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Coping with Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, continued

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Updated November 24, 2009

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Coping Strategies

Effectively managing your ME/CFS symptoms can help you be more functional and improve the quality of your life. Experts recommend several life-style changes, including:

  • Reduce stress
    Take steps to reduce your daily stress level and learn how to better deal with the stress you can't avoid, possibly through relaxation techniques, yoga or tai chi.
  • Get enough sleep
    Practice good sleep habits, such as going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Limit daytime napping, and allow enough time for sufficient sleep.
  • Exercise regularly
    Done properly, exercise can improve symptoms. However, you'll need to start slow and build up gradually. A physical therapist may help you put together a good regimen.
  • Pace yourself, but stay active
    Keep your activity consistent day to day. Avoid the temptation to do extra on your good days, because that could lead to more bad days. While some people leave their jobs and quit activities due to ME/CFS, people who stick to moderate, consistent activity levels tend to feel better than those who are inactive.
  • Maintain a healthy life-style
    This includes eating a balanced diet, limiting caffeine, not smoking, getting plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, managing stress and exercising regularly.

Sources:

Regina P. Gilliland, MD, Department of Internal Medicine; Division of Rehab Medicine, Mobile Infirmary Medical Center “Fibromyalgia”

Judy Bear, First published in MSN Cancer Forum “Stages”

1998-2007 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

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