Winter can provide special challenges for people with fibromyalgia or other chronic pain conditions. Especially this winter (&*^%$ stupid groundhog) when it seems it just. Won’t. Stop.
I know people say, “Oh, Tymber, you’re in Florida. What do YOU know about winter?”
I know it f*cking sucks. Wild temperature fluctuations are a massive flare and pain trigger for me. And we’ve had a metric ass-ton (is TOO a measurement!) of weather fronts come through. The other day, I was in shorts and it was in the upper 70’s. Then, the next day, it was rainy and cold and in the low 60’s.
For people stuck in northern, icy, snowy climes–I have no clue how you frakking do it, for starters. I know I couldn’t. I’m a native Floridian. I’ve only seen “real” snow once, in Yellowstone, on Memorial Day weekend, and it was already on the ground. I’ve never been through more than two flurries here in my state.
I couldn’t do it.
I bought a hand warmer I found at a store, I think it was Target, it’s like a miniature heating pad. I can keep it in my lap and tuck my hands into the pocket on it, and that helps. I have an extra-large heating pad. I have an electric blanket. I have a Hello Kitty Snuggie (don’t judge!). I have My Little Pony and Soft Kitty onesie PJs. (Again, don’t judge!)
I know that for me, sometimes going to the gym and soaking in their hot tub and steam sauna isn’t an option. Sometimes, it’s a hot shower or soak in a tub of hot water. Gentle exercises, like stretching, walking the mall or store with Hubby (if I feel up to it, and it’s not too crowded/stressful), skeet shooting, things like that all help me. And, of course, walking my two dogs.
Overdoing physical exertion is one of the worst things I can do to myself.
Others have told me they use yoga or tai chi, or other low-impact exercises to stay active. Another friend said they use small hand weights and do that while sitting in front of the TV. Others have used things like the Wii Fit system.
I’ve found a few articles that might be helpful to others in dealing with the cold weather and chronic pain. Please feel free to comment on coping techniques you use in the winter to stay active or combat cold while dealing with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions.
- Staying Active in the Winter With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Top 10 Exercises for Fibromyalgia Survivors
- 8 Tips for Staying Warm
- Dealing with Arthritis in Winter Weather
- The Aches and Pains of Winter Weather
- 5 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Cold Weather with Chronic Pain
- How to Stay Warm During the Cold Winter Months