5 Self-Care Tips for Perfectionists with Fibromyalgia
Updated: Jun 14
Do you often set unrealistically high standards for yourself? You might be a perfectionist. Have you ever wondered if your perfectionism is behind your Fibromyalgia or making symptoms worse? Are you aware that there is research looking at the personality trait of perfectionism in relation to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), irritable bowel syndrome, and Fibromyalgia?
Keep reading for the most important self-care tips specifically designed for you, the perfectionist with Fibromyalgia.
But first, you may think being a perfectionist isn't such a bad thing. Of course, having high expectations for yourself can be beneficial, but if you take it to extremes, it can be at the cost of your happiness, well-being, and ability to care for yourself, especially when living with Fibromyalgia.
If you're a perfectionist, these 5 self-care tips will guide you to treat yourself more gently and accept yourself just as you are.
1. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Consider how you talk to your friends; think now about if they had made a mistake at something. Would you call them harsh names or say mean things to them. So why would you do that to yourself? Unfortunately, most perfectionists are in the habit of talking to themselves in a less-than-kind way.
Tearing yourself down isn't constructive, though, so make an effort to notice when you're doing it and stop. If you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, make an effort to focus your thoughts on something more positive instead.
2. FORGIVE YOURSELF
Mistakes - no matter how small - can haunt us for days. If you can let go of something you did wrong last week, you'll be freeing up your mind and not wasting thoughts on something that most other people have probably forgotten by now.
It's essential to consciously forgive yourself for making mistakes, even though it might be difficult. Say something like, "I forgive myself. That mistake is in the past, and I will do my best from here on out." Then move forward with your life.
3. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO WELL
When you're a perfectionist, it's all too easy to focus on what you did wrong. Try to get into the habit of thinking about things each day you did right instead. Remember that you can do something well without doing it perfectly!
If you learned something new in a class or your boss complimented you on your latest project, pat yourself on the back for your accomplishment.
4. LEARN TO LAUGH
Finding humor in life is a great way to relax and gain much-needed perspective. If you struggle to see things in life to laugh about regularly, then it's time to seek out something to bring laughter into your life. Whether it's watching comedy shows on Netflix or stand-up shows online, or perhaps you know someone that likes to tell jokes - maybe it's time to give them a call.
When you develop your sense of humor, you'll laugh more and be able to cope with mistakes and negative thoughts more easily.
5. EXPRESS YOURSELF
An excellent way to break free of feeling controlled by perfectionism is allowing yourself to be imperfect - on purpose. Consider finding a way to express yourself or try something new without judgment or criticism, either from yourself or anybody else.
Trying something new might look like starting a creative writing journal, learning a new skill, or working on an art project that you won't show to anybody else—the only rule: your activity must be strictly for fun. The outcome doesn't matter. There's no reason to criticize yourself, only to enjoy yourself.
Perfectionism can take a toll on your mental health and happiness. When you hold yourself to rigid, unrealistic standards, it's the opposite of caring well for yourself. The self-care tips mentioned here will help you adopt a healthier mindset and treat yourself with the patience and compassion you deserve.