Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy things that make it so much easier to cope with Fibromyalgia (and life in general) and that, in turn, buys happiness. So in the lead up to Christmas, here are my top 10 things that you should buy yourself or a friend who is in need of some treats.
#1 – Invest in good bedding
I did this for the first time quite recently and now when I sleep in my old bedding it feels like getting into bed with shards of glass. Look at the thread count and treat yourself to some soft and silky bedding in warm, calming colours. Once your bed becomes this wonderful, it won’t be quite so bad on those bedridden days.
#2 – Get an electric blanket
People seem to make fun of me and my electric blanket. I think they’re meant for old people in the 1980s, but I don’t care because they’re wonderful. They’re a soft layer between your sheet and your mattress and you have complete control over how much heat you want. Warning – don’t fall asleep and leave the blanket on. I’ve done that many times and woken up like a rasher of fried bacon.
#3 – Treat yourself to scented candles
Not just scented candles, but good scented candles. I love Yankee Candles, they last a long time and give off wonderful smells. Their range is huge so there’s bound to be able to find something you like. I recently bought Cinnamon Stick for the lead up to Christmas and I have Clean Cotton for the bathroom. It’s very refreshing and leaves me feeling calmer in every room of the flat. Smells are important to help you feel relaxed.
#4 – Proper shoes
Good shoes are the most important things in the world. I recently saw something on Pinterest that said, “If you’re not in your bed you’re in your shoes, so be sure to invest in both.” I tell you, Pinterest is so wise. Seriously, buy good shoes. I love Clarks shoes so much I refuse to shop anywhere else. That said, if you know of any other shoe shops that specialise in comfy shoes you swear by then do let me know. I can never have too many good shoe shops.
#5 – Herbal heat packs
These aren’t expensive, but the trick is to buy them regularly. Over time they start to lose that calming, soothing smell and they start to smell like burnt rice. You should buy a new one at least twice a year (assuming you use them regularly) to make sure you’re getting the best out of them, and you should have two at home and one at work. Minimum.
#6 – Indulge in a good massage
When you find a good massage therapist, do not let them go. I found one once; I had an aromatherapy massage that was absolutely incredible. The therapist checked the pressure was okay, played soft soothing music and I drifted away on a pain-free cloud. Unfortunately I moved cities shortly afterwards and the next massage I had was pretty awful. It was hard, the woman chatted to me throughout the entire thing, and I came away feeling a bit bruised – and a bit bored. Find a good massage therapist and then, trust me, don’t let him or her out of your sight. They’re expensive but they’re totally worth it.
#7 – Get good exercise equipment
You know that feeling you get when you put on a new dress that fits you just perfectly? You feel pretty and sexy and it makes you want to go drinking and dancing all night long. And you know that feeling you get when you put on brand new pyjamas and make your bed with that brand new bedding I mentioned earlier? It makes you desperate for night time to come, just so you can get settled under the sheets.
So by this logic, treat yourself to some good exercise equipment that makes you feel ready for anything and you’ll find that you’re desperate to get to the gym. I bought myself a sporty swim suit and a waterproof iPod, which I wrote about here, and really enjoyed going to the pool just to use all my fancy new equipment. I know, it’s ridiculous. But it works.
#8 – Splurge on some sunshine
I know we don’t all have money to burn, but if you can get away to some sunshine at least once a year then you really should. Lying in the warm sun makes your body feel calm and protected, instead of tense and rigid in the cold British weather. The vitamin D does you good and we’re all happier on holiday.
#9 – Lightweight backpack
I shouldn’t condone all this bag and shoe shopping, but a good backpack is truly worth it. The bags spread the weight so they’re nice and healthy and they’re on trend so, y’know, why would you not?
#10 – Splurge on winter warmers
If you can’t get away to some sunshine during the winter period, invest in some good winter warmers. Thermal underwear is all the rage with cool people (geddit?!) so join us in wearing multiple layers under your normal clothes. Marks & Spencer do this Heatgen range and I’m particularly fond of the body, the leggings and the long-sleeved tops.
I hope you get some lovely treats this Christmas to keep you warm and healthy. And don’t forget to treat yourself too!