When I was 30 years old, I felt like my life was just starting to thrive. I was happy in my career as a B.Ed. Foundation Phase Teacher. I am a mother of two wonderful children and have a loving husband. I had everything I ever dreamed about.

Then, my doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. This is a chronic illness that consists of widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Many individuals with fibromyalgia experience psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety. These can be due to the chronic pain and fatigue associated with the condition, which can significantly impact quality of life and mental health. I suffer from intense brain fog. In general, I feel like a 30-year-old in the body of an 80-year-old person.

When I got my diagnosis, I actually felt relieved. I cried tears of joy because I finally knew what was happening with my body. I knew this was happening now and had to work through it.

I had to make some tough decisions. I had to choose between my passion for teaching and my family. I always dreamed about being a teacher and making a difference in a child’s life. However, I got so caught up in my work that I completely forgot to take care of myself and did not have time for my family because I was constantly tired. In the end, I left my dream job. I chose my family above everything and am happy I chose them.

Life gave me a challenge, and it could have gotten me down. But I learned some tips and tricks to keep my peace.

This is how I started to create my own peace:

Finding the Now Moment;
I had never really understood the term “The Now.” My psychologist explains it as a moment when you feel connected to everything around you all at once. In the Now Moment, you do not think of the past or future; only focus on the present. Doing this makes you realise that you are always okay in the Now Moment.

Guided breathing exercises;
I started practising breathing exercises by watching a 16-minute YouTube video my psychologist recommended (Watch here). The video guides you through the exercise. I felt so good after doing it the first time that I immediately subscribed to the channel.

When doing guided breathing exercises, I usually lay flat on my back with my eyes closed on my bed while listening to the voice that guides me to peace.

Gentle exercise;
Early morning Tai Chi in the living room has been an excellent activity for me. Thai Chi uses slow, flowing movements, which makes me feel safe and at peace. This is my favourite YouTube playlist for my Tai Chi. (Watch here).

Yoga is well known for its mental health and physical benefits. I follow a yoga channel on YouTube by a woman who also has Fibromyalgia (Watch here).

Alone Time;
When I am alone, I can think more clearly and reflect better on situations that may have caused conflict within.

Feeling the earth with my hands helps me to release tension.

I take long Epsom salt baths to help with the aches caused by tension build-ups in my body.

Daily journaling makes me feel less heavy.

Inner-child work;
To find inner peace, you need to make peace with your inner child. I connect with my inner child by doing fun activities like playing outside with my children or making art with my non-dominant hand.

When I do these exercises, I create my own Now Moment. It makes it easier to deal with my Fibromyalgia. I used to be so scared. Scared that what was happening to me might take away everything I love. But I have never seen things as clearly as I do now. This disease will not define me; it is not who I am. I am in my truest form when I am in the Now Moment. This journey is challenging, but I genuinely enjoy embracing who I am.

Tell us: Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? Do you have any tips to add?