4 Tips for Avoiding a Holiday Fibro Flare

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings.”

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 🙂
  3. 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).
  4. 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?

Cheers!

Cynthia

When Everything Hurts

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

Continue reading “When Everything Hurts”

Quote: Strength and Thoughts

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!

Cheers!

Cynthia

Combating the Loneliness of Chronic Pain

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”

Reblog: Fibro Friday #128

Loved this quote that was shared on the Fibro Blogger Directory‘s weekly link-up, so I thought I would share it. Sharing is caring, after all. I often link up my relevant blog posts here (although there haven’t been many lately!). You will find many great bloggers who write about fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, et al. I hope you will check them out!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul.”
~ John Muir

via Fibro Friday week 128 — Fibro Blogger Directory

Cheers!

Cynthia

Taking Time to Recharge

This past week, Thanksgiving week, I took time off from the office. Several days I was home by myself all day. The peace and quiet was quite enjoyable. I made lists and crossed things off. I read. I did yoga and walked the dogs. I took time away from social media and did very little work during the week. I felt mentally recharged… And then I returned to work yesterday and came home exhausted!

relaxation

Vitamin R
So how do we combat that feeling at the end of the work day? Sleep is not the only way to recharge yourself, although it is a big one. In addition to rest, there is relaxation and recreation. These are what Dr. Carri refers to as “Vitamin R” (reference: JJ Virgin podcast), and I was in need of some last week to combat my mental and physical fatigue. I was feeling a little bit of work-related burn-out. Too many projects, too little time!

Sometimes I have to give myself permission to take some “me” time. As someone who suffers from fibromyalgia and is one to always make sure her family is cared for first, fatigue is a way of life for me. “I’m exhausted” is a pretty common answer from me to the pleasantry “How are you?”  Sometimes I wear the fibrowarrior term like a badge of courage and don’t practice self-care. So having a few days where I was only having to care for me, myself, and I…utter bliss, I say.

Time-outs Aren’t Just for Kids
Dr. John Izzo talks about the need for adults to take some self-imposed time-outs for ourselves to rest, recharge, and have fun. A little R&R. See, that “Vitamin R” term is starting to make sense! We know that stepping away from a problem we are having difficulty solving can help us gain a new perspective and innovate. So in the same vein, stepping away from our daily grind of work, emails, interruptions can help to energize us. Giving ourselves permission to take a time-out of a day or a week away from the office may not always be possible, but allowing yourself some unscheduled time during the day can do wonders for your mental energy.

“Great is the human who has not lost his inner childlike heart.” ~ John Reed

Avoiding Burnout
The book You Don’t Have to Go Home From Work Exhausted: A Program to Bring Joy, Energy, and Balance to Your Life talks about learning to refuel your tank to avoid that burnout we can all be subject to. Here are the 12 key lifestyle factors their research found to be factors in affecting energy levels:

  • Sleep
  • Proper diet for energy and high performance
  • Exercise
  • Have alone time
  • Take time to read and learn
  • Fill your spiritual growth
  • Experience love
  • Have fun, joy, and play!
  • Spend quality time with family and friends
  • Find new interests or renew interest in an old hobby
  • Take vacations
  • Have a sense of purpose

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” ~ Dolly Parton

We all could use a little more Joy and Energy in our lives! Think about how much time you take for each of those 12 things. Is it enough? Take some time for yourself this week to get away from whatever situation at home or work is troubling you or sapping you of your precious energy, and enjoy a few minutes outside or reading a book or calling your mom. We owe it to ourselves to find those things that bring us energy and joy.

What are you going to do this week to create a little Rest, Relaxation, or Recreation in your life?

Cheers!

Cynthia