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Tips for Living With Fibromyalgia

Real Tips From Real People With Fibromyalgia

Check with your health care provider first before beginning any exercise program.

Sharon’s tips
Novi, MI

  • Stick to a schedule—it helps
  • Know when you’re pushing too much, and listen to what your body is telling you
  • Keep a journal every day about what you do and how you feel

Valerie’s tips
Seattle, WA

  • Focus on the 4 Ps: pacing, problem solving, prioritizing, and planning
  • Find a good support group
  • Work on your communication skills, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need

Beverley’s tips
Harlingen, TX

  • Try to get a good night’s sleep
  • Exercise and diet are very important
  • Acknowledge your limits—recognize what you can and cannot do

Sylvia’s tips
Cocoa, FL

  • Exercise if you can—swimming helps me because it’s easier on my joints
  • Don’t overdo it or your symptoms will really kick in
  • Know your limitations—if you’re tired, know when to rest

Tom’s tips
Appleton, WI

  • Join a support group—or even start one yourself
  • Stay informed—there's a lot of research and helpful information out there
  • Take care of yourself with diet and moderate exercise

LaReeia’s tips
Muscle Shoals, AL

  • Find a doctor who really sits down and listens to you and understands your pain
  • Use your friends and family as support
  • Learn about fibromyalgia by reading up on the subject
  • Engage in gentle exercise

LaFreeia’s tips
Muscle Shoals, AL

  • Work with your doctor and try to find one that you are really comfortable with
  • Accept help when you need it

Frank’s tips
Radcliff, KY

  • Gentle exercise
  • Wear a sweat suit when you exercise on the stationary bike; the heat may help to soothe your muscles

Karla’s tips
West Wyoming, PA

  • Sleep is very important. Try not to nap during the day so you can sleep better at night
  • It’s important to take your medication as prescribed
  • Balance your meals with a low-fat, high-protein diet. Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise! Keep those muscles and bones flexed and firm. But do not overdo it!

Olga’s tips
Bronx, NY

  • Stretching, swimming, walking, and a little yoga may help you deal with the pain
  • Keep moving and enjoy life

Debbie’s tips
Gresham, OR

  • Know your limits
  • Eat well and sleep well

You’ve read these real people’s tips, now read their fibromyalgia stories.

Other Tips to Help Manage Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Acknowledge your fibromyalgia pain

  • Write down the things that may have brought about your pain
  • Keep this list on your refrigerator as a reminder
  • This is just one way to help you manage the severity of your next "bad" day

Honor your limits

  • Accept and respect your limits to help you better manage your fibromyalgia pain
  • One way you can do this is by creating a personal statement. This can help you stay aware of your boundaries—as you define them—and focus on what’s important for you. Your statement might include:
    • A statement that acknowledges what happens when you try to do too much on your "good" days. (Example: "I often do too much on ’good’ days because on ’bad’ days I find it hard to do anything. I usually pay the price of doing too much on a ’good’ day the very next day")
    • A statement that gives you a specific action to take to avoid overdoing it. (Example: "I will make time to take a rest today. Whether it is quiet time that involves a short nap, reading a book, or listening to music, finding this time can help increase my chances of having another good day tomorrow")

Build your support system

  • List the people you can rely on ahead of time to help you on your "bad" days
  • Just knowing that you have backup may help reduce your stress
  • Your support network can help with completing important tasks
  • For example, on a "bad" day, ask them to run an errand or pick up your children from school
  • Sometimes, they could just be there to listen
 

 

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