To be honest, I think I’ve passed the “flare” phase of fibromyalgia. Meaning, I am in a constant state of steady symptoms whereas so many go through a few days or weeks of intense symptoms which then die down. It’s the same for me every. damn. day. Of course I have worse days than others, especially if I am lacking sleep. I do tend to go through periods of insomnia which completely wrecks me and renders me useless. Add to that two energetic, intense small children and I’m just asking for misery. I have found a few ways to get through these days a bit easier and will share them. I’d love to hear from you – what are your go-to methods to cope during a flare?
- Self-care: Seriously. Do it. When it all gets to be too much but I know I can’t actually just drive off and check into a hotel because, you know, kids, I check into my bathroom. I light candles, run a hot bath with loads of epsom salts and lavender, dim the lights and soak. I force myself to ignore the screams and bangs and booms from outside the bathroom, pretending not to see the tiny hands reaching underneath the door seeking my soul, and just soak. I pumice my feet, do my nails, do a hair treatment, face mask, the whole enchilada. When you feel good on the outside, you feel good on the inside.
- Indulge: Literally. Eat all the brownies. Read the entire book. Watch the entire season. Sleep 12 hours. Listen to Christmas music in June. Whatever makes you feel good mentally and emotionally is bound to make you feel better physically. The midst of a flair is not the time for limiting the things you enjoy. You need some dopamine and serotonin in your life so make it happen. You earned it.
- Be selfish: Just say no. Your kids will survive if you don’t take them to the movie or ice skating or the mall. Your husband can man up and handle them. Ignore the phone calls from your mother. Take a sick day from work. The bottom line is, put yourself first. I know you never do, but if there is ever a time to justify being selfish it is definitely during flare time. Yes, you are superwoman, but you still need a break. Your body is literally begging you so be kind to yourself. Let go of the guilt of saying no, everyone will get over it. You will have plenty of time to take everyone guilt-shopping when you’re feeling better.
That’s it! Screw yoga. Forget walking. The point is, a flare is your body’s way of putting on the brakes. You’re doing too much for everyone else and not nearly enough for yourself.