These are six healthy habits to develop to live your best life with fibromyalgia. These will take time to develop. This will take practice and real-life experience! In the end, if all six habits are developed, you will lead a successful life with Fibromyalgia Syndrome.
SIX HEALTHY HABITS
1. Know thyself.
You have been diagnosed. This is a time of discovery. You finally have a diagnosis, and you must figure out what that is, what does this diagnosis mean? How do you define it? How will you explain it to your loved ones? How will you explain this diagnosis to your co-workers? Your employer? What are you dealing with now that you have been officially diagnosed with a chronic illness? Know thyself.
2. Adjust your Attitude.
You must take time to grieve before fully developing the second habit. The old you is gone. That person no longer exists. Once you have said your goodbyes, you are ready to learn about the new you. Adjusting your attitude can be very positive and very exciting! Who is the new you now as you begin this new life? This new journey? What are your new interests with-in your limitations? What new ideas have you come up with to try as you are learning to live with fibromyalgia? Go after these answers in a positive manner. Fibromyalgia is not a death sentence. Adjust your attitude to find joy in the little things. Learn new things and find the positives in each day. They are there if you just look for them. Adjust your attitude.
3. Develop your own coping skills.
You are learning how to have some control over your life. You may not be able to control fibromyalgia, but you can control how you react to it. How do you handle the daily pain and discomfort? How do you react to fibro flares and fibro fog? You have a game plan to put in place. Coping skills. You will learn what works for you. Medications, supplements, meditation, massage, water therapy, physical therapy, essential oils, and the like. Pick what works for you. You will know what to do and why it works for you. You have learned skills. Develop your own coping skills.
4. Develop your sense of purpose.
Now what? You know what you are dealing with. You may be working, but probably not. You have learned to adjust your attitude to a positive one, and you can manage your fibromyalgia symptoms. What are you here on this earth to do? What you may have once thought was a hobby may just be your purpose! Find what lights that fire back up in your heart and do it! Be smart about it because you know thyself. Find the fire that makes you wake up and look forward to living the day. No one knows what drives you, but you! Develop your sense of purpose.
5. Find a healthy support system.
You have a chronic condition. You are in this for the long haul. Your family may love you unconditionally, but it is not they who have been sentenced to live with a chronic illness. You want to maintain a relationship with your loved ones and friends that are not consumed by the fibromyalgia monster daily. Find a healthy support system outside of your family and friends. You are still going to have bad days with flares and fog. You know this. So handle it by seeking out healthy sources you can turn to and get through the tough times as well as share the good. A support group, a therapist, a member of the clergy, it’s up to you to find the right fit. Find a healthy support system.
6. Advocate for awareness.
You have become your own encyclopedia by the time you have developed the previous five habits. Now, to develop the sixth habit, you can be an advocate and help in the awareness effort of Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Share the wealth of information you have! Knowledge is power, and you have taken back your power from this chronic disease. You may have fibromyalgia, but it does not have you! Be present and live your best life. Advocate for Awareness.
You can read about these habits in depth (and 7 areas of positive change) in my book, The Shadow Boxers, Fighting Fibromyalgia, Your personal Journal.