Tips to Make Your Home a “Fibro Safe Haven”

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Fibromyalgia onset is fairly often preceded by a trauma to the body.  Fibro flares are often triggered by “soft” traumas such as bright lights, loud noise, crowds, weather change, etc. After suffering since the young age of 9 with hyper-chemical sensitivity to environmental toxins, I do believe that I and others with (MCS) Multiple Chemical Sensitivity are like “toxin detectives”.

For instance, during outdoor activities or simply outside in my own yard, I sometimes have to ‘change course’ because the exposure to dryer sheet toxins or synthetic laundry fragrances wafting from a neighbors laundry vents can make me ill. And because I also have severe fibromyalgia, I’m 100% convinced of the correlation between toxin exposure and worsening fibro symptoms

The important point to understand is that MCS people react to toxic substances, and these toxins to which we do react are also unhealthy for non MCS people, and, I believe, especially for those suffering from fibro.

Make your environment fibro-friendly

So what do you do when home becomes hazardous to your health due to various aspects of the environment you live in on a daily basis? Rather than allowing your home to be an obstacle course, make it fibro-friendly! This may sound easier said than done, but there are simple steps you can take to create an environment that is conducive to the lifestyle necessary in reducing pain and minimizing triggers and pitfalls.

Minimize stress at home

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from chronic pain find themselves spending more time at home than they’d like because of their pain. But, being at home because of your pain does not mean that you can’t take steps to make your home life more enjoyable despite your pain. With a few lifestyle changes and tweaks to your home life, you can minimize your pain and make being at home more relaxing and comfortable.

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Hire a housekeeper

If the state of your home is adding to your level of stress, hire a housekeeper. If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a housekeeper, consider the factors that impact your price including the size of the space she would clean, how frequently she would clean, and how cluttered your home is. You may be surprised to find that a housekeeper will clean areas that are difficult for you to clean on a weekly basis for a low flat rate if you keep them organized and free of clutter; for example, some housekeepers clean bathrooms every week but leave the rest of the cleaning to the homeowner.

Home has become your safe haven

Whether out of necessity or desire, those dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia spend more time in their homes than the average person. It could be due to the pain, flare-ups and fatigue that hinder excursions, running errands and various outdoor activities; or possibly due to the fact that you do not work outside the home or that home has become your safe haven.

Spend more time with family

We should be spending quality time with each of our family members.  Many   times the mom spends time with her children and forgets (or doesn’t see the importance) to spend time with her spouse.  Don’t neglect spending quality time with your family.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is just one of the carcinogenic chemicals that contribute to our toxic environment. Many people are exposed to it every day and don’t even know it. It’s often part of new car smell, new clothing, carpet, and body products. We have to be willing to make adjustments and not be so attached to things that can easily add to the complexity of our fibromyalgia symptoms.

Show unconditional love to your family

Unconditional love can flourish when we allow our children their humanity. I don’t know about you, but my humanity is flawed, messy and downright frustrating most days. I mess up a lot and often with the same things over and over! I know what comes out of expecting perfection from me, and it’s nothing good (unless you’re fond of shame and self-doubt as a motivator).

Adjustments you can make to your home

Most tasks we perform on a daily basis require some level of bending, reaching, lifting and pulling all of which cause pain and often lead to flare-ups. There are adjustments you can make to your home and movements, as well as tools you can acquire to make life easier and create a safe haven for you.

For instance, use a stool in the kitchen while preparing food or cooking. If you feel more comfortable standing, try using a footstool so you can alternate propping your foot on it, shifting your weight during the task. The same stool can be used to step up on to reach items on shelves, and if you have to stand to sort laundry or iron in your laundry room.

Set an atmosphere of godly transparency

Our home should be one of encouragement, accountability, and transparency.  We should be the first to say, “I am struggling with this” or “I have sinned and I am sorry”.  When those in our home see a transparency they will be more likely to share when they are hurting, upset, in sin, or need help.   We should not be above asking the people in our home for help even if it seems small and petty.

Assign certain drawers

Creating a less stressful environment in your home also comes down to organization. Some days a flare-up, complete with fibro fog, can cause even the simplest of tasks to be challenging. For that reason, I assign certain drawers where essentials are kept and each item placed in the exact same spot so I don’t have to think about where to look.

For instance, my bathroom drawer is organized so the toothpaste tube is always in the exact same spot, the night cream on the left, and my medicine in the middle. Sounds simplistic, but those of you who understand fibro fog, know how even the most minute details can fade from your mind on a fog day.

 

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Reference:

Adriel’s tips for creating a fibro safe haven via New life outlook

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