Following on from my article about fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and depression/anxiety, I thought I would put together my top tips that have helped my mental health, hugely.
If your doctor isn’t listening – change doctors if you can. If you can’t, here are 5 tips to get your doctor to listen to you.
Keep a journal and track your every day life experiences with sleep, pain, mood, symptoms and more. The FibroMapp App is excellent for just this thing. By being able to provide a report to your medical professional, they have the opportunity to get a much better insight of your life, not to mention pinpoint any areas of concern that they may have missed. (Reading my app results and journal certainly continues to drive home the fact that yes, I really am struggling with pain, insomnia, exhaustion…and I am really not making a mountain out of a molehill…)
Connect with others who have fibromyalgia and CFS/ME -Social media makes the world of difference in making friends, sharing experiences and not feeling so alone – without having to leave the comfort of your home. Why not join us on our community page? Here we share the ups and downs of life, research, information, tips, recipes…
Be Grateful! Practising the Attitude of Gratitude can make a huge difference in our lives. Focusing on the positive stuff is really important! Being grateful and practising the attitude of gratitude changes our outlook and our mood. I have a great app that I just started using by You Are Creators – a manifestation reminder. You can pop in the things you are grateful for and other stuff (such as abundance requests) and get reminders on your cell phone.
Never give up. I fully believe there ARE answers – that root causes for these conditions are out there, it is finding the right people to help us diagnose them…I will be sharing more about my experiences in venturing outside western med to get some answers – and some help in future blogs.
Research, research, research. If you are reading this, then you have access to all the information pretty much in the whole world at your finger tips – and there is loads of help out there in regards to how to reduce things from restless leg syndrome (RLS) to products to help you get a better sleep. When we feel better, we sleep better. And when we sleep better, we feel better mentally and physically.
So finding things to help your pain and other symptoms goes hugely towards your mental health. If you have found something that helps your IBS it might make it more possible for you to go out a bit more for example
Surround yourself with positive people. True friends and loved ones never question your health, push you, get angry at you because of your health, or drop you as a friend because you have had to cancel out. I fully believe that when we are ill, true colours show like never before with people. Positive peeps have your back when you need them the most. And negative peeps? Just drain your energy even more…
Find your voice! If we don’t stand up for ourselves, then sadly, chances are nobody else will. Stand your ground,whether it is with medical professionals, work, family and friends.
Do stuff for YOU. Things don’t have to cost a lot of money (if any) to make you feel better mentally. One of the things many of my fibro friends love are adult colouring books such as this one for reducing stress…
Meditate. I personally have struggled all my life to relax and stop the ongoing self-chat. And with brain fog and concentration issues – meditating isn’t easy at the best of times. (I have been known to figure out the grocery shop during meditating…). But. I am trying. What I have been doing these past few days is taking my tablet into the bathroom and whilst having my magnesium bath soak the length of the meditation playing on YouTube. Here is one of my favourite healing meditations.
Applaud the little successes. For me, today my little success so far is not spilling tea on the carpet. Yay me! 🙂
Animal love makes a huge difference. I know for a fact that if it wasn’t for our little fur babies (one, in particular – a true love sponge/lick monster) that my mental health wouldn’t be so great. Being alone during the day and having a little fur body snuggled up with you giving you unconditional love? How can that not rock?!
Socialising in a whole new way. Bye bye are the nights out having fun with the girls. Now we catch up at my home. In jammies. Generally tucked into bed. With a movie. Heating pads/ice packs. Popcorn. Just because you can’t go out, doesn’t mean that your social life has gone out the window – it just has changed.
Change your negative thought patterns. I think that most people in the western world in particular have a lot of negativity going on. Learn to catch a negative thought and nip it in the bud. Replace it with positive thoughts – here’s where your attitude of gratitude comes in! When I catch myself thinking something negative, I stop and think of something I am grateful for – or – sometimes I think about lying on the beach on a tropical island… :). Point is I stop the thought and change my pattern. Thoughts become things!
Pick and choose your battles. When something goes down that I am unhappy about, I ask myself the following questions:
- In the grand scheme of life, is it really WORTH making this situation an issue?
- How will this affect me/my life/my day if I do nothing?
- Are my thoughts loving? Or are they coming from anger and frustration (and feeling shit!)
- Who will benefit if I get upset?
- How will the upset affect me mentally as well as physically?
So there you have it. My personal top tips that have improved my mental health hugely. Let me know what tips you have, so we can share and learn!