When you have a good day … celebrate! Don’t overdo it, but do something you really enjoy. Making good memories can help you get through those no-good days of a flare. Let’s look at some ways to deal with those very bad FM days.

I suggest finding ways to distract yourself from the pain and stress that a flare can cause. Even if you find just one of these suggestions to be helpful, I will have accomplished my goal.

1. Read a good book or magazine: When my pain is bad, I like to make a cup of tea and curl up in my recliner with a good book. I can sit there only for an hour or two and then I skip down to idea No. 6 — binge-watching Netflix. If you’re more into magazines, have a few on hand you haven’t read yet.

2. Listen to your favorite music: I enjoy worship music or contemporary country music. Music has always been a good distraction for me. Whatever you enjoy listening to, listen to that.

3. Prayer or meditation: It’s good to center yourself by meditating on scripture or positive thoughts. Praying can keep you focused on others and their needs, and keep you from navel-gazing on your own. I know I’m guilty of this when FM brings a bad day for me. I need to get my mind off myself.

4. Give yourself a break: If you’re like me, you might have high expectations for yourself. On bad days, however, you need to cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission to say no. No to the dishes, no to the laundry, no to lengthy conversations, no to unreasonable demands placed on you by others. Stay in your pajamas, if you can, and relax as much as possible.

5. Medicate proactively: As a medical professional and a patient, I’ve always been told to stay ahead of the pain. If you wait until it’s really bad, it takes your body much longer to catch up to the pain. Take your meds on time and don’t skip doses.

6. Binge-watch Netflix: For me, there is nothing more relaxing and distracting from my fibro pain than losing myself in a great series or movie on Netflix. I can get caught up in someone else’s drama for a while. Do you have favorite shows you enjoy watching?

7. Keep a list of what works for you: It’s much harder in the midst of a flare to remember things that may have worked for you in the past. Once the flare passes, write a list of things that proved to be helpful to you. Keep it somewhere handy for the next time.

8. Do gentle stretches: Doing some gentle stretches or yoga may help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort you’re feeling. There’s a book available on Amazon called Yoga in Bed For All Ages and the Kindle version is currently free.

Remember, no one knows your body or your FM pain better than you do. Being proactive will have positive results, not just physically, but also emotionally.

What things have you tried that work for you?