Letting go of things that no longer bring you joy or satisfaction can in itself be joyful and satisfying!
It’s a new year full of new hope and new promise. Many of us start the new year with resolutions or diets or workout regimens, hoping to shed some holiday weight or gain some new perspective or success. This year I didn’t make any bold resolutions or promises, but I did choose a word for the year. Simplify.
Last year was all about being deliberate about my choices and what I did. I found this gave me increased success with my blog. I wrote more posts, I gained more followers, I engaged more, and I even got nominated for an award. So what is it that I want to simplify this year?
Continue reading “6 Tips to Simplify Your Life”
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~ Hans Hofmann
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.
Continue reading “6 Ways to Cope with Stress when you Have a Chronic Illness”
With over 200 symptoms or co-morbidities, fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from person to person.
With 18 trigger points across the body, one of the most defining symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome is widespread pain. It is also characterized by extreme fatigue, sleeping issues, headaches, and a myriad of other symptoms. It can be difficult at times to ascertain whether you have yet another weird symptom of fibromyalgia, or you truly have something else wrong. And the symptoms vary from one person to the next.
Research suggests that “the brain of a fibromyalgia patient amplifies pain signals” and that it “is a complex condition whose definition and measurement extend far beyond charting patient-reported pain levels on a numeric scale.” It’s no wonder there are over 200 symptoms and/or co-morbidities that have been attributed to this syndrome. Continue reading “Fibromyalgia Symptom Round-up”
I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was.
Life in general requires overcoming challenges and obstacles of many types. Life with fibromyalgia introduces its own share of challenges: lack of energy, lack of sleep, chronic pain being the most prevalent. These things can change who you are and how you approach life. What once was a simple task, such as getting out of bed in the morning, can now be a daily struggle.
In the years since my diagnosis, my biggest challenge has been SLOWING DOWN. I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was. Type A personalities, like myself, prefer to be in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines.
Adopting health strategies such as a clean diet, regular workouts, and supplements, has helped lessen the daily pain and limited my “flares” of my fibromyalgia. It has allowed me to maintain a moderately active lifestyle. And then I begin to think: Maybe I am OK. Maybe I am in some sort of remission. Maybe I can push myself just a little harder. And that thinking usually ends in a crash and burn, i.e. fibro flare and bed rest. Slowing down, resting allows the body to recover from the stresses put upon it. Without a recovery period, we can do our bodies more harm than good. Continue reading “The Challenge of Slowing Down”
“Self-care is not about self-indulgence, it’s about self-preservation.”
Back in January I wrote about the importance of self-care and some things I vowed to work on myself. As May is Fibromyalgia Awareness month, I decided it was time to check in and see just how good or bad I am doing on my own self-care. Practice what you preach, and all. I have found more success following strategies for healthy living, than I ever did taking a pill that the doctors prescribed. So taking care of myself has to be my number one priority, in order to minimize my fibro-flares. You cannot, after all, drink from an empty cup, and having a flare can often feel like you are running on empty.
Here’s what I wanted to improve on: Continue reading “Self-Care Self-Check”
If I eat crap, I feel like crap.
via Daily Prompt: Hyperbole
I have said for years that “Sugar is the root of all evil.” I woke up this morning after a decent night’s sleep in fibro flare mode. Pain all over that makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. The reason for this flare is most likely the sugar-crap-fest I had on leftover Halloween Candy and chocolate chip cookies after dinner last night. Shame on me. I know better.
Now sugar is not really the root of ALL evil. But it is pretty bad, nutritionally speaking. It can lead to tooth decay, weight gain, and a myriad of other health issues. It’s so addictive that studies show rats will choose sugar over cocaine. And people flock to coffee shops for their sugar-laden “milk shakes” disguised as coffee drinks. It’s added to a variety of food products. (Hint: Read your labels, people.) For me, I know if I eat crap, I feel like crap. And sugar and bread are my two crappy food weaknesses. So I avoid them, most of the time. Continue reading “Hyperbole: Sugar Is the Root of All Evil”