Sail Through Winter Without Fibromyalgia Pain

Try These 8 Doctor-Recommended Strategies

When temperatures drop and stress levels rise, many women with fibromyalgia experience painful “flares.” Luckily, a few key strategies can help you sail through winter with greater ease… Winter weather means more than icy roads and temperatures for people with fibromyalgia.

Many women who live with the chronic, widespread pain of fibromyalgia get winter “flares.”

“I experience more muscle pain when it’s cold and damp,” says Lana Barhum, a Cleveland, Ohio, resident who’s endured fibromyalgia for 8 years.

Five million Americans — 80% to 90% of them women — have fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a complex collection of symptoms that can include muscle, tendon and ligament pain, fatigue, multiple tender points and depression, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

7 Rules for Living Well With Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness doesn’t have to be hard

7 Rules for Living Well With Chronic Illness

A diagnosis of a chronic illness means you are sick and your illness is never going away. It is natural to feel a sense of injustice over the loss of something you thought you had control over. But living with chronic illness doesn’t have to be hard if we establish rules to make it easier.

Here are seven rules that have helped me to live well despite rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Rule 1: Trust Yourself to Find Answers

One of the most difficult things I dealt with in the ten plus years I was searching for answers was the possibility that all my symptoms were in my head. My being sick meant I had to trust in myself to find the right answers and not to let others deter me. There are going to be people along the way, including family, friends, and even members of the medical community, who will try to convince you that your symptoms are “all your head.” These people are ignorant and will never understand what your illness and symptoms are about. Don’t let their perceptions make you doubt yourself and your need for answers.


5 Ways to Be Productive With Chronic Illness

Learn how to keep a schedule and get things done despite chronic pain.

5 Ways to Be Productive With Chronic Illness

Being productive is important for people with chronic illness because it is an opportunity to focus on anything but their illnesses. However, schedules and goals can be difficult to accomplish when you are constantly dealing with symptoms. But just because it may be challenging to be productive with illness doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

Here are five ways that help me to remain productive with chronic illness.

1. I maintain a daily schedule.

Being chronically ill can be unpredictable. I never know whether tomorrow or next week or even an hour from now I will be able to do what I planned. As soon as my symptoms attack, my schedule can change. But just because a daily schedule may not always fit into my life, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have a schedule. In fact, maintaining a daily routine for my work, errands, household chores, and hobbies provides feelings of stability despite the chaos and uncertainty illness often brings.


3 Resolutions to Help You Manage Fibromyalgia This New Year

Here are three simple things you can do this new year to improve your fibromyalgia.

3 Resolutions to Help You Manage Fibromyalgia This New Year

As another New Year approaches, you may have New Year’s resolutions in mind, but you think setting them is a waste of time. Because when you experience pain, fatigue, brain fogginess and other fibromyalgia symptoms, you think any resolution is difficult to accomplish. There are, however, plenty of realistic goals people with fibromyalgia can set and accomplish.


When It Feels Like You Have Done It All

Learning to stay hopeful as you experience frustration and exhaustion from living with arthritis.

When It Feels Like You Have Done It All

Living with a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis or lupus, can be very frustrating. There is no one size fits all solution. Even when patients are following doctor’s orders, they can still struggle to manage their disease symptoms. And when treatments aren’t working, patients are left to wonder if they should just give up.

At the End of Your Rope

I suspect that many of you have reached a point where it feels as if you are tired, frustrated and at the end of your rope because the things you are doing to feel better just aren’t enough. Here is a typical comment I hear:

“I am in my 30s (or 40s or 50s), overweight, and living with depression, anxiety and worsening chronic illness symptoms despite proper diet, exercise and medication. I have tried everything under the sun to get my symptoms under control but I have had no luck. I am tired of not seeing results, getting my hopes up and going to all of the doctor’s appointments. What do you do when you feel like you have done it all to no avail?”

Like so many, I have left no stone unturned in moving towards a somewhat normal life where chronic illness does not dictate my actions. There have been times where I, too, have wanted to give up trying to figure out how to get well. And there have been times where I have flat out given up—for a little while, at least.


Chronic Illness: Five Solutions So You Aren’t Overwhelmed

Don’t ignore your chronic illness

Chronic Illness: Five Solutions So You Aren’t Overwhelmed

I know first-hand how overwhelming life with chronic illness can be. It is a struggle just to get out of bed every morning. You live with the understanding that there are just some things you can no longer do. Too many look of us at the future with uncertainty and do not have enough people in our lives who understand our daily struggles.

For long time, I felt that living with chronic illness made surviving daily life a struggle. It was overwhelming to keep up with my housework, errands and job and to be there for my kids. But, with time, I have developed my own set of solutions to keep myself from getting overwhelmed and these have become a way of life for me.

Here are five solutions that have benefited me as I live with chronic illness and manage its effects on my busy and often hectic life.

Solution #1

Choose Not to Be Critical

Be kind and good to yourself and learn not be critical. Many of us experience an internal dialogue struggle and we don’t always realize that it’s in our power to make that dialogue positive. Think about it this way: We would never be critical of the people we love and we don’t even talk that way to strangers. Learning not judge yourself harshly, encouraging yourself and acknowledging your achievements are amazing gifts. Offer yourself compassion and kindness to cope with the emotional effects of chronic illness. I understand that we are all busy people with jobs and families but loving you and offering compassion to oneself doesn’t require you to do anything physical or difficult.


9 Ways To Prevent Arthritis Flare-Ups

It’s difficult to predict when a flare-up may occur, but you may be able to reduce them if you know your triggers.

​9 Ways To Prevent Arthritis Flare-Ups

One of the most difficult things I have come across as I manage my arthritis symptoms is predicting the possibility of flare-ups. While I can’t always keep them from occurring, I have learned how to reduce my chances of having a flare-up.

Here are nine things I do to help me to keep arthritis flare-ups at bay.

Plan Ahead

I often think ahead because I know that my daily habits help me to manage my life with arthritis. I plan ahead in everything I do from shopping to being prepared for an upcoming event because I never know when fatigue and pain will take over.