Every Day Coping Strategies Tips

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What bed clothing will help me to sleep well?

Dressing for bed

When dressing for bed - a place where comfort is of the utmost importance, because we really need a good sleep - don't wear heavy flannels because if you get too hot you'll wake and may even interrupt sleep to take them off. Instead wear something mid-weight in a natural, breathable fabric. Or go light and make certain you have several layers of bed clothing - sheet, light blanker, heavy blanket - that will help you control body temperature.

   
What bed clothing will help with my "broken thermostat"?

Comfort strategies

Fibromites tend to swell slightly over the course of the day, so that clothing that feels good when we first put them on may be tight and uncomfortable by day's end. Keep this in mind when selecting clothing, and find things that don't constrict. Avoid underwire bras and look for something called a bralette or bralet, if you are female.

   
How can I carry a lot of stuff around without overtiring myself?

Purse strategies

Heavy purses can be responsible for a lot of aching when you go out. Try to get used to a small lightweight purse and to carry only the necessities - wallet, keys, a comb, your checkbook. A heavy purse is pulling your whole body off balance and is one reason you may find shopping and other outings so exhausting.

   
What tools will work best to make the house look better?

An easy cleaning system

The Fly Lady system for housecleaning calls for first eliminating all unnecessary clutter, then spending small 15 minutes chunks of time each day tending to problem spots. After 15 minutes, you rest. If you feel up to it, do another 15 minutes. Even on bad days, most of us can do anything for about 15 minutes. Http://www.flylady.net will guide you through an easy system for maintaining a home with ease – honest. Many people have tried it when they felt that their houses had gone beyond redemption and found that it really worked.

   
What bed clothing will help with my "broken thermostat"?

Dress in layers

Dress in layers. Fibromites all have broken internal thermostats. We can be hot and sweating when everyone else is shivering, or freezing as they are opening windows due to the heat. Start with something light and layer a jacket-type blouse or tunic over that and then keep a sweater or sweater coat handy and just peel things on and off as needed.

   
Are there any jobs I really need to try to avoid?

No raised arms!

Try to avoid tasks that require you to hold your arms in a raised position for a long time. This is a difficult position for people with connective tissue problems, and one where it is always best to get help.

   
What can I do about clothing that hurts by the end of the day?

Best fabrics for fibro

While natural fibers that breathe are key for comfortable dress, the one exception to this rule would be winter coats, which can be extremely heavy. It can be hard enough to force ourselves out the door without the disincentive of a heavy winter coat. Many of the new microfibers provide extreme warmth and weigh next to nothing. These are well worth looking into, as it can prolong the amount of time we spend comfortably during necessary outings.

   
What can I do about clothing that hurts by the end of the day?

Dress for comfort

When in doubt, one size fits most clothing is perfect for anyone who is going to change size during the day. And get fabrics that feel good against your skin. There are days when our skin can get easily irritated and we don't need one more irritation adding to everything else. Natural fabrics and soft ones are best.

   
Why should I bother getting dressed when I feel so lousy?

Get dressed - every day!

Don't let yourself go just because you're not getting out as much as you used to. Get dressed – every single day – in something nice - shoes and jewelry, and even make-up if you wear it. Not only does it give you a psychological boost, but being dressed makes it harder to just crawl back into bed for a nap. It's too easy to lapse into slobbery when you're not feeling well. And slopping around leads to a loss of self-respect and of self-esteem.

   
What are the best shoe styles for someone with FMS?

Shoe choices

Slip-on shoes are preferable to tie shoes; bending over often leads to muscle cramps in the abdomen. Make sure your shoes have a comfortable heel and are in fabric or leather that isn't too stiff and unyielding.

   
How can I make laundry work less painful?

Minimize bending and lifting

Lots of shelves and a folding table at waist level in the laundry room will help with the bending and lifting.Remember that arms down or at least no higher than waist level is the optimal position for people with fibro.

   
What bed clothing will help me to sleep well?

Dressing the bed

Dress the bed itself in layers. Cotton sheets, or a linen blend, if you can find it at a reasonable cost (hint: try http://www.overstock.com where you can sometimes find them at 75% off) - not synthetics. You need natural fabrics that breathe or you get trapped in a sweat bath when you start feeling too warm. The bottom sheet is the most important as you may find you prefer something other than a sheet directly over you.

   
How can I adjust my waistband so that it is comfortable when I swell?

Help for tight waistbands

Elastic waists are better than rigid ones, and if they have a button closure you can use the old rubber band trick – looping it through the button hole and then around the button – to give you a bit of extra room. Drawstring waists may be most practical of all!

   
What are the best shoe styles for someone with FMS?

Leg and foot support

Buy good shoes - the best you can afford - that have good foot support. But make absolutely sure that they fit well and are comfortable. Don't get stiff shoes - soft, crushable leather or even fabric is good because your feet will also swell. Go for a low heel unless you have a problem with the backs of your legs feeling a bit stretched (which is a symptom common to some fibromites.) In that case a slight heel - a wedge, perhaps - can relieve some of that pressure.

   
How can I stop feeling guilty because the house is messy?

Don't be a perfectionist

Accept the fact that you can't do it all to some standard of perfection. Learn to set priorities about what cleaning really must be done and what you can either let slide or get help with.

   
How can I minimze scrubbing on burnt pots and pans?

Eliminate pot scrubbing

Put stubborn, crusted pans on the burner with water and a little dish soap, and turn on the flame. In a few minutes the brown stuff will loosen and should come up easily. It's a bit like making gravy and getting all the good browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This also works well if you pour boiling water over the sides of china, porcelain or glass dishes that have burnt food in them.

   
What bed clothing will help me to sleep well?

The best blanket for fibro

A cashmere throw sounds extravagant, but it is lightweight and has a slight texture - which many fibromites report is beneficial in helping them to sleep. And sleep is essential to our well being. Cashmere won't scratch like wool and is far warmer than wool or acrylics. A reasonable substitute is alpaca, which can sometimes be found for less than cashmere. You can probably find an excellent deal on eBay, or places like http://www.overstock.com.

   
How can I stop feeling guilty because the house is messy?

Quick clean-up tricks

A feather duster and one of those new mops called Swiffers can hide a multitude of sins, getting up the obvious dust, dust bunnies and floor debris with ease. They are also light and easy to handle. You can get away with a lot if things are simply neat and dust free.

   
How can I travel light when I need more than my purse holds?

Tote bag tactics

If you must carry more than basic necessities with you each day, get a tote bag that you can slip a small purse into. Leave the tote in the car unless you absolutely need something in it, and go with the least weight you can get away with carrying.

   
What tools will work best to make the house look better?

Stubborn jar lids

For jar opening, try putting on a rubber glove or use a 5" square piece of that new rubberized shelf liner. In a pinch, a rubber band will give you a better grip on that stubborn lid.

   
How can I minimze scrubbing on burnt pots and pans?

Easy on you oven ideas

Line the oven with foil and the elements with foil liners. Put the rings to sit in hot water and dishwasher detergent, then wipe clean. Discard dirty foil and reline with clean ones periodically.

   
What bed clothing will help me to sleep well?

Down for sleep comfort

The best possible topper is a down blanket or comforter because they do seem to adjust to our body temperature. Try to get one baffled in a square pattern so the down doesn't shift. Lacking that, get a wool (or better yet, alpaca or cashmere) blanket if possible, or if you tend to usually be too hot, one in cotton. Use fabrics that breathe and don't trap sweat.

   
Is there a good system I can use for household upkeep?

Closet organization

Organize closets and cabinets so that the heavy and most frequently used items are easy to reach - between middle of thighs and shoulder high.

   
How can I keep track of all the things in my pantry and refrigerator?

Kitchen inventory

Do you want to remember what is in the recesses of your fridge and cupboards? Attach an erasable message board on your fridge door, list the food items and date them. Also date your canned goods and spices.

   
Is a memory foam mattress more comfortable than a spring mattress for fibromyalgia patients?

The Best Bed for Fibromyalgia Patients

Most fibromyalgia patients already know the important part sleep hygiene plays in getting a good night's sleep. But the bed one sleeps on can be just as important. An ever-increasing number of patients who suffer from fibromyalgia are finding that superior memory foam mattresses provide a more comfortable night's rest. The reason memory foam feels so good is that the memory foam pushes back against painful tender points in the body, offering better relaxation, more support and fewer sleep interruptions. A patient who also suffers from restless legs syndrome, or other issues connected with fibromyalgia, will not disturb their partner if they toss about. Similarly, the patient isn't tossed about if their partner is the one having a restless night.

If the patient is prone to night sweats or hot flashes, it is recommended the memory foam be equipped with a cool gel topper or sheets that stay cool. One further tip: when it comes to memory foam mattresses, you get what you pay for. This is important for anyone trying to get a good night's rest, but when it comes to fibromyalgia, better sleep at night means more pain-free days.

Of course, no two fibromyalgia patients are alike, and the issues that plague sufferers of this syndrome are vast and varied. The very best mattress for one patient may not be the best for another. So when buying any new mattress, make sure you have the ability to return or exchange it after a trial period in case it doesn't work for you.

   
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Patricia Walters-Fischer