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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Clean Eating: Smoothie Round-Up

Fight fibromyalgia with your diet

I have long managed my fibromyalgia with healthy life-style choices including diet and exercise. My best fibro-fighting weapons? Starting my day with yoga and a healthy smoothie.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” 

La Rouchefoucauld

The concept of eating “clean” just encourages you to consume more whole foods — such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats — and limit highly processed snack foods, sweets and other packaged foods. Yes, it’s a difficult concept to wrap your brain around during the holidays when we often indulge on extra calories in the form of holiday meals and baked goodies.

Oftentimes we equate healthy foods with tasteless foods. But done right smoothies are the perfect combination of both nutritious and flavorful foods. I have posted some recipes and pics on the blog and my Instagram of smoothies and smoothie bowls, so I thought I would grab my favorites in one post. Smoothies take about 5 minutes to put together in a blender, and then you have the perfect meal on the go!

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The Many Forms of Pain

Pain takes all forms, affects all people, and does not discriminate.

I started writing this post long before Lena Dunham announced she wanted to be the “face of fibromyalgia.” Knowing little about her other than what I read in this article, I don’t really have a connection to her and don’t view her as my advocate. There are many other faces of fibromyalgia and forms of pain that deserve attention as well.

Pain takes all forms, affects all people, and does not discriminate between male or female, young or old, rich or poor, famous or not-so-famous. It can affect anyone. And everyone.

These days I feel people associate pain or chronic pain with the “opioid epidemic” we hear so much about in our daily news. It has reached such a pinnacle that Michael Bloomberg announced a $50 million donation to help fight it. But let’s not stereotype all of those suffering in pain with a drug problem that is gripping the nation. Continue reading “The Many Forms of Pain”

What Really Causes Fibromyalgia?

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

That question is like the proverbial, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” because there is not yet a definitive answer as to the cause of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). And without knowing the root cause, you cannot solve the problem; you are merely treating the symptoms.

What They Know

Doctors can agree on how to diagnose it, what the symptoms are, and a variety of treatments. But not every patient responds the same to treatment. And the cause of fibromyalgia still eludes the medical community.

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Pain Awareness Month

On this last day of Pain Awareness Month, I wanted to end with some final thoughts. Pain may not be our choice, but how we deal with the pain in our life and how we respond to our pain is our choice. Attitude matters.

Leaving the Pain Behind

I am not my pain. I choose not to let it define me.

Choose wisely, my friends.

Cheers!

Cynthia

2018 Nominee for Best Kept Secret

Why I Practice Yoga for Pain

Yoga can help you with many health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.

It is #NationalYogaAwareness month and #PainAwarenessMonth, so what better time to post about why one is good for the other! ❤

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Easy Hobbies for the Chronically Ill

Even if your chronic illness is a life sentence, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence of isolation and loneliness.

Life with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions can be lonely at times. Pain, exhaustion, and other symptoms easily lead to cancelling engagements, giving up hobbies, and social isolation. Your social calendar and life have a new normal. But something is missing. People want interactions and connections, something to do to pass the time. Binge-watching Netflix or reading your Facebook feed only goes so far. And having something easy to do can help distract from pain and find the social interactions again.

Continue reading “Easy Hobbies for the Chronically Ill”