In America, this is the weekend that we celebrate Independence Day, typically with cookouts and fireworks. In the days of Coronavirus, our family won’t be celebrating in the traditional ways. Since late March, we have been doing our best to #StayAtHome. This year that means no BBQs with friends or watching fireworks with big crowds. It will be a simple BBQ at home for the family.
During quarantine I have been practicing self-care with proper eating and extra walks with the dog to get out of the house. These habits also help me to keep the fibromyalgia flare-ups to a minimum. The neighborhood has gotten a bit boring, so this past week I discovered some lovely nearby walking trails. After a particularly long walk this morning, I made this Red-White-and-Blue Triple-Berry-Coconut smoothie bowl that I thought would make a nice 4th of July treat!
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep issues.
When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 20 years ago, it wasn’t a well known or understood condition. Twenty years later and it’s still not well understood by the medical community, but I would say it is more well known these days thanks to high profile people with fibromyalgia, like Lady Gaga, Morgan Freeman, and Lena Dunham, among others.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and sleep issues. I typically wake up with morning stiffness that can be felt the second my feet hit the floor. And some days I often think the list of what doesn’t hurt is shorter than the list that does.
Chronic, widespread pain. Fatigue. Insomnia. Depression. Headaches. These are the common symptoms most people associate with Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS. But this syndrome is complex, its symptoms mimic other conditions, and it’s not easily diagnosed. There are well over 60 different symptoms that have been associated with this condition, some of which are comorbid or overlapping conditions. Muscle, skin, joint, cognitive, sensory, neurological, sleep-related, and the list goes on. For people like me, it can be difficult at times to determine if it’s just one of the myriad of things associated with FMS or if it’s something new. Sometimes it’s a guessing game: Is it Fibromyalgia or something else?
Self-love, self-care, and balance don’t just happen. It takes strength and courage to put ourselves first.
January is Self-Love month and Get a Balanced Life month. (Or so I am told by one of those sites that lists all of the real and made-up holidays for the year.) Appropriate I would say for the first month of the new year. New year, new start, new resolutions to break bad habits. I love the beginning of the year when I start a new planner that is filled with blank pages, just waiting for me to fill them up with goals, plans, quotes. This year, I am starting a new system based on the bullet journal approach, but I am using a standard planner (I searched high and low for one I think will work for all areas of my life) because I didn’t want to spend the extra time (or energy) writing out all of my own calendars each week/month.
But back to the reason for my post…Self-love or self-care are important for everyone, as is balance in life. These all lead to less stress and better health and self-esteem, adding up to a happy, joyful, and fulfilling life. Sounds great, right? So why don’t we do these things more? The normal stresses of every day life take their toll. Work, family, kids’ activities, cooking, cleaning, shopping. They all add up. And at the end of the day, you’re so tired from all of that you just want to crawl into bed rather than spend a little extra time pampering yourself. Sound about right?
“One woman filled with self love and self acceptance is a model more SUPER than any cover girl.”