Worklife + Fibromyalgia = ???

By Lisa O’Brien

Living in the 21st century is a slippery slope for most people financially. One month your bank account is looking healthy and you are feeling confident. Next month…not so much.

This often means that everybody needs a job in one form or another. Perhaps you are the head of household bringing in the main paycheck to cover the bills and necessities for your family. Or you are the domestic goddess (or god!) who cleans, runs errands, and handles home and child care. Most households these days require two incomes plus the domestic work to make a go of it. Whew! Not to mention if you are a single parent; that’s a whole other ball game.

With all these parameters taking their place in our fast paced world, trying to incorporate Fibromyalgia and self-care sounds tiring just to think about. But! We must find a way to give attention to this as well. Self-care must take precedence if we are to manage each day.

In the past, physicians believed that rest and stillness was the best way to alleviate Fibro symptoms. It is now known that there are some exercises you can participate in that may help your ability to function more normally as well as some new ergonomic helpers.

If you work outside of the home, perhaps in an office setting, a new chair has become very popular that absolutely works. Some companies have taken the large inflatable exercise balls we use in the gym and turned them into office chairs. At one time, you could use the ball alone at your desk to sit on. This keeps your posture in a good position and is also much more comfortable than a regular chair. Now, the two have been combined! The ball sits in the well where the seat of the chair was and has arms and a chair back that are all adjustable. This is a terrific solution to alleviate back and leg pain. If you have always been the “go to” person for forms or information, ask someone to help you set up a “self-serve” station for people to get what they need. Labels, shelves, and a place for pens and sticky notes will help people help themselves and you will have provided a crucial office necessity that will look great on your resume!

Are you the home maker? This is definitely a physical job. Laundry, mopping and caring for children make for a busy day. If your children are still young enough to think helping you is a fun thing to do, take advantage. Put on some music and get everyone in the groove! Kids can fold some laundry (towels are easy squares for them), take out the trash, help set the table, feed Fido, etc. For exercise, be the instructor and show your little ones how to stretch and practice flexibility moves. This is the best medicine for all as you can take care of your body, teach good habits and create loving quality time together. And when your significant other gets home? Make some more quality time after the kids are in bed by giving each other that much needed massage.

Some days will be easier than others for certain. If today was successful, terrific! If not, tomorrow is coming and you can try again.

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