Living with Fibromyalgia: Tips and Ideas for People with Chronic Illness

Living with fibromyalgia can feel like your life has been hijacked. Even on good days when symptoms are mild, taking on too much can mean the next day is spent in bed recovering. It’s important to develop strategies to conserve your energy, make everyday tasks less daunting, and keep pain and discomfort to a minimum. Try these tips for living with fibromyalgia to make life with fibro or another chronic condition easier.

Organization

Misplaced wallets, keys, and remote controls happen to everyone. But frantically searching can be impossible when you’re battling fatigue and brain fog. The best way to stop losing track of your important items is to give everything a specific home and be as diligent as possible about returning items to their proper locations. Some things that help include:

  • Hooks and shelving: Install a shelf with hooks and cubby holes by the door in frequently used rooms, giving you a place to hang or set down items as you enter.
  • Use labelled folders and filing systems for loose papers, incoming and outgoing mail, coupons, and any other small items that are easily misplaced.
  • A wicker or linen basket is perfect for quickly storing assorted items in any room, making things like blankets, books and remotes easy to find and quick to put away.
  • Pare down. Selling or donating rarely used items can help to free up storage space for more essential belongings.
  • Lost and found apps: Some popular lost and found technologies use physical tags you can place on items like keys and backpacks. These tags have the power to make sound within Bluetooth radius, helping you to figure out whether you left your car keys in your sock drawer or the fridge.

Cooking

Food prep and fibromyalgia present a catch-22. You may not have the energy to prepare healthy nutritious meals, but eating poorly contributes to your fibro symptoms. Use these strategies to eat a healthy diet without sacrificing all of your energy.

  • Cook in batches: Set aside a day to prepare larger batches of meals to be frozen and used throughout the week. Enlist the help of your kids, spouse, or friends to divide the work, and take breaks during repetitive tasks like chopping and peeling.
  • Look for produce that’s already been chopped, peeled, or sliced. The extra cost is usually worth the energy saved.
  • Use gadgets to make food prep easier. Food processors are a household staple that can take care of chopping and mixing for you, and other handy devices like avocado cubers and mango splitters can help with your favorite foods.
  • Meal services deliver ready-to-eat dishes or recipes that come with portioned ingredients, offering new possibilities for nutritious meals that won’t sap all your energy. If budget is a concern, consider using a meal service occasionally or on whichever day of the week is busiest for you.

Clothing

Restrictive, scratchy clothing that would be mildly annoying to someone without fibromyalgia can be unbearable to people with the condition. Since clothes are still required in most social settings, these tips can help you build more comfortable outfits while dealing with chronic pain.

  • Online shopping is definitely convenient, but it can be a big gamble if you’re looking for clothes that won’t trigger your fibro. Be sure to choose retailers that allow free returns, and check item reviews for information on sizing and comfort.
  • Pants with a drawstring rather than an elastic waist give you control over how much pressure is applied to your abdomen.
  • Not only are tags scratchy and annoying, but the thread used to sew them in is often thick and uncomfortable. Opt for tag-free clothing or use a pair of nail scissors to carefully remove all traces of tags and thread.
  • Wear a properly sized bra with wide straps that won’t dig into your shoulders. Sports bras that aren’t too tight or restrictive also provide a good option for support that’s free of clasps, lace, and underwire.
  • Check the inside seams of clothing. Even the softest material can be ruined by obtrusive seams sewn with scratchy thread.
  • Choose soft, breathable fabrics like cotton and modal.
  • Try the maternity section. Expanding panels help to make maternity pants especially comfortable even if you’re not expecting.

Cleaning

Hiring a housekeeper or having other family members pitch in to help with cleaning can keep chores from piling up. But if you’re on a strict budget or live on your own, try these fibromyalgia life hacks for cleaning will keep your home looking and feeling hospitable.

  • Instead of dedicating one grueling day to housework, cycle through a list of chores with the aim to complete one or two tasks each day.
  • Avoid harsh or strong-smelling chemicals that can trigger headaches and dizziness. Look at organic and natural food stores for gentler, less irritating products.
  • Use extendable dusters and sweepers that make it easier to reach high and low areas.
  • Continuous cleaning products can take some of the duties off your weekly list. Stick-on cleaners and home-made toilet bombs make scrubbing the bathroom less of a worry, and robotic vacuums can be a lifesaver in homes with an open floor plan.
  • Replace your old style mop with a newer device that’s lighter and easier to maneuver.
  • Downsize. Minimalist decor is definitely on-trend, and banishing clutter makes your home easier to clean. 

Smart Speaker Technology

A smart speaker might not be in everyone’s budget, but if you love having the latest gadgets or you’ve been thinking about a splurge purchase, these intuitive tech innovations can help make your home life easier.

  • Need to spend the day resting? Smart speakers give you voice-control over functions like playing music, watching TV, online shopping, asking questions, and accessing your email or online calendar.
  • Popular well-connected smart speakers include Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod. There are other brands available to help you with simpler functions like controlling a home that’s already got smart features, but the big three feature the widest range of skills including digital personal assistant functions.

Even on good days, chronic illness can be debilitating. If you take prescription medication like Cymbalta, using an online prescription service is another way to make your life easier. With discounts of up to 80%, easy online ordering, and direct-to-door delivery, RxConnected.com saves you time and money. Click here to search for medication and see how much you’ll save.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.