Fibromyalgia and Fatigue
What Does Stress Have to Do With Fibromyalgia and Fatigue?
Reducing stress may give you a sense of
control with fibromyalgia. Some experts believe that when people with
fibromyalgia reduce their level of stress, they also experience a reduction in
fatigue and anxiety. In addition, their sleep becomes more restful.
Can I Continue to Work With Fibromyalgia and Fatigue?
People with fibromyalgia who are able to work outside the home say they
experience great stress on the job. Some say they fear they may be let go and
be replaced by healthier, more qualified workers. Others are concerned because
they are not able to perform the way they used to. Employers also report
concern over the output of chronically ill patients. They cite reduced
productivity, increased absenteeism, poor work quality, and increased workplace
accidents. But if you stay mentally and physically able to handle your job
responsibilities, you can continue to be a productive employee, even with
fibromyalgia and fatigue.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia may wax and wane over time. You may, however,
continue to experience muscle pain and fatigue. That doesn't mean there is
nothing you can do. Here are actions you can take to help keep fatigue at
- If your employer will allow it, put a cot in your office or workroom. Then
allow yourself to take rest periods throughout the day, especially when
symptoms flare and you are fatigued.
- Try to allow more time during the day to complete your
- Budget your time carefully to avoid procrastinating. Procrastination can
increase your stress level when deadlines come around.
- Make daily "To Do" lists to remind yourself of the responsibilities you
need to complete.
- Limit outside commitments on work days.
- Ask for help from coworkers when pain and fatigue are overwhelming. Pay
them back with your assistance on days you feel better.
- Take periodic breaks to avoid getting overly tired or stressed during busy
- Listen to music during your workday to help keep your stress levels
- Talk to your doctor about medications for fibromyalgia
that may help improve sleep and ease fatigue.