Here are 7 tips for learning to thrive with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Over the next month, I will be writing much more detailed post about each of these individual subjects. Please SUBSCRIBE to make sure you don’t miss any of them.

  1. Acceptance. Accept where you are. Pretending like you’re fine and pushing through life only make things worse.  Acceptance allows you to make changes and set priorities in your life to move you towards health.pier-407252_1920
  2. Meditate. Meditation is an excellent way to help you learn to live with and recover from CFS/ME/Fibro. At its core, meditation is about being present and accepting the moment for what it is. Instead of hyper-focusing on your symptoms, you learn to be an observer of your body.YEc7WB6ASDydBTw6GDlF_antalya-beach-lulu
  3. Pace yourself. People with CFS/ME/Fibro often find themselves if a vicious cycle of pushing themselves too hard on good days and then subsequently crashing. This rollercoaster ride of peaks and valleys is unhealthy and prevents many people from getting better.pexels-photo
  4. Diet. You are what you eat. Make sure you have a clean and healthy diet based on whole foods  and a regular eating routine.food-salad-healthy-lunch
  5. Exercise. Or maybe the term movement might be better here. Exercise/Movement done in the right way can be extremely beneficial for people with CFS/ME/Fibro. Find a baseline of exercise/movement that does not cause you to crash and slowly grade your exercise up from there. Maybe start with some gentle yoga or a short walk.photo-1445384763658-0400939829cd
  6. Gratefulness. Be grateful for what you have and what you have learned from your illness. Going through something so tough teaches you a lot about yourself and the world around you. Find these positives and lessons, and live by them.nature-sunset-person-woman
  7. Nature. Get out into nature as much as possible. There is something so healing about connecting with the natural world around us. Get out, breath in the fresh air, and soak up some sun.nature-sky-sunset-manAre there any tips or ideas you think I missed? If so, leave a comment below to let me know what it is.

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional. The ideas and techniques in this article are not intended to be used as a means of medical treatment. They are solely my opinion on what has helped me through my journey.

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41 Comments

  1. Do not let other people’s negative attitude wear you down. Some people cannot accept an illness if, on the outside, you seem perfectly well.

    1. Beautifully stated! The acceptance part is tough for me but everything else has helped me. Thanks so much!

    2. Hi
      But how do you handle it
      My friends cannot understand my illness and often judge me and tell me that everbody sometimes has health problems and that i should think more positive
      Nobody can imagine what we are going through with ME..it s terrible
      I feel alone and i don t have real friends anymore who believe me and stand by my side
      How you can manage to deal with it ?
      Sonja

      1. So often when not able to participate in various functions reactions by others frequently comes across as shaming and guilting. I’ve learned to not let it get me down, I won’t own it.I know I don’t look sick, I know who I am when they don’t.

      2. Sonja If I could suggest a few things to help you with your family and friends:

        1. Take them with you to Dr appts , or whatever person you see for your Fibro.

        2. Educate them. Share information you are given, share articles like this or anything you find helpful. It does not matter if they have the disease or not what matters is, do they care about you.

        3. Be honest with them. I could go on but…

    3. Yes… The non understanding of most people even hurts more… I feel like i am always trying to let people have a bit of compasion to try to understand this… But no… Most of them don t believe my pain….

    4. Annie, I agree with you! The negativity that surrounds this disease is extremely Draining. No matter where the Negativity is attached to, it can suck the little life we have in us right out of us.

  2. Feel grateful for what you have and what you can do. My children are happy and healthy 😀

    1. Agree. Would be far worse if my son had it.

      1. My daughter and my son both have cfs and fms. Then to top it off I have a grand daughter who has it now at such a young age. It is hard to think that it all started with me and I blame myself for their illness.

  3. It is important to educate the people around you, Some will understand but just as many will disbelieve.

  4. I agree with nature. The others are things people say all the time and I don’t disagree with them but I’m thinking we need to think bigger. Diet only helped me a little. Cutting out dairy and sugar is a good idea for everyone. Hyperbaric Oxygen has been the thing that’s helped me the most. I need to get air and signals to my brain. Not sit and meditate on how much pain I’m in. Don’t get my wrong I’m Buddhist and believe in that stuff. But sometimes when you make a simple list like this it’s a little insulting. If doing all these things at once worked… I wouldn’t have fibro. I want my life back so I’ll keep reading and putting things together because there must be a cure. But this is more like a self-help list for anyone. If you are in as much pain as I’m in this list is kinda a joke and makes me sad.

    1. Can I ask about your routine for using the hyperbaric oxygen therapy… I have a centre close by, but I don’t know of anyone to ask first hand of their review of it… I’ve been suggested by the owner to use it twice a day, 6 days a week, for two weeks…. What would you suggest? Thanks

  5. I really loved this, thank you! I’m having a rough patch right now and these are great reminders

  6. I think that we need a list like this for our loved ones and carers as this illness doesn’t just affect us. This invisible illness strains all of our relationships as well because at times it is so difficult for them to understand what we can deal with on any day.

  7. This a wonderful summary! It totally reflects my approach. I always talk about the importance of movement as opposed to exercise, But what I really mean is that exercise for ME/CFS should be non-exertional. Being in nature for me is also really important, even ten minutes weeding the veg patch can give me a healing boost of energy!

  8. Remember to do your daily lymphatic self draining massage to rid yourself of toxins as recommended by dr Raymond Perrin pioneering researcher in ME

    1. Thank you for mentioning this. I get massaged every two weeks and I dry brush. Do you do any other detox?

      1. I try to get massage as often as possible too. I also occasionally do infrared saunas. I have to be careful not to detox too fast though. My body can become overloaded quickly. Do any of you have this same problem?

  9. Time.

    Everything improved for me as soon as I realised that I now have a different relationship with time.
    My body and mind can no longer march to the beat of the clock. I wake when I’m ready, I eat when I’m ready, I’m active when I’m ready and for as long as feels right.
    Time’s only influence on my life now is the television (recording as much as I can, and watching it when I feel like it nips that one though).
    I only really look at the clock now before I phone someone.

    1. You are the first person (JohnW) to hit the nail on the head. If it was that easy we all would feel better. Its always the same “advice” . I’ve had this all my life and it doesn’t get better.

    2. So very, very true. Time has almost become insignificant for me. I almost base time on the degree I am in pain and how long that particular episode lasts!

  10. I would add: Try to do something, any small thing, for someone else. Known or unknown.
    Say a prayer/send a healing thought to those less fortunate than you. One of my favorites is: “May all those in prison/refugee camps known some small measure of freedom today.” Another good one, more general, is any variation of the lovingkindness meditation: “May [insert name] be healthy, safe, free from distress, and live with ease.” That is my favorite when I’m riding in the car and I see people on the street, especially if it’s bad weather and they are having to walk. A kind of pop-up loving-kindness intercession. If you can do more than a thought, then anything that reminds us we have agency and an ability to positively impact someone’s day is really helpful for me. Send a free e-card. Send a thank you to those who support you. Send a heart sticker/text message to a friend. If you are crafty, make something for someone else. I knit, so knitting small hats for children in need/premies at the local hospital is a good choice. And of course, remember to do the lovingkindness meditation for yourself, too!

  11. These are all really great points, I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for a great post 🙂

  12. I agree with your list Matt however I personally am too weak to go out into nature since I am unable to leave my flat at all but if I could just step from my from door into Nature it would be wonderful.
    For those with moderate to severe ME, the list should include micronutrients and supplements as advised by Dr Sarah Myhill; the former being CoQ10, D Ribose ( in black coffe), Acetyl l carnitine and B6 (if you are not allergic to it, I am) ; the latter being B12, magnesium, and multi vits and mins. You can find this info on her site by typing in her name in search engine. She pretty much saved my life. Before I was in the verge of heart attacks quite often.
    I also take live bacteria for gut health, cranberry for urinary tract, D3 for my permanent deficiency, garlic, iron, flax seeds and goji berries in porridge. All of my intake is vegan since I am a strict vegan. My GP will only prescribe D3 but it’s not vegetarian so I can’t take it.
    In dietary terms I have cut out most gluten. A little is okay. I was suffering from severe heartburn and this is now eradicated.
    Am happy to share more info if there are any questions. Love to all of us in our suffering!

  13. Agree with all the above, but I might add : DO NOT identify over much with your illness. You are a beautiful Human Be-ing, not a human Do-ing. Just as you are wonderful you, without having to prove anything to anyone else, or by doing anything at all, take care not to say that you are a FMer first, last and always. While we may have the dis-ease, we are NOT the dis-ease itself. We are our own selves. Remember that. This illness is only one dimension of our multi faceted selves. Stay beautiful and thrive in awesomeness!

  14. I have had horses and some kind of farm my whole life. So maybe I was in better shape than some when this got worse. I still have quite a few horses, dogs and cats and live alone with them. On one hand I think they keep me better than a lot of others. But to a point in spite of pacing myself I have to push through the day to keep everyone taken care of. Riding, when the work is done does make me feel so good. So I think the exercise is relative to the level of exercise you were doing before the fibro. Have had problems with the side effects from some medicine. Made me worse than fibro. Any advice for survival is appreciated.

  15. Absolutely agree with all these points. I am still trying to get to a good place but I take each day as it comes.

    Another suggestion I would add is soothing or relaxing music. This helps me tremendously.

    Thank you again & wish everyone well.

  16. Great post Matt. I have difficulty with acceptance, and I’ve had my diagnosis for thirteen years, this leads to difficulty pacing myself! Though I do try.

    Thanks

    Gary

  17. I think acceptance is important, to accept who you are, but also you need to be able to recognise your limits.
    You need to learn to say ‘No’ if you have reached your limit; this is very difficult if you have someone who does not understand or accept that you have anything wrong with you. Even so, by saying no at the time might mean that later on you will be able to function better, for longer.
    I used to have problems with overdoing things during good days, (usually to try to please those around me) then being totally overwhelmed and poorly.
    Now I really work at pacing myself. I’ve learned that the hoovering does not have to be done as often as I used to do it.
    I find pleasure in doing things that I LIKE to do. I’ve taken up new hobbies that challenge me mentally, but I am capable of doing physically…….. unless the fibro fog descends, then I have a ‘day off’.
    I sit in the sun whenever possible, even if it’s just outside the door, listening to the sounds of the world getting on with life, and if it’s raining I sit near an open window so that I can still hear the world!

  18. Good advice for any serious illness. Works for chronic depression.

  19. Acupuncture… 24 years in now as a CFS person, with many ups and downs, including years unable to walk, think or talk, and years I was relatively ‘normal’…. but consistently acupuncture has been what has given me back functioning. I’ve radically changed my lifestyle, am self-employed so I have control of my time and energy, get great support from friends and family, eat really well, listen to my body, rest when I need to, spend time outside, meditate, get massage… actually my CFS has pushed me to give myself a much better way of living than I would have had a hope of otherwise, as I’m naturally an action junkie. And acupuncture… now community clinics are turning up everywhere, treatment is much more affordable. I go twice a week and will continue with this for as long as I need to – see it as part of my on-going lifestyle rather than a quick fix – as it has given me my life back again and again, so this time round (since I found community clinics last summer) I’m going to keep having it whether I feel well or unwell. Huge gratitude to those practitioners who’ve helped me and to my body for responding to the treatment!

  20. Wow we are on the same wave length here 🙂 agree with everything you wrote, it’s such a complicated illness but it sure teaches us a lot about ourselves. I blog about CFS too 🙂

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