When I saw this I was like,
"who, me? " Thank you very much.
I think Robin, Sherrine and so many of the others in our fibro family would have a lot of good suggestions - I hope they might pop on here, too.
My household is difficult and affects my health - it's important for me to neutralize how I react to these things. Then, when the scare of being sicker last month came, I saw it as my wake up call - a second chance.
Sorry if this is wordy or too much ... I don't know how much to put in or leave out.
I do deep breathing and also some visualization. At first, I could only do it for a brief few minutes. It's like learning anything new, it takes persistence, then it becomes second nature. This is a simple and effective way to start here: www.relaxationresponse.org/steps/
Stretching / Yoga:
Every day after I do my hair and take my bath, I lay on top of the bed and do my gentle yoga stretches. (Originally for a bad back, but great for the whole body and very safe for my very crackly, grinding joints.) Makes me feel like all my energy just flows smoother.
You could start with these:
Gluteal squeezes: strengthens the glutes, loosens and stretches the lower spine. Lying on your back, bring your knees up so they're bent, feet flat on the floor/bed. Gently squeeze the gluteal muscles in your buttocks and then slowly relax the muscles. Repeat only a few times when you're new - and see how your tolerance is. Healthy people can do 100 - I do about
10 right now. :D
Alternating stretches:Stretches the spine in a non-weight bearing position. Lie on your back. Elongate your spine by slowly squirming from side to side as you stretch the muscles connecting each vertebra. Feel your spine growing long and tall. Breathe slowly and deeply. Stretch both arms over your head, resting them on the floor/bed. Gently stretch your right leg and left arm outward - lengthening them. Relax. Then stretch your left leg and right arm. Then relax. Breathe deeply while stretching. You'll feel your spine and body elongate in these stretches.
Knee raises: Stretches the muscles in the hips, buttocks, knees and lower spine while in a protected position. Lying on your back, with both knees bent, bring one knee slowly toward your chest, or as high as is comfy. Place your hands on your knee or shin and gently hold the leg in position - if you feel able, pull it slightly toward your chest. Breathe deeply - feel the air expanding in your chest and stomach. Release gently, and repeat with other leg.
Resting cobra pose:This stretch puts your spine in a position of extension, takes the weight off your spine and
opens the disc spaces so your spine can "breathe". Helps to align your spine and restore proper posture. Lie down on your stomach with your face turned to the side, your arms extended along your body, and your legs relaxed. Slowly bring your forehead to the floor/bed and bending your arms at he elbows, place the palms of your hands on the bed in line with your chest. keep your elbows in toward your body. Slowly raise your head and then (barely) your chest off the bed, as you move your elbows and then place your hands underneath your chin so that the weight of your head is resting on your upturned palms of your hands. (Your elbows on the bed) Breathe slowly and deeply, relaxing the muscles in your lower spine as you feel a gentle pulling from the expansion and contraction of your stomach and abdomen. When you're through, gently return your head to the bed again, your arms next to your body. If I'm in a lot of pain, I really don't raise up much at all - and if it is really bad, I'll just lie flat on my stomach without bringing my head up at all. It still helps restore the curvature of the spine.
Routines and Sleep:
SLEEP: I work hard on my sleep routine - getting ready for bed at the same time, winding down without tv, or internet for the last hour or two. I pop in a special sleep CD and play it on repeat all night. Barring this, I'd at least opt for adding white noise, like quiet radio static, or a fountain sound. Also - I sleep better with a sleep mask - otherwise, if I see light, I'm up. I used to use ear plugs, to drown out other noise.
WAKING: First thing when I wake up, I put on a hypnosis / relaxation recording for 30 minutes so that I don't go into a nervous state right off the bat. That is making a big difference.
DAY: I'm trying to get my whole day on some sort of general schedule - so there is consistency, it helps me feel like I have more direction that way. You know, like getting up at a certain time, eating meals at certain times (within reason), stuff like that - no matter what I feel like. I found some relaxation recordings at the library - and I pop them on while I'm at the computer / trying to work and they keep me a little looser and calmer.
I take a long bath every day for some other health issues, so now I use tub time to meditate, too.
I take tiny breaks every now and then while at the computer or working for mini deep breathing session (like 1 - 3 minutes max) to make sure I stay calm and break any tension before it gets big.
If I have to deal with family (who are a huge difficult issue for me) I try to remind myself not to get caught in their drama. I don't respond to leading statements. I don't respond to much at all - and this defuses their intent to trigger a fight - and I don't get as anxious. I try to keep out of conversations with people who are sure "the world is ending" because I simply am not that strong in my positive view point yet to not be dragged into the negativity. I stay out of conversations that will drain my strength.
I'm trying very hard to only eat foods that don't trigger my health problems - foods that tend to soothe my ibs and fibro. That helps keep my outlook more sunny.
These are soooo important. Find some sort of hobby that requires you to use your hands, but not TOO much of the brain. I'm thinking craft painting, working with clay, crochet, or any kind of needle work. If you can engage your hands, and your brain has to be slightly involved (no physics, or advanced geometry!) you can stop yourself from dwelling on troubling issues. No, it doesn't take away the issue, or severe pain, but the distraction is enough to make the situation bearable. I bring my needlework when I have to take my mom to her appointments - and when they had her in a treatment room recently, I found that it helped me keep a much cooler head and not let my mind play silly "what if" games with the situation. It helps when I'm in pain by not letting my mind get caught in that loop of only feeling what I'm feeling.
I don't know if any of this is useful - but it is working for me. I think the thing is to find what you feel most comfortable with. I can really sympathize with needing to lose weight. I have been on both sides now. For a while, I gained without any reason - and it wouldn't come off for years. But during that time, my stress levels were out of this world - and I was NOT coping with anything. I am sure that played a role.
When I'm in a bad place health-wise, I keep reminding myself that, "It will end. It isn't permanent. I've been through worse. I can handle it." Life is change. Nothing, good or bad, is permanent. Then I think about
some of the strong women here in our fibro family. I think about
the things they deal with regularly, and I think, "Well, she did that. I can do this." I talk to myself a lot. I try to catch myself when I'm saying or thinking something negative about
myself and I correct it right away. I try instead to do self talk in loving, supportive ways - the way you'd talk to a child, I guess.
(I feel funny writing so much - I don't know what to leave in or take out!)
Why my username? It is real life nickname. I love chickens. Will have my flock of hens one day! :D .............. DX'd with Fibromyalgia, chronic hives, sensitivities and allergies, migraines with auras, tmj, and IBS. Not sure what else!