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”
You cannot drink from an empty cup.
Persons with living fibromyalgia are usually on the receiving end of caregiving. So it becomes a bit of a challenge when they become the caregiver. Sometimes the only energy you have is that which carries you through the day, and have no spoons left for anyone else. So how does one cope with a flare and self-care when presented with the challenging of caring for somebody else? Continue reading “Caregiver TLC: 7 Tips for Self-Care”
Lately I haven’t been loving myself enough. I have been running on empty, with “no spoons” left to give. No energy to blog, no creativity left to give, and dealing with my messy life.
So taking a few days to enjoy a getaway with my family last week was definitely the self-care, self-preservation, and refueling I needed. Being outdoors is my happy place, as I believe it is holistically therapeutic to be outside.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Continue reading “Love Yourself”
No matter how much pain we are in or how exhausted we are, we manage to bounce-back.
Resilience and Fibromyalgia don’t often complement each other. Resilience is one’s ability to bounce back. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is characterized by flare ups, or “flares,” of symptoms such as widespread musculoskeletal, stabbing or burning pain; fatigue; sleep problems; and cognitive problems. These flares can be short-lived or long-lasting, and sometimes debilitating, mentally draining, and exhausting. So you can see where these two things don’t naturally lend themselves to each other. Continue reading “How to Be Resilient with Fibromyalgia”
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”
10 Things to Inspire You in April #EverydayInspiration #Lovewhatyoudo
April showers bring May flowers…. And so I hope to shower you with feelings of joy and happiness. While I mostly write about life with fibromyalgia, I often say “I have fibromyalgia, it doesn’t have me.” I want to showcase the fact that my condition doesn’t define me. Life is multi-dimensional. And so with that, here is the April 2018 edition of…
Continue reading “10 Things to Inspire You This Month”
“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). And don’t forget to stay hydrated!
- 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?