Learning To Thrive In Spite Of The Fibro "Storm": My Top 3 Tips https://reclaiminghope.blog

Learning To Thrive In Spite Of The Fibro “Storm”: My Top 3 Tips

We’re getting snow today….or maybe a mix of sleet, rain and snow…. We’re hearing three different things from three different news outlets. We definitely have a winter storm coming in, but the forecasters don’t seem to know exactly what path, and therefore what type of precipitation this storm is actually going to take yet.

Sometimes that’s how I feel with my body – I can feel a storm coming, but I don’t know what form it’s going to take when it gets here. Have you ever been there?

As I thought about the unpredictable nature of this illness and about the rocky road I’ve traveled with it for the last six years, I started thinking about the top three tips I’d give anyone else who had the fibromyalgia “storm” blow into their lives.

It’s hard to narrow it down to just three, but these are the three things that have had the most impact for me.

Learn as much as you can about your illness. Now, sometimes we have to walk a fine line with this, because we don’t want to become obsessed with all the things that ‘could’ happen with our illnesses. Fibromyalgia often has many co-existing conditions and we could get ourselves into trouble if we start thinking the worst and expecting something else to pop up at any minute.

It is important to be informed though. Fibromyalgia and many other chronic illnesses are not really that well-understood, even by some in the medical community. We are our own best advocates. If we’re informed and proactive, we can work with our medical team to develop the treatment protocol that works best for us.

Try to maintain, in general, a positive attitude. You’ve heard that saying that “attitude is everything.” It really is. Now I’m not saying that we can heal ourselves just by having a positive attitude, but I will say that having a negative one can make us feel worse.

When I say ‘positive attitude’ I’m not talking about rainbows and unicorns…. I’m talking about taking a realistic view of things, looking at what we can do day-to-day to improve how we feel (dynamic optimism), and realizing that we can live a full life in spite of our illnesses.

I know it’s impossible to be positive all the time. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of those days where I’ve felt beat up, beat down, and rather hopeless, but I’ve learned that these feelings are normal when dealing with a chronic illness. It’s okay to have those occasional days where we’re just ‘not okay.’ If these feelings persist, though, please reach out for help.

Don’t isolate yourself. This is a tough one – when we don’t feel well, we tend to withdraw, and for many of us with chronic pain conditions, we tend to avoid making plans with family or friends because we never know when we might have to cancel.

Maintaining meaningful relationships is a huge factor in our ability to thrive in spite of our illnesses though. According to Harvard Health, our “social connections…influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking. Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”

Remember the positive attitude we discussed above? Well, having strong social connections can help us with that also. It’s much easier to maintain a positive attitude when we feel supported and are able to provide support to others.

I realize that many of us aren’t able to get out and see friends and family in person as often as we’d like, but with the wonders of the modern world, we can maintain our current relationships, and even make new friends. Whether it’s in person, via telephone, or online, we need to put a premium on maintaining meaningful relationships if we want to live our best life possible.

As I said earlier, it’s hard to narrow it down to just three things but I’d say for me, these three have been the most impactful.

What would your top three tips be? Please share! …. And if you end up doing a blog post about them, please share your link in the comments so we can go read it!😊

Blessings,

~Terri

 

Source:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships

 

 

 

35 comments

    1. Thank you so much J! We just got back in from running errands, and though it hasn’t started snowing yet, it’s COLD (and I’m a wimp!!!). Sending hugs your way!

      1. Thanks for the hugs☺
        Lol I’m a wimp too. I’m in Arizona, so anything below 75 degrees and I’m ready to throw on my sweater. I like the cold but the body and fibro disagree. Kudos to you for handling the snow. Brrr. Stay warm!

      2. That sounds like the place I need to be! I’ve never been crazy about cold weather, but I do like to see the snow as long as I don’t have to get out in it. 😁 Have a great weekend!

      3. Lol yes the winters are nice but summertime temps are brutal. I don’t know about you, but the hot temperatures for me are just as bad on the fibro and really bring out the fatigue. I hope you have a great weekend as well!!

      4. Maybe we need to move to Guam.😊 The temperatures there are great all year ’round!

  1. I seem to find that in the UK we can be predicted rain, sunshine and snow at the same time by different forecasters, and sometimes all three come at once! I hope it’s nothing too serious or heavy if you do get snow and freezing temperatures. I’ve felt the same as you’ve described with my body, and the unpredictable nature of chronic illness can be as unpleasant as it is frustrating. Over time, you can get a little better at rolling with the punches and being flexible, but it’s not easy.

    Hang in there, Terri; batten down the hatches, as they say, and ride it out. I think your tips are brilliant, and holding on to a positive attitude (along with a sturdy sense of humour) can be so important to weather any storm. xxxx

    1. Your weather forecasters sound about like ours Caz.😊 Actually, ours do a decent job most of the time, but because storms have to come over the mountains to get to us, they have a hard time predicting what they’re going to do sometimes. We’ve gotten about an inch of snow so far, and I think we’re probably going to get 4 or 5 more. We’ve got everything we need so that we don’t have to leave the house for several days if we get snowed in, so we’re all set.

      You’re right about becoming more flexible and being able to roll with the punches after we’ve been dealing with it for a while. I think I’ve noticed that I bounce back a little more quickly from a flare now than I used to.

      And yes, keeping a sense of humor is so important! I don’t know what on earth I’d do if I couldn’t laugh. Seeing the humor in things certainly helps keep life interesting.

      Have a wonderful weekend sweet friend! Hugs!

    1. Thank you V.J.. I suspect the isolation thing might be an issue for a lot of us…. It’s just so much easier to stay home and as comfortable as possible that we can kind of disappear from society if we’re not careful. I know I’ve definitely had to be intentional about maintaining my relationships, and it’s something I really have to work on all the time or I can easily slip into hermit mode. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

      1. Thanks Terri. Flying back to visit my Mom and being force to immerse myself in the lives of others, I really realized what a bubble I live in. You are always good at provoking thoughts.

      2. Thank you V.J.. I’m glad you were able to get back to be with your Mom. Are you back down south yet, or are you still up there with her?

  2. Your words will mean so much to many with chronic illness. I think the best way is to move forward with positivity but as you say it should be based in realism, it’s still tough when things take a downward turn but approaching it with a healthy optimism can only be good.
    Take care xx

    1. Thank you so much Karen! A positive attitude has definitely been one of the most effective tools in my toolbox in dealing with whatever comes up. You’re right; it can be tough when things take a downward turn, but healthy optimism can help us keep going. Have a lovely weekend! Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you so much M! I really appreciate the reblog. I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend. Blessings to you!

    1. 😊 Sometimes I think WordPress plays hide-and-seek with our share buttons lol. I’m so glad you found it. Again, thanks so much for the reblog. Hugs!

  3. I think your top three tips Terri are excellent particularly being positive; being kind and accepting ourselves really takes away a lot of the battle! Hope the weather is not as bad as expected.

    1. Thank you so much Marie! I love what you said about being kind and accepting ourselves also. That’s one of the hardest things sometimes, but it’s vital to our wellbeing. Hope you’re doing well and having a great weekend so far! Hugs!

      1. It certainly has made a difference to how I feel Terri. Just over my first week back to work, found it very challenging and have healt checks this weekend involving 2 hour car journeys each way today and Friday last, all taking its toll but at least I don’t beat myself up about how I feel anymore! I hope you had a lovely time with your son home and that you and your husband are doing well! Le grà, Marie Xx

      2. It sounds like you’ve had quite a harrowing week Marie. I hope this coming week will be a little easier on you. I’m glad you’re able to not beat yourself up; that seems like such a hard thing for us to learn for some reason…. We had a wonderful visit with our son, thanks for asking. I hope things settle down for you soon, dear friend. Sending love and hugs your way!

      3. I think we just get used to being under par Terri so it’s not harrowing anymore. I’m delighted you had a fantastic time with your son. Thanks for your lovely message and friendship. Le grà, Marie xx

  4. This post resonated with me in so many ways. Your three points were excellent. Do your research but don’t obsess. Strive for a positive attitude, acknowledging you’ll have bad days, fully expecting the sun will return. Don’t isolate yourself. I do obsess, fight with a negative attitude (why me), and tend to isolate myself (except for my immediate family). It’s good to be reminded.

    The three things you mentioned are key for me as well in living with chronic pain. I was trying to think of three more and came up with swimming (non-weight bearing exercise and most days I have to kick my butt out the door), gentle walks and sitting in the park listening to and enjoying nature, and finding a creative outlet (for me it’s writing).

    I hope the cold doesn’t cause you extra pain. I look forward to following your blog and reading more!

    1. Thank you so much Brenda – I’m so glad this resonated with you!

      Thanks also for sharing your tips. I had to laugh a little bit when you said you have to kick your butt out the door most days; I’m very familiar with that.😁 It’s hard to get up and going, but once you do, you feel so much better, don’t you?

      Thanks for stopping by – I look forward to getting to know you!

  5. I hate the feeling of a crash (or storm) coming, and not being able to do anything about it….

    And yes, the connections are soooo important. I’m very thankful for my “imaginary friends” on the interwebs. xox

    @dSavannahCreate from
    dSavannahRambles

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Savannah! I know what you mean about hating the feeling of it coming and not being able to do anything about it…. I just kind of use that as my cue that I need to start taking it a little easier to (hopefully) shorten or lessen the impact of the ‘storm’ when it hits.

      Like you, I’m extremely grateful for all my friends here on the interwebs. I’ve found so much friendship and support here, and I hope you have too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings to you!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.