So, what does body positivity look like when you have fibromyalgia and/or CFS/ME?
Here are our 6 top tips to help improve your body positivity and start feeling great about who you really are! (A magnificent human bean!).
Body positive movements have taken off with the help of social media, encouraging people to love themselves and accept their bodies as they are.
But absent in most of these discussions are representations of visible and invisible disabilities, such as people living with fibromyalgia and CFS/ME. Bodies that need mobility aids. Bodies that are sore, stiff and sometimes agonizing to love.
You’d be forgiven if you thought that body positivity was only for able-bodied people. But that’s not necessarily true.
There’s no doubt that staying body positive when your body is in pain can wreck your self-esteem (1).
Below you will find our 6 top tips to help improve your body positivity, specifically to help people living with fibromyalgia and/or CFS/ME.
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It’s important to know that there will be good and bad days and that positivity does not equal perfection.
When you live with fibromyalgia and/or CFS/ME, you’ll undergo reoccurring battles with your body. As you well know, some days will be better than others and some days will be worse.
You might be frustrated with how your body feels and how it prevents you from doing the things you want to do – and that is 100% normal!
Being honest with yourself is the first step to loving your body. Listen to your body when it tells you it needs to rest.
Self-care is body positivity in action. Healing can only happen when you’re kind to yourself.
If you struggle with depression more in the winter months, you may be interested in reading our article on Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD: 6 Things You Can Do to Improve Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
Being kind to yourself means not pushing yourself too hard. Chances are, you already know that when you push yourself too hard (such as with diet, exercise, working too hard…), there’s a good chance of winding up in a flare-up.
Know that you don’t have to live up to society’s expectations of productivity to feel positive about yourself.
Setting short-term and long-term goals with fibromyalgia and CFS/ME are great, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your health.
As you already know, every day will be different, and everyone will have different tolerance levels, pain thresholds, triggers and self-management techniques. Do what you can and congratulate yourself. Every step, no matter how small is a step forward, right?
You’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.
You May Like to Read…
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Comparing yourself to others is not healthy for your body or mind. And if you physically push yourself too far, you risk causing further injury to yourself.
If this happens, it can also have a negative impact on how you view yourself and how you see your body.
Body positivity is therefore not about setting unrealistic goals or focusing on what you think your body should be doing.
It’s about recognising your individual needs and limits, and not beating yourself up when your body doesn’t live up to ideals or expectations.
Know it’s your journey – not anybody else’s!
Ironically, the more you struggle with fibromyalgia and/or CFS/ME, the more flexible you more likely become…But not in the way you bend backwards and touch your toes!
Managing fibromyalgia and or CFS/ME and staying positive about your body means being less rigid about your routine.
You might have a plan for the day ahead, but that doesn’t always mean that your body is prepared to cooperate.
If that means taking the day off, do so where you can.
It’s important to improvise so that you can prioritise your body first and foremost.
There’s so much information on the internet that it can all clump together and buzz in your ears like white noise. This is a recipe for overstimulation at its best.
And then there’s fibromyalgia and CFS/ME brain fog to add into the mix! Let’s face it. It’s far too easy to get overwhelmed these days.
Something that (potentially) works for one person may not work for another. Don’t let yourself burn out.
It’s ok to switch off and take a break. Conserve your energy and focus. Choose trusted sources.
Struggling to sleep? Read our article: Top 6 Best Sleep Products for Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and Chronic Pain.
Let’s face it. When you’re in pain, feeling low and struggling, it isn’t always easy to pull yourself out of this and make an effort.
Here are 10 easy things to do to boost your positivity – fast!
- Put on your favourite item of clothes
- Paint your nails
- Throw on a childhood classic movie
- Do a random act of kindness for someone else
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Watch a comedy and definitely LOL
- Give yourself a big hug
- Run yourself a bath (or have someone else do it – why not add some bubbles or Epsom salt?
- Buy yourself some luxurious sheets (our favourites are soft and silky, breathable organic bamboo sheets)
Amazingly Soft, Breathable & 100% Organic...Once You've Tried These Bamboo Sheets, There's No Going Back!
And our favourite thing to do of all to get the ‘feel good factor’ really happening and making us feel positive?
10. SINGING! Throw on your favourite tunes and rock the casbah!
Whatever you do, do what makes you feel good. Even if you do nothing, that’s still doing something to help your body feel better.
No matter how much encouragement there is to improve your body positivity, we know that living with the complexity that comes with fibromyalgia and/or CFS/ME isn’t easy.
Although these 6 top tips are hopefully easy enough to implement to get you on the road to improved body positivity, the most important thing of all that you can do each and every day is to LOVE YOURSELF.