Reprinted with the kind permission of Sue Ingebretson
Do the risks of isolation relate to your fibromyalgia? Read on to see the connection. And, don’t miss out on the tips to remedy these concerns!
In Part 3 of this series on isolation, we’ll wrap up both risks and remedies.
How this Relates to Fibromyalgia
While it’s obvious to most of us here, fibromyalgia patients have a greater likelihood to feel isolated than the average population. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can be one of the most devastating and isolating experiences one can go through.
The studies mentioned above were clear to report that feeling a sense of isolation was an individualized experience. As mentioned earlier in this series, a sense of isolation doesn’t depend on whether or not there are others around you. Some of us may even feel a greater sense of loneliness in a crowded room than when completely alone.
Because we have a greater tendency (than the general population) to withdraw from social activities, it takes an extra effort to overcome this natural inclination. The first step, as with most things, is becoming aware of the problem. Once we’re aware of the impact of feeling socially disconnected, it’s time to take action.
Tips and Remedies for the Risks of Isolation
Besides interacting with your immediate friends and family, the following list shows a few ways to engage and to get plugged in to your community:
Join in activities at your local church, community center, sports clubs, and meetup groups
Join local support groups for those with chronic illness and for caregivers
Join a local gym or fitness center
Join a club that interests you: books, cards, sports, etc.
Take a class and learn something new that interests you: cooking, language, crafts, hobbies, gardening, etc.
Volunteer at your local church, school, animal shelters, veterinary office, hospital, or senior center
Do you feel your disability prevents or hinders you from participating in any of the above activities?
If you still feel socially disconnected, it may benefit you to seek the help of a social worker, therapist, disability advocate, clergy, or health coach. Simply sharing your concerns can help you to feel a greater sense of connection and community.
When we, as a supportive fibromyalgia community, share our feelings, frustrations, and hopes, we join in a collective experience. The result is a strengthened bond of understanding among us as well as creating a unified voice to share in the world.
people when they feel seen, heard, and valued;
when they can give and receive without judgment;
and when they derive sustenance and strength
from the relationship.”
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~ Brene’ Brown ~
Looking for the prior parts of this 3 Part series? Look no further!
Sue Ingebretson is the Natural Healing Editor for ProHealth.com as well as a frequent contributor to ProHealth's Fibromyalgia site. She’s an Amazon best-selling author, speaker, and workshop leader. Additionally, Sue is an Integrative Nutrition & Health Coach, a Certified Nutritional Therapist, a Master NLP Practitioner, and the director of program development for the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton. You can find out more and contact Sue at www.RebuildingWellness.com.