Chronic illness places a lot of demands on the body leaving little energy to do anything other than the basic necessities. Living with chronic illness also requires a high demand of caring for ourselves in order to lessen the symptoms or prevent a flare. And by “caring for ourselves” I mean avoiding certain foods, activities, and other taken-for-granted tasks. However, caring for ourselves should also include pampering. Amy from Fibro Frog knows the importance of pampering yourself with chronic illness and is sharing the things she does to stay happy with a chronic illness.
Living with a chronic illness, or several in some of our cases, we tend to fall into a trap of not doing little things for ourselves. I know that I’m extremely guilty of this a lot of the time. We’re exhausted and in pain, and just don’t feel like we can handle one more thing to try to accomplish. No matter how crappy we feel though, it’s extremely important to do little things here and there for ourselves. Fibro and the other conditions like Fibro, tend to have a higher comorbidity of depression and anxiety. Doing little things for ourself, definitely helps our mental status.
Fibro and the other conditions like Fibro, tend to have a higher comorbidity of depression and anxiety. Doing little things for ourself, definitely helps our mental status.
Last Saturday night, I was so tired, and in so much pain that I just wanted to sit here like a vegetable and stare at Netflix. My nails had been looking pretty bad for a few weeks though. I had old chipped off polish on them that needed to come off. I kept procrastinating, then finally I forced myself to just do it. I also forced myself to paint my toe nails the same bright pink color. -And painting those toe nails? Ohh let me tell ya, the struggle was real trying to bend and reach them. Not only do I have Fibro, but I also have osteoarthritis throughout my body, along with DDD and several other spinal conditions. After I was done, I had to giggle out loud at myself, looking at my toe nails. They kind of looked like a little kid did them. I even had paint on toe, on my skin. But, they were painted and from a distance they look good. Even though they weren’t perfect, it still made me happy and feel good looking at them and my nails. Even the next day, I’d smile and feel proud of myself when I looked at my finger or toe nails.
I’ve always loved to cook, but the pain of my illnesses have taken a lot of joy away from me, in many different areas of life. Even on days that I’m exhausted and in pain, I still have to eat. To adapt, I’m always on the search for a quick, easy recipe. Although I sometimes may be literally in tears by the time a meal is done, I still feel such joy and accomplishment when I have the finished product in front of my face. In my opinion, this creamy bacon Alfredo fettuccini looks like it took a lot of work. It tasted like a lot of work. In reality though, it was a super quick, simple recipe! If you’d like to find a few quick, easy recipes for high pain/low energy days you can check out this post for a quick, easy Pizza Casserole: https://thefibrofrog.blogspot.com/2013/09/pizza-casserole.html or this post for a nice Pasta Salad: https://thefibrofrog.blogspot.com/2016/04/pasta-salad.html. I’ve decided to make quick, easy, yet yummy recipes a regular post on my blog. Some weeks I may post a recipe weekly, and other times it may be a recipe monthly, but I will definitely be sharing some of my favorites!
Sometimes, I sit and play mindless games online. Sometimes I watch a movie or part of a series on Netflix. Sometimes I paint my nails or cook a fun meal, or read a book. Sometimes I straighten or curl my hair and put on make-up. Do I always feel doing any of those things? Heck no! But I’ve found that if I just force myself to do something nice for myself anyway, in the long run I feel so much better about myself and feel like I’ve accomplished something. Maybe for you, something as simple as sitting on the front porch or sitting by an open window will elicit feelings of joy. No matter how small it is, try to find something that will make you feel a bit of happiness! I can’t tell you what a mental boost it gives me! Try it some day. Even if you don’t feel like it, just force yourself to do something that you know will make you happy. The mind is an incredible thing and quite a mystery as to how it works. One thing that’s certain though, is that if you can boost your mental status in some little way, it seems to just make you feel a little better physically, too! Always remember, too, my Fibro friends, that you’re never ever alone. There are way too many of us out there, that have felt just like you feel. Who’s been as tired as you are. Who’s felt as sad and depressed as you may feel. We’re all here for one another. Seek out a good support system whether that be people in real life, blogs, support groups, or a combination of all and borrow a spoon from one of us on those days that you just run out. We all understand.
Maybe for you, something as simple as sitting on the front porch or sitting by an open window will elicit feelings of joy. No matter how small it is, try to find something that will make you feel a bit of happiness!
Amy Mullholand is a single mother of four grown children, and one grandson. She is affected by numerous chronic health conditions such as Fibromyalgia, CRPS, COPD, DDD, IBS, Depression, Anxiety, and Diabetes. Amy is currently in the process of writing her first book. She’s passionate about educating people about what it’s like to live with chronic health problems, and advocating for research to find a cure. Amy’s available for speaking engagements and in-house corporate seminars. You can contact her through her blog, The Fibro Frog at www.thefibrofrog.blogspot.com or on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheFibroFrog
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Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network.