Managing Your Remote Working Stress When You Have Fibromyalgia

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One of the tips mentioned in ‘How to Get Through Fibromyalgia Flare’ is stress management as it can make your symptoms worse. It may also make your condition debilitating when your stress levels remain elevated for long periods of time and you don’t have any regular routine. This can be a challenge for the remote workers of today. CNBC reports that burnout has become rampant among remote workers, and 69% experience symptoms like fatigue, stress, and irritability. Working from home certainly has benefits for people with chronic illness, but there is added pressure to increase productivity and dedicate more time to work which eventually distrub your routine — this expectation can only compound stress among people with fibromyalgia.

On that note, let’s take a look at some ways you can minimize your stress as a remote worker and your risk of fibro flare:

Create and follow a routine

During challenging times, people seek comfort in the familiar. This could be a routine you have built for yourself, which leaves little room for unwelcome surprises. Real Simple’s article on routines adds that you can also make good habits—like drinking eight glasses of water a day—second nature to you. You can also use routines as stepping-stones to your goals.

If you’re one of the many who’ve had to transition to a work-from-home setup over the last year, you can try clocking in to work the way you would in an office. Have your morning coffee, dress up, then (minus the commute) hop in to your virtual meetings. You can even designate a workspace separate from the rest of your home, which can help set healthy boundaries. When you have to do something work-related, make it a habit to sit at your work desk and do everything else away from it. Simple patterns can give you a semblance of normalcy and keep your stress to a minimum.

Prioritize the big three of physical wellness: Exercise, Diet, and Sleep

When your body is in good condition, there’s a high chance your mind is, too. This is why you need to adopt healthy habits when it comes to exercise, diet, and sleep — and actually make time for them outside of work.

First off, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Take a brisk walk in your neighborhood, do a few yoga sun salutations to kick off your day, or try an online fitness class with your co-workers or friends.

A well-rounded diet is also essential for people with fibromyalgia, which should include fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein. You might also need to stay away from certain foods that trigger symptoms, like dairy, gluten, and protein supplements. You can read more here Best Exercises and Workouts for Chronic Pain of Fibromyalgia

Additionally, you’ll need to get quality sleep, which can be difficult for people living with pain and fatigue. What can help is creating a routine. Set a schedule, make your room conducive for sleeping, and turn off screens during bedtime. Other things you can try are using a weighted blanket or playing soothing music in the background.

Try alternative therapies, like meditation and aromatherapy

Alternative therapies, like meditation and aromatherapy, can be good for people with fibromyalgia because of their stress reduction benefits. When you meditate, for example, you can create a more efficient response to the stressors in your workplace.

Surprisingly, aromatherapy is only recently getting the recognition it deserves. An article on SymptomFind outlined how aromatherapy has been used for centuries as a non-invasive treatment for various conditions, including stress. The essence of natural ingredients, which come in oil form, are thought to improve one’s mood and, which is what makes it therapeutic. At home, you can use a few drops into a diffuser and breathe in a scent that makes you feel calm as you work, similar to how you listen to soothing music at night.

Keep your social life healthy

Isolation can create feelings of stress and depression, which you need to avoid to control your symptoms.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of avenues to stay connected to our loved ones or colleagues in the virtual world. For example, you can have a chat with your family and friends via Zoom or even share new experiences through it. Many are using the software to work out together, play together, or even start their own book clubs.

Another great platform for socializing is Teleparty, which is a free browser extension that allows several users to watch movies and shows at the same time. You can stream the newest Korean drama on Netflix or rewatch your childhood favorites on Disney Plus.

Keeping your stress to a minimum may be a challenge in today’s demanding remote working landscape. However, prioritizing routines, healthy habits, self-care techniques, and personal relationships can go a long way towards stress management for people with fibromyalgia. If you want more information do visit us at Fibromyalgia resources.

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