By: Starla Rich
Coping With FibromyalgiaSixteen years ago, my life forever changed not in the way I expected. However with time, patience, research and support, I learned how to navigate my “new normal” better.
Coping with fibromyalgia is always a work in progress as our bodies change and the conditions associated with FMS evolve in one way or another.
I would love to proclaim that life can be all it once was, but the truth is I have had to let go of the things that were too daunting. I have also had to find a different approach to embracing the things that I’ve always loved that are still possible.
Surprisingly, I have discovered new areas of life that I was too busy, structured or afraid to pursue. Honestly, had I not been forced to slow down once I began to experience flare-ups and diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I would not have pursued becoming a writer.
As I began journaling my experience through the difficulties of fibromyalgia, I discovered many ways to cope with all that this illness brings, and in the process also found fulfilling ways to thrive despite any setbacks that came my way.
12 Ways to Cope With Fibromyalgia
Write How You’re Feeling in a Daily Journal
As I mentioned, journaling became a catalyst for a whole new life for me once I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. While this coping method may not be considered the most obvious coping tool – it is a helpful starting point.
Writing in a journal every day can become a great tool for self-inquiry. Once I began to keep track of symptoms, patterns and even emotions through the process, I started “connecting the dots.”
I recognized a series of events that triggered fibromyalgia symptoms.
I took notice of how I felt after a night of poor sleep or how stressful situations affected me. Next, I learned about how certain foods triggered reactions. I began to write these instances down and discovered a pattern to when my flare-ups were at their worst.
Once we understand more about our bodies, flare-ups and our emotions we experience through pain and difficulty–we can better cope with our condition.
Keeping a journal also allows your doctor to narrow in on your symptoms so that he or she can tailor your medical care.
Reduce Stress When You Can
Studies have proven that stress is one of the primary triggers to fibro flare-ups.
Stress is a killer for healthy individuals and those diagnosed with a chronic illness. Many people with fibromyalgia experience feelings of anxiousness, nervousness and panic around the time when fibromyalgia symptoms flare.
Some experts found when fibromyalgia patients reduce stress in their lives, they also experience a reduction in depression, anxiety and fatigue levels.
This goes along with journaling as understanding your symptoms and triggers give you a more significant measure of control.