Learn to manage your energy
Practice good sleep habits, like going to bed and getting up at the same time. Regular exercise will also help you sleep. You can try a simple nightly bath in the tub to help you temporarily relax and relieve pain.
Ask your doctor to screen you for sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
During the day, keep up the pace. Plan your work, housework, and social events so you don’t overdo it. Break big tasks down into manageable bites. Build in short rest periods between activities.
Worry, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed deplete your energy as well. Try to adopt a “more fluid” than “crisis” approach to life, set priorities and remember that it is okay to say “no” so that you can focus on what is important.
With guided imagery, replace negative or stressful feelings with pleasant images. Once you learn how, you can do it on your own. Mindfulness meditation teaches you to focus your thoughts in a positive way. The more you practice it, the greater the pain relief. Other useful approaches include cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback.
Mind-body practices like tai chi, qi gong, and yoga can alleviate many fibromyalgia problems, from trouble sleeping and fatigue to mood. Because they include movement, they work in the same way as exercise, with the advantage of relieving the stress of concentrated breathing.
Focus on nutrient-dense foods to give you more energy and avoid other health problems. Use your journal to see if any food makes you feel better.
People with fibromyalgia tend to have low levels of vitamin D. That could make pain and other symptoms worse. A blood test can determine if you are low on vitamin D. Ask your doctor if you should take a supplement.
One study showed that light and moderate (but not heavy) alcohol drinkers have a better quality of life and less severe symptoms than non-drinkers. In this study, “moderate” meant 3-7 drinks per week, and not all in one day.
Avoid caffeine. While it can make you feel more alert, it can also make you nervous and make it difficult to sleep. Drinking 4 or more cups of a caffeinated beverage a day has been linked to more fibromyalgia pain.
Sit down with your partner regularly to talk about what’s going on with you. Listen to each other and solve problems together. If that is difficult, with the help of a therapist you can help bridge the gap. Studies show that it is best when the two of you agree about how fibromyalgia affects you. You could take it to your next doctor visit if they’re having a hard time understanding what it’s like.
Find out what really matters to the people you care about, like your kid’s soccer games or the school game. Then you plan their activities and save energy to be there for them during those times.
Join a fibromyalgia support group. You’ll discover self-care tips, as well as ideas on how to get your family, friends, and coworkers in tune with you.