Lifestyle adjustments are the decisions and actions we take to enable us to manage and take control of our health challenges.
I have found that I have had to simplify my life. I was forced to quit working, and mourned that part of my life for a long time. I tried to understand why I missed the deadlines, stress and work in general. I realized that what I missed was the people. My family is important to me, but work was also important and I enjoyed it. I may have lost my job, but I did not loose who I was or who I am. It is difficult to come to that conclusion immediately. I hope that anyone that has experienced what I have will also learn to understand the different aspects of our lives. Sometimes we need to talk to someone about how we feel or write it down to help us sort out these feelings.
The most critical part of learning to live well with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue is making those lifestyle adjustments. We cannot change the past or our genetic makeup. However, there may be aspects of our lives that we can change or ‘adjust’ in order to improve our health and quality of life. These critical adjustments involve the following:
1). Setting Priorities - We have to decide what is truly important.
2). Pacing and Scheduling Rest - It is vital to our health that we take time out of each day to rest and relax.
3). Self Monitoring - Monitor yourself and your activities. Keep a journal. I know that I repeat myself a lot. Keeping a journal is very important. It will enable you to figure out what works best for you.
4). Sleeping Well - I either have to sleep a lot or cannot sleep. I listen to my body and just sleep anytime of the day. I know it can be difficult, especially when you have small children to care for. Ask someone to help you, so you can take time to rest.
5). Priority Adjustment - Decide what is important, pick your battles, save energy, simplify, carefully evaluate your “To Do List.”
I have created a worksheet for you to complete. I think you find it interesting. Here goes:
What activities are the most important for me to accomplish on a regular basis? List it by importance.
What are some things that I would like to do but am currently unable to accomplish?
What prevents me from accomplishing the list in question number 2?
What resources might help me accomplish the list in question number 2?
Now…..review your answer to question number one (1). You might not realize this, but we have already established priorities in our lives. Some of these may be family and social expectations. You have to think of them as “What might be best for you as an individual with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue”?
How do the priorities of others in your life compare to your values and priorities? We all have demands and desires on how we can improve our situation. Please remember what is important and try simplifying your life for your sake as well as your family.
I hope and pray this information has helped someone today.