Activities People With Fibromyalgia Should Try to Avoid

Introduction:Activities that healthy people perform without second thought can heighten chronic pain, amplify confusion and, in general, overwhelm people with Fibromyalgia. If at all possible, we should try to avoid certain activities by relying on family or hiring outside help. If delegation or paid helpers is out of the question, we should prepare for the activity in advance and take advantage of times our energy level is higher and pain threshold is lower. Here are five activities people with Fibromyalgia should try to avoid.

  • 01

    Grocery Shopping

    Avoid grocery shopping during peak hours and try to shop where you know the store's layout. Always be prepared with a detailed list. Grocery stores are noisy, the florescent lights are glaring and crowds of people are confusing and may cause anxiety to people with Fibromyalgia. Walking and standing may bring on muscle spasms and back pain. Take advantage of the store's carry-out service.

  • 02

    Laundry

    Hauling, stooping, standing and sorting are necessary physical actions involved in doing laundry. In addition, upstairs, downstairs to gather dirty clothes eats up energy reserves. Economy sized detergent is difficult to open and hold. Wet clothes are extra heavy. Then there's folding and putting away of clean clothing, which are more motion related activities that can skyrocket chronic pain. Work smart, not hard and try to minimize energy-sapping activities. When dirty clothes are upstairs, chunk them over the balcony, instead of hauling a heavy basket downstairs. If space permits, install a shelf for detergent, dryer sheets, etc. that you can reach without stretching. Buy smaller sized items that are easier to open. When transferring wet clothing to the dryer, remove a manageable amount and pitch them into the dryer without bending. I strongly suggest doing several smaller loads during the week instead of tackling large loads of laundry on the weekend.

  • 03

    General Household Activities of Daily Living

    General housekeeping activities are confusing and stressful, for instance, back to upstairs, downstairs - purchase two sets of cleaning paraphernalia, one for each bathroom. Make weekly meal plans and keep recipes handy to reduce Fibromyalgia Brain Fog. Buy prepared salad mixes, precut fruit and vegetables, microwavable foods, etc. On better days, prepare a large pot of soup or pasta to freeze and eat later. Keep a step-stool handy for hard-to-reach items. Take rest breaks between household tasks.

  • 04

    Exercise

    While we shouldn't simply give in to the pain and other related syndromes of Fibromyalgia, neither should we force ourselves to exercise when our muscles are screaming "STOP". You can trick your physical body into exercising in little increments. Park a bit further away from your destination; walk the long way around at work; enroll in a Tai Chi class, which is a gentle form of Martial Arts that our body better tolerates. Bonus: New research supports that laugher releases identical endorphins as exercise. So, exercise when you can and seek reasons for a rollicking belly-laugh when you can't.

  • 05

    Perfectionism

    My mother was an abusive alcoholic and a cleanliness fanatic. I managed to maintain identical, but maniacal household standards, until I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. After taking a hard look at myself, I decided keeping a white-glove house no longer seemed as important as family, friends and maintaining an authentic spiritual life. Of course, you must determine your personal priorities; just be mindful that dust bunnies will still play under your bed after you're long gone. (A wise Doctor once said this to me.)




Final Thoughts

Fibromyalgia is frequently misunderstood because pain is subjective. If we suffered a broken leg, people would be quick to emphasize, but pain is invisible. Not only do we have chronic pain above and below the waist, a host of related syndromes accompany Fibromyalgia. My list of activities to avoid with Fibromyalgia is not considered complete, as that would be like the never-ending story. When Fibromyalgia grabs you all over and won't let loose, borrow my two favorite words and use them frequently: Delegate. Make reservations.




Comments

  • hummingbirdee 3/23/2012 Flag This Comment

    This is a great list. Fibromyalgia is not fun. Walking has really helped me, though.

  • clarbear 9/1/2011 Flag This Comment

    My wife has this and will share this list with her. Thank you for sharing.

  • ListMaker 2/10/2011 Flag This Comment

    I had no idea those with Fibromyalgia had so many daily challenges! You've really spotlighted the disease and aftermaths well.

  • SPhilbrick 1/25/2011 Flag This Comment

    Well written list on coping with FMS. As a syndrome, it has so many components that it is overwhelming to those who have it....and to a degree, to those who live with one who has it. It's all about adjusting. Definitely a "high 5" piece that will be useful info to many.

  • jseven 1/14/2011 Flag This Comment

    I have fibro and agree. A lot of people have no idea how awful it can be. Eating right helps a lot.

  • goodselfme 12/5/2010 Flag This Comment

    Your list allows others to acknowledge the invisible pain and perhaps help those afflicted with fibromyalgia in assorted ways. thank you for giving this such important press.

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