#FibromyalgiaDiaries: A morning routine to help battle fibromyalgia

Sticking to a set routine certainly helps with reducing stress levels, which in turn assists with managing pain symptoms. For me, the morning hours are essential, and also tell me how the rest of my day will go. I have learnt to listen to my body and I am fortunate to be able to dictate my terms on most days. I balance two brands and the work for both are vastly different and each day is different. Which is why certain hours of the day need to be regularised and predictable to help me balance my mind. The mornings are the best time to fit in those small rituals.

I never set an alarm because I allow my body to get as much rest as possible. I like to rise between 5.30 AM and 6.30 AM and spend a few moments in bed and assessing what my body feels. I never keep an alarm unless I have a travel schedule, and allow my body to rise when it is ready. My mornings need to be calm and quiet and that is also the time I can monitor my body, see how I’m feeling that particular moment, and predict how the rest of the day will be in terms of movement and pain tolerance. On some days, I do go back to rest for a while if my body hurts, but most of the days I spend quality time with myself – with music on, either reading a book, doing research work, writing – whatever comes to mind. And it’s in those moments when inspiration strikes and creative juices start to flow the best.

Upon rising I first drink a glass of water which has basil seeds (raw sabja seeds) soaked overnight – this has helped with bloating and boosting my metabolism. I’ve been doing this for over a year and seen a great difference overall.

I follow up with a cappuccino with a teaspoon of either Chai Masala or Chai Masala Hot Cocoa – this helps with soothing my digestive system. I drink almost a litre of water within the first hour or so from a copper bottle, again which helps the gut.

I “work in bed” for a few hours with music on, with the playlist depending on my mood of the morning. During this time, a face massage with hands or Kansa Wand takes place, hair oil massage or face masking; at least one thing happens. If my body skin feels too dry – one of the biggest trouble I face with fibromyalgia – I apply an oil all over again – especially my arms and legs and let it sink in. For this I am partial to either Rose After Bath + Face Oil for its mild, soothing and uplifting scent (roses are my weakness if you haven’t noticed!). If I’m in pain, then Moringa Cold Pressed Oil is my choice, especially for the hips and wrists.

I work in bed until it’s time to move out – either research work, replying emails, planning social media posts or mostly any work that requires a bit of inspiration and creativity as the mornings work best for me. Occasionally I will read a book if I didn’t get time the night before.

I do weight training three times a week with my trainer in the mornings – this has helped me maintain my weight and also strengthen my muscles. She has been with me for many years and understands what my body needs and when it needs rest. Weight training has really helped me and you can read more about the benefits in this article here.

My get ready time is very important, because I use layers of oils before and after. Each shower ends with a drenching of one of the after bath oils – depending on my mood. The creation of the after bath oils began when I needed something quick, functional, and therapeutic for nourishing my skin with minimal efforts. Getting that step done within the shower was ideal for me! The scent does wonders to motivate my mood. If hair needs shampooing (three times a week), I use a spritz of Jojoba Cold Pressed Oil as a serum for the lengths. I always air dry, using a wide tooth comb to remove knots. Once they are dry, I use a round brush to manage the tresses (I rarely used a hair dryer).

Breakfast always consists of a fruit, coconut water and occasionally a hot dish. If the day started at 5.30 AM then most definitely a large second coffee is required. Past 10.30 AM it is only tea.

I am blessed to have varying work routines depending on consulting projects and trials. I either work from home if I need to do trials in the kitchen or from my office where my team sits. Lunch tiffin always comes from home which includes a dal, vegetable, rice and yoghurt (I avoid roti as much as possible). Sticking to a routine is tough for the rest of the day. But a few constants are tea at afternoon and an early meal by 7 PM.

Afternoons need a cup of black tea with a drop of milk – my favourite being Plum + Roses Brew or a classic English Breakfast Tea. I try to avoid snacking in between, but if I do, there are no rules – it could from a large sandwich, to cookies to a slice of fruit!

Evenings are usually spent in the garden walking with my mum or playing with my niece. Dinner can be anything, but I have felt better when it is more protein heavy meal and most importantly, I am in bed by 9 PM and most likely asleep before 10 PM. I feel when I don’t do this routine for a couple of nights, it greatly affects my fatigue levels and brain fog.

A few times of the week I drink a cup of Calming Brew in bed. I use a weighted blanket because I do tend to move a lot in my sleep and yes, I have a security blanket since my childhood days that goes with me everywhere! I rarely watch television especially at night because I find it overstimulates me, and the same happens if I’m reading a very juicy book. I try my best to not see Instagram, but so far have been very unsuccessful!

A few goals for the year ahead to achieve are:

  1. Put away the phones and laptop for at least an hour upon rising and before bed
  2. Include more protein into my daily life
  3. Learn a new fitness skill
  4. Read more non-fiction books!

Here is a helpful downloadable Morning Ritual Checklist that you can use: here.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in the bones and muscles. The medical community finds the condition difficult to diagnose due to its similarity with other chronic pain illnesses like osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. The difference between these conditions and fibromyalgia is in the areas of pain – in the former, you are racked with pain in specific areas, but in fibromyalgia, the pain is widespread. That's why diagnosis is made by the process of elimination. Here's an interesting fact: records show over 90% of fibromyalgia sufferers are women.

DISCLAIMER: All opinions and suggestions shared are from our Founder’s detailed research and experiences in managing symptoms in her own battle with fibromyalgia