Saturday, July 4, 2009

Can Routine Help Me Manage My Fibromyalgia?

As with all Google searches, sometimes you have to adjust the keywords you enter to get the results you are looking for. So after searching "routine" for my last post, I added "routine + fibromyalgia" and "routine + chronic fatigue" to see if I could obtain different results. As with the Fly Lady from my post yesterday, I think I have hit the jackpot again with an article from my friends at CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help.

I met Joan Buchman; she was the facilitator of an online group through CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help . She wrote a great article entitled How I Use Routine to Successfully Manage Fibromyalgia and I found
the following questions from her article especially helpful:
I arrived at this routine by asking myself a number of questions...
  1. What are my present pain and fatigue levels?
  2. What have I learned so far about minimizing these symptoms?
  3. Are my social interactions satisfying?
  4. Am I allocating my time optimally to perform health maintenance, do home chores, have a family/social life, and engage in satisfying hobbies?

These questions seem like t
he appropriate guideposts for really getting started and creating a routine for myself. This advice makes me think that some of the other tasks I identified in my post Can I establish a routine in 31 days? need to be completed and/or incorporated prior to actually mapping out a routine. I need to write down my personal rules because they help me minimize symptoms and make sure I don't overdo it. I need to shorten my activities periods so I don't spend all my energy on one task, which would make it possible to switch between activity categories like home chores, health maintenance and hobbies during the day. I really need to take regular, daily pre-emptive rest breaks to recharge during my awake hours, because I already know that going, going, going all day is really, really, really no longer possible.

Joan also says,
"Some people may think that having a routine-driven life is boring, but for me it has been liberating. My illness is not running my life, I am. By being realistic about the illness and my symptoms, I am taking conscious steps to feel as well as I can."
Do you think she knows about me and my aversion to the word routine?

So am I any further along in developing my routine? I definitely have more to consider and some more reading to do. I think my next steps include observing what daily activities I find myself already engaged in on a daily basis and answering the questions from Joan Buchman's article above. Well, that and to stop thinking about the word "routine" as a negative and perhaps stopping with all the robot images for these blog posts.

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