The Focus On You

Self-Care Is A Lifestyle

Tag: fibromyalgia (page 2 of 4)

Chronicles From The Bench: How I Handle Being Sidelined

Exactly one year ago I fractured my ankle after a wild Friday night. Nah I’m lying.  I wish there was a cool story behind my ankle injury but it’s the most boring story ever. I missed the bottom step on the stairs while bringing down laundry. Epic. Fail.

When I landed I grabbed my aching foot like a running back after a nasty tackle. Like an athlete, I immediately worried about a broken bone, surgery and having my season end early. It was 2 weeks before Christmas and before a trip to Hawaii.

Luckily I was spared from the surgeon’s knife and only had to wear a boot for a few months.  I really only needed one good foot in the pool anyway!

My lifestyle changed after that injury and I’m not ashamed to say I was frustrated as hell being laid up with an elevated foot, especially when I needed to finish Christmas shopping and decorating.

One year later I take those steps one at a time. I am extremely ginger when walking in heels or boots. It makes me think about the mental warfare we put ourselves through when we’re benched or sidelined. I see this online when people get the flu or cold. Aside from physically feeling like crap, we mentally punish ourselves!

It’s only when we’ve lost something-or almost lost something- that makes us appreciate the little things even more (like my sensitive ankle).

As a fibromyalgia sufferer I appreciate the “healthier” days because a “flare” could knock me on my ass for weeks. When I have a flare I’m lucky that I even make it to work. Having a chronic pain disorder helped reframe my thinking of being “benched.”

Here’s how I now deal with being “benched”:

  1. Make Lemonade: When I had to stay off my feet, I chose to use the rest of my body instead. I wrote, blogged, typed and researched my tail off. When one of our senses is weak, our other senses will naturally kick in. Make lemonade out of your situation. I also used the time to clean out bedroom and bathroom drawers.
  2. Give Myself A Pass: How many people moan and groan about wanting to hide under the covers all day? Yet, when we’re knocked on our ass with a flu we’re dying of boredom and frustration. We’re tallying off the list in our head of what needs to get done. I’ll admit that I shake my fist at the sky when my daily tasks won’t get done. Instead, let’s look at our list of things we would LOVE to do in bed all day: catch up on DVR’ed shows, finish that dusty book on the nightstand, dig into that coloring book, binge watch a Netflix show or play on our tablet.
  3. Sleep: There’s no poetic way to describe this one. All the experts will say, “you never really catch up on sleep.” I call BS. You can’t tell me 9 hours of sleep is gonna hurt me. I dare you to try. Think of sleep as a reward for your hard work. It costs nothing and is good for your skin!

Whether you’re sidelined because of sudden injury (please take the stairs slowly) or sudden illness, take advantage of this self-care moment. If you continue getting sick, maybe you need to listen to your body. Click To Tweet

I was forced to listen to my body when it screamed bloody murder when I first felt the symptoms of fibro. I wouldn’t wish those screams on anyone.

Remember, self-care isn’t selfish. Consider this time your ally and not your enemy. And most importantly, heal completely!!

Why Anjou Naturals Essential Oils Are A Must This Spring!  

I received these products for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% my own and I truly enjoyed testing out this product! This information does not substitute for medical advice.

As a fibromyalgia sufferer I understand the complexity of trying to manage painful symptoms. For personal reasons, I use holistic methods for relaxation, aches and stress relief. Part of my fibromyalgia discomfort increases in the spring because of allergies and sinus pressure. Is anyone else sniffling and sneezing like me?!!!

Allergy season is the perfect time to test out a new box of essential oils from Anjou Naturals! I appreciated the fact that Anjou Naturals uses no fillers or synthetics and their products are FDA/USDA tested and approved.

Here are the products I received!  Essential Oils from L to R: Lavender,  Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Lemongrass, Tea Tree. spring


I have never used Sweet Orange Essential Oil but have heard about its therapeutic properties. The scent of citrus can be useful in room sprays, especially to help cleanse energy from a room. As a therapist, I usually spray Lavender scents within my office to promote peace and calm.

I placed a few drops of the Sweet Orange oil on a cotton ball, zipped it in a plastic bag and placed it near the vent in my office. It definitely provided a clean and fresh scent that makes my office more inviting! I also plan on using an oil diffuser in my home to spread this citrusy scent throughout the house!

Spring allergies have been particularly rough for me and my husband this year. The Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oils are all beneficial in helping sinus passage ways. Mix one drop of Eucalytpus or Peppermint Oil in a bowl of steaming water. Place your head over the bowl and inhale the steam. This is also a good home remedy for a cold. I rub one drop of peppermint oil with face moisturizer and rub it on my temples before work. It acts as a stress reliever and is helpful when I have sinus pressure. This can also be added to a cotton ball and placed in a bag to carry with you!

These three oils are now stored in my bathroom to be added to warm baths, foot soaks or to lotions for sinus relief and to relieve achy muscles.




I have also learned that placing a drop of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree or Sweet Orange Oil to your washing machine or clothes dryer can help with musty smells! Tea Tree Oil is frequently used in cleaning products for its antiseptic properties.

Spring cleaning?? These oils would be an easy addition to your cleaning regimen! During allergy season I have to wash my dogs’ blankets and bedding more often since they bring in dust and pollen on their fur.

Anjou Naturals was smart for packaging both the Coconut Oil and Essential Oils together.  The oils obviously won’t mix well with water but coconut oil is the perfect binding agent for most of  your beauty needs.



Personally, I use coconut oil as a weekly leave-in hair conditioner, cuticle rub, lip balm at night, for cooking and as an additive in my dog’s food. Has anyone ever refried fresh pinto beans with coconut oil?? Mmmm….it’s my favorite! But don’t forget to separate your bottle of coconut oil so you can keep one for your beauty routine!

With so many chemicals that are added to our everyday products, I feel better knowing that by simply adding Anjou Naturals Essential Oils and Coconut Oil to my health and beauty regimen, I’m treating my body like the temple it is!!

Which oils would benefit you?? 

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