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10 Important Lifestyle Changes for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Updated October 17, 2011

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Lifestyle Change #1: Pacing for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When you have fibromyalgia (FMS) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS), you hear a lot about the need for lifestyle changes.

That's a pretty broad term, and the very thought can be overwhelming. What do you need to change? How much do you need to change? Where should you start?

The thing to do is break things down into manageable parts. Once you start identifying aspects of your life that may be contributing to your symptoms, you can start making positive changes. Everyone's life is different and everyone case of FMS or ME/CFS is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all approach. However, looking at the different things below can help you get started making lifestyle changes with the goal of improving your quality of life.

Lifestyle Change #1: Pacing Yourself With Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Pacing is basically just slowing down until your activity level is a better match for your energy level. It's a simple concept, but with most of us having hectic lives and very little downtime, it's a tough goal to achieve.

Chronic illness doesn't change the fact that we have certain things that just have to get done. What we generally do is push ourselves to do everything on good days -- I remember being really proud a few years ago that I'd cleaned the kitchen and done 9 loads of laundry in one day. The problem was, I was laid out on the couch for the next 3 days because I'd done more than my body could handle. This is sometimes called the push-crash-push cycle, and it's important to break out of that.

Several pacing techniques can help you manage your responsibilities in a way that better safeguards your well being. By incorporating them into your daily life, you can learn to get things done while staying within your energy limits. You can learn about those techniques here:

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