently. Because of your condition you are in pain quite often and talking about it can be construed as “complaining,” and after a while can fall on deaf ears. You might be in deep despair because the pain is too much. Your life as you knew it has come to a halt. Exhaustion, stress, lack of sleep, and pain. That is the life you know now.
Sure, your friends and family know there’s something wrong with you. But do they really know what you’re going through? And even so, do they really want to hear about it? Again. And after you’ve declined a few invitations because you weren’t quite feeling up to going out and being social, the invitations just stop coming. Continue reading “Combating the Loneliness of Chronic Pain”
In my professional career, I have never really been a specialist, but I do consider myself good at a variety of things. And so it is in my personal hobbies, I have various things I truly enjoy, but no one thing I have perfected. I dabble in writing this blog, photography, painting rocks, volunteering, and all these things I do give me joy, fulfillment, and serenity in my life and help me be the best version of me. I love finding inspiration in every day life!
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
~ Pablo Picasso
But one thing I have found that I both enjoy and am fairly good at is strategy development and plan execution. And so it is that I joined the board of a local non-profit last year, to help them succeed in fulfilling their mission, while helping to develop a strategic plan and stay focused on plan execution. This is the gift I have developed that I am able to give away. #lovewhatyoudo