People with fibromyalgia do not want this syndrome to anyone! Symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue, restless sleep, to name a few, are part of the clinical picture. To cope, these people make many efforts. Some actions help. Others may be counterproductive. Let me share 3 tips from the psychiatrist to facilitate the adaptation to fibromyalgia!

Tip o  1: regardless of its energy level

I have often seen people with fibromyalgia get into action, filling their schedules for the day, as if they were in perfect health. Their reasoning is: “If I put myself in action, in motion, maybe the energy will eventually come back. Unfortunately, this is not happening. These people find themselves more tired … Instead of moving forward, they recoil. Discouraging, even depressing! Which approach to adopt?

I suggest you consider your energy level. I like using the scale from 0 to 10, where 0 = no energy and 10 = full of energy (like a child). If your energy level is only 3 or 4/10 – which is often the case for people with fibromyalgia – you should have breaks in the day, reduce the length of your work sessions (household chores or other) and measure the rhythm. Some people plan a day of rest between two days of outings (appointments, commissions, etc.). Wise decision!

Tip o  2: Use of striking analogies!

Many people with fibromyalgia do not feel included with their family, friends, colleagues and sometimes even their doctor. As a result, they feel even more alone and sad. How to explain to others what is living with fibromyalgia? I recommend you use powerful analogies. Here is an example: “Fibromyalgia is a bit like a muscle flu, but all year long! Easy to understand, is not it?

An analogy can not summarize alone what it is to live with fibromyalgia. Nevertheless, it can help others understand better. Do you use analogies?

Tip o  3: indulge in a suitable leisure

Recreation, if properly chosen, can be therapeutic and contribute to recovery. How? They can actually help reduce stress, give you positive emotions, and give you pride and satisfaction. I have often heard clients tell me how good painting classes were for them: they forgot about their worries, their pains, and a feeling of well-being during and after the activity. Awesome!

Given fibromyalgia, it may be necessary to make adaptations on the leisure side. On this subject, I would like to quote Andrée Morisset Dion, co-author of the book  Fibro kaleidoscope  (Éditions Carte Blanche), because this woman, in my opinion, is a good example of someone who has adapted his hobbies. ”  When I had to put away my flute […] because playing was too painful, I learned painting on wood. When it became too difficult, I took calligraphy classes.  Bravo!

Some hobbies, simple and inexpensive, are well appreciated by people with fibromyalgia: painting, making mandalas, enjoying a musical piece, reading, interacting with your pet, writing, etc. What are your therapeutic leisure activities?

In conclusion

Let’s recap the three tips of the shrink! In summary, 1) respect your energy level, 2) use powerful analogies to make others understand what you are going through and 3) indulge in a rewarding hobby. Apply these tips to help your recovery. You can find other coping strategies in the collective book  Fibromyalgie: practical notebooks (Éditions du Grand Ruisseau). Finally, to subscribe to my newsletter for people living with fibromyalgia,

Good health to all!

Stéphane Migneault
Psychologist, author and speaker

Conferences and workshops

  • Ten common mistakes made by people with fibromyalgia
  • Collateral damage from fibromyalgia 
  • Choose your hobbies to improve your psychological health
  • Improve your lifestyle through self-motivation
  • Better sleep to work better
  • Five simple and effective techniques to counter stress in ten minutes
  • Do your health check … emotional!



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