Last Updated on December 23, 2021 by melissanreynolds
Managing fibromyalgia – chronic pain, chronic fatigue, insomnia and the rest of the symptoms that come with it – in the holiday season is tricky. On top of that, add the end of year exhaustion that most people feel.
It’s a whole thing.
In this post I share some succinct tips for managing fibromyalgia in the holiday season.
The crucial concept here is pacing. If you need to learn more about pacing you can check out my training on it: Pacing Part One.
Pacing means that your energy is aligned with your commitments. It also incorporates resting well. And learning to say no.
Let us look at these in a little more detail (with action tips)
Know your energy envelope
The most basic place to start is understanding your current abilities. This is a bit of work, but to start, check out the CFIDs rating scale and find your score. Use this to help you check in with your existing responsibilities and then consider it when you are prioritising what else to do in this holiday season.
Your rating scale is like the macro-view (your daily energy allotment), then you look at your micro-view. What does your work-rest ratio look like (when will you rest)? What is your best bedtime?
Learn your rating scale and put it into practice as you create your schedule.
Stick to your micro-view energy management across the day.
Prioritise and organise
Now that you know your rating scale and how much you already have to do, start prioritizing what needs to be done. Get yourself organised.
Make a list of the things you need to do
Schedule them out across the next several weeks (for example, start Christmas shopping now, but do what you can online to save your energy).
Say no to the things you cannot manage or don’t need to be done. (Be ruthless here, you have got to live with your body after Christmas)
Negotiate the middle ground, they aren’t urgent, but they aren’t flat out “no” from you. Decide what you will do. That work Christmas party? Is it on the same weekend as your friend’s Christmas party? Perhaps choose one.
Take your rest
Part of pacing well is resting well. I am not a good napper so I rely on Yoga Nidra guided meditation. But even if you can nap, I would suggest that Yoga Nidra is more efficient. You can lie in bed with your heat pack and do a 10, 20, 30, 40 or more minute meditation and get some excellent rest. Here is my post all about Yoga Nidra, including a free practice for you.
This might be the time of year you start to take your sick leave too. Or take a full rest day in the weekends. Delegate the household tasks that must be done. I talk about this in pacing your cleaning.
Try supercharging your rest with Yoga Nidra
Take some time out
Ask for help
Amplify your self-care and management mechanisms
This is a follow on to the previous section. Ensure you have a symptom management plan in place and use it. Then amplify it as needed.
Follow your symptom management plans – my eBook and worksheet bundle includes symptom management plans and flare plans, it might help you here.
Pamper yourself with extra self-care – this post has 25 ideas you could add to your list.
Remember your daily human needs – water, good food (balance the junk out with the vegetables), gentle movement etc.
Summary – Managing Fibromyalgia in the Holiday Season
These are my tips for coping – pacing, saying no, organizing, resting well and looking after yourself. Remember, you have done a whole year already and there is nothing wrong with looking out for yourself. You deserve to enjoy your holidays.
Tell us – what are your top tips for managing fibromyalgia in the holiday season?