10 Things to Inspire You This Month

10 ways to unplug and recharge

Lately I have had a difficult time writing new blog posts. I am feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, had a flare-up of my fibromyalgia, and am just lacking the creative inspiration and desire to research and write a post. And that’s OK by me.

We all face times of uncertainty in our lives. We all need to take a step back at times and do less. For this month, I am giving you 10 ways to unplug and recharge. And the great thing is this list applies to those with or without a chronic illness, so I hope this gives you some ideas to find time for YOU.

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The Other “F” Word

I would prefer my “F” words include Fabulous, Fearless, and Fun.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2000 and have said/thought many a curse word since that time. Fibromyalgia. Fibro. Fibro-flare. Flare. FMS. Fatigue. Fog. Frustration. Failure.  All of these have become the other “F” words  to me. I try to live by the power of positive thinking (hence, the name of my blog), but until you live a day in my shoes it may be hard to understand why even sometimes it is easier to smile and put on a happy face rather than truly answer the question of “How are you?” Because trust me, you don’t want to hear about how I am tired, hurt all over, didn’t sleep last night, and oftentimes feel like a failure because I can’t do the things I want to do.

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Diagnosing Chronic Pain

“Doctors don’t know what causes fibromyalgia, but it most likely involves a variety of factors working together.”

Here are some ugly truths: Women and men experience pain differently. Doctors are less likely to treat women’s pain. Health issues that disproportionately affect women are not studied as much as those affecting men. It can take women multiple visits and sometimes years to diagnose their medical issues and chronic illnesses. And when painful conditions like Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia don’t have a simple test for diagnosing, those visits and months and years can prove both emotionally and physically draining when you’re already in pain and still having to fight for a diagnosis.

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6 Ways to Cope with Stress when you Have a Chronic Illness

Chronic stress can cause extreme duress on the fibro body and your adrenal system.

Managing my fibromyalgia is a careful balancing act of self-care. This involves eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, working out, and taking time for me. Living with fibromyalgia means that normal, every day stressors can place an additional hardship on the fibro body. So when you are faced with an extended period of stress – bad flare or other health crisis, work deadlines, family emergencies, or simply just getting through the holidays – you can place an extreme amount of duress on your body and your adrenal system.

“Adrenaline is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.”

You can feel this when your heart starts to race or your hands or body sweats. Adrenaline is also responsible for that fight-or-flight mechanism that can give people extraordinary strength in times of crisis. And an over-exposure to the stress hormones can tamper with your overall well-being.

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No More Spoons to Give

On those days when your energy, or spoon supply, is limited, it takes incredible strength to persevere.

A few weeks back I found myself with no more spoons to give, and have been working on replenishing my health, energy, and soul. This is the reason I have been taking a step back lately from blogging, and trying to reprioritize some other things in my life. Our vacation was just the break and self-care I needed to break my pain and flare cycle. I am just now starting to feel human and like myself again.

You can read about it in these recent posts:

But what is a Spoon, you ask?

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Leaving the Pain Behind

The reality of fibromyalgia is that you just don’t know when the symptoms will subside.

Pain is exhausting. It can take over your thoughts and be all-consuming. Those with a chronic illness know this all too well, coping with the often debilitating pain, while trying to carry on with their lives.

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Best Kept Secret: WEGO Health Nominee

I use my blog and health advocacy role to shine a light on fibromyalgia and make this condition more visible.

I started blogging a few years ago to share my fibromyalgia journey in the hopes of encouraging, helping, or inspiring others. I try to maintain a positive attitude despite this sometimes debilitating condition. My blogging journey has been slow and not always steady due these limitations, so this nomination caught me completely off-guard. I am honored, thrilled, and grateful for being nominated for a 2018 WEGO Health Award for the “Best Kept Secret.” It truly gives validation to what I am trying to accomplish in my little corner of the blog-o-sphere and Twitter-verse.

best kept secret (1)
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