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Tips for Living With Fibromyalgia

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