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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - trouble keeping occupied



trouble keeping occupied

Any tips on what helps you including alternative medicine.

Moderators: perseus, *Lisa*, FluppyPuffy

trouble keeping occupied

Postby animeemo3 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:03 pm

hi all, me again.
anybody got any tips on keeping occupied? finding it hard to find things now. love knitting, but cannot do it (fingers too cold and stiff, makes pain worse for days), love video games but can't do that either (see before!), can't get out (too painful and stressful), i have no books to read and cannot find the books i love as ebooks (unless ridiculously expensive), not got crafty things about, don't really have people to socialize with and anything else i can think of, i usually don't have the materials or the concentration to do! totally stuck now, been sat here for weeks, with nothing to do other than be inside my own mind and that is not a good thing right now.

side note: after 9 months, apparently my PIP claim is done and i should be getting a letter about it within two weeks. worrying about that too, what if it comes back as denied? i know i can appeal it, but i just dread even more hassle =[
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby Jeany » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:40 pm

I'm the same I find it difficult to keep occupied. What do you do when the pain is so bad you can hardly move, and your friends have given up asking you to join them because they either don't understand your limitations, or just don't want to have to be in the company of someone who is ill all the time and cancels at the last minute.
I spend a time on my laptop, and shop on line. I have bought some lovely clothes on line but unfortunately like you I struggle to go out.

I get my books collected from my local library, and they have given me a pin so that I can order the books I want online, so I find that service really helpful.

Its strange how drastically your life changes isn't it. I used to be always rushing around, and was always busy, and loved a night out. Now I am in bed between 7pm and 8pm, and lead a very boring life for a 57 year old. I do count my blessings though, as things could be worse.

Take care x
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby nuttymoo » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:44 pm

Have you tried doing puzzles like the books with word search in or crosswords, etc. That keeps your brain active, even if you cant move around much. I like to keep my own brain active with puzzles etc. This wouldn't be a very expensive hobby.

What about colouring in rather than necessarily full blown crafts. You can get colouring books called 'Doodle Designs' and they are quite good and more intricate than a kids book or you can get books where you colour in patterns or circular patterns called Mandela's. It depends on how well you can manage and your tastes. I tend to find coloured pencils better than felt pens as you don't get bleed through,but it is very theraputic. The Mandela's are often used as therapy by psychologists etc. Again a quite inexpensive hobby.

I don't know what games you played or on what, but I have a NIntendo DS and find this quite useful for playing games on too. You can also get games with the puzzles on like wordsearch, etc. or ones where it has lots of different games on like cards etc and you play against the computer. You don't get bored as theres many on. You can also get 'games' with all the classics on so you can read on it like a kindle.

These are my favourite things to do each day and with your favourite music playing in the background, you will be nicely relaxed hopefully.

Good luck and gentle hugs coming your way.
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:49 pm

With the main subject of your topic being about help/ideas to try and keep yourself occupied, I've moved you over onto this board.

What about puzzle books such as crosswords, wordsearches etc??? Or something like jigsaws??? For crafty stuff, have you looked into buying things online, saving you running the gauntlet round stores and town. For your hands, there have been a few mentions on here about gloves designed for people with arthritis, might be worth looking into whether they might be suitable for you/could help you with getting back into doing something like knitting.

When you find out about your PIP claim decision, if it's one that you disagree with, post about it on the DWP, Working & Benefits board, and hopefully it will bring you some helpful replies about how to appeal etc.


If your dog doesn't like someone, then you probably shouldn't either
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby Iceman13 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:15 pm

Hi nI find that painting and Art takes up quite alot of time and interest. also photography which most people can do at times through the week. X
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby lala » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:53 pm

Sometimes even trying to think clearly is difficult. It is hard to find something you enjoy doing that doesn't cause pain. How about simple games that you can play online, you don't really have to think much but the time passes by quick. Could you try that?

Someone mentioned about gloves for arthritis sufferers? Can I please have the link to look at these for my parents please, my mother has RA and my dad has OA

Thank you
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby robbiecramp » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:11 pm

I feel exactly the same since my diagnosis and being off work which is now looking like I won't be going back as I can hardly move and typing this is making my hands hurt so won't be a long one. I struggle moving and only go out once a week basically to stop going crazy and it brings pain on for 3-4 days. I don't even go on internet anymore for typing anything its just to go on here really and have literally nothing to do I get really bad hands holding a newspaper to read
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:15 pm



If your dog doesn't like someone, then you probably shouldn't either
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby Origami » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:25 pm

Hi, I have been bed bound for two years and just getting going again. I used the Gutenberg free ebooks library and the Librivox free audio books on my laptop and ipad. They have been my lifeline along with the TV. Hope that helps. Sue.
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby zappa20 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:45 am

Painting by numbers for adults can be quite therapeutic as we'll. Amazon has a variety of pictures including the Masters series which can range from the Monarch Lisa to thoe famous Van Gough Sunflowers and some nice Monet as we'll. I'd like to find some Jack Vettrianos which are painting by numbers as they could make for some nice wall art when finished ,but so far have only found Vettrianos jigsaws. There's also a site I've seen which does portraits of famous people all by numbers.
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby dazzleship » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:53 am

Lego :-D

You're never too old.
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby Gracious » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:43 pm

There are so many issues and life changing aspects that come about with FMS. We stop work, social life deminishes slowly into nothing, friends stop keeping in touch and we are constantly dealing with feeling unwell all the time, with symptons that change moment to moment. So after a while we begin to get fed up, bored, angry, frustrated and to help us cope and deal with it we look for distraction, things to occupy us and our mind.

The problem is you can feel so limited in what you can do because of pain, fatigue and mobility issues. When it all really got difficult for myself I was devastated at having to give up on my interests, work, social and hobbies. But when I started therapy at the Pain Clinic, I learned a few things, not just the importance of pacing, but that ultimately, no matter what I did, I was going to be in pain and suffer fatigue and the mobility issues were going to be there regardless. My therapy was ACT (Acceptance and Commintment Therapy) and one of the most important things I gained for this, was to not give up on the very creative hobbies I loved and found helpful to my wellbeing despite the difficulties and pain etc.

You mentioned you loved to knit, I do to, I stopped it completely and was ready to sell my wool supply and tools. But the real reason I stopped was because I could not knit like I used to. I never stopped to think how can I knit now, and could I accept that its going to be different. I found a way to support my arms, to reduce shoulder stress, I use minimum amount of movement to achieve my stitches to reduce pain in my fingers, wrist etc for as long as possible. Now I still get pain and every time I knit I risk tiggering a migraine, but it makes me feel so good. I only tackle small projects, I pace very carefully, looking at what I need my hands for in that day and coming days to work out how long to knit. Some days its just a few rows others much much more. It hurts to do it but it would hurt to do anything and there is only so many times you can watch a film, listen to music and talking books etc. Being creative gives me the feeling I am useful, not useless. It does not matter that it takes longer, it matters that I haven't given up on something I love and value, that makes me feels good.

Changing the parameters of your past experience and expectations and learning to accept a change in your approach and thinking about doing less and taking longer, helped me alot and ultimately you get the result, a finished knitted garment. It can give you that feel good factor, the mental lift that you can still do things, especially the things you love.

I used to love painting stopped because it hurt too much and I would get so upset and angry I couldn't paint like I used to. So one day I decided lets try a different approach. I allocated two half hours a week, I learned to paint with both hands, alternating to rest the other. It took me nine months to complete my oil painting, it is now framed and hanging on my wall as a reminder that I can still do my beloved hobbies, it is just going to take more thought, better pacing and realistic planning. Is there days it frustrates me, absolutely, but thats my mind talking, trying to persuade me to give up. Well I learned I am more than my mind and my FMS, its only parts of me as is the pain, fatigue etc, but another part of me is creativity and I am not going to give that up I value it too much.

Dont give up on your knitting if you love it so much, especially if its a big part of who you are, afterall, we have to give up so much.

I loved to be busy all of the time, I still am but in a different way, but it took a change in my mindset to see that my rest times for the purposes of pacing were an activity too and just as important for my wellbeing.

If someone had told me a year ago I would be sewing an Arwen Dress (Lord of the Rings) for my niece for Comic Con, I would have said no way, I'm not up to that and haven't sewn in 20 years. When I took on the project everyone said it was going to be too much for me, that I was crazy to demand that of myself. Well I am nearly finished it, just another 1000 beads to attached by hand (killer :crazy: ), but I made the dress and it looks amazing and she loves it. It makes all the pain, fatigue and pacing and some days there were tears, all worth it.

What has come out of doing the dress is that if I can do that, what else could I do if I really put my wholeself into it and planned it carefully to suit my needs. Never say Never.

(Things I've used to occupy myself: Knitting, Learning to Crochet, Painting, Chess, Backgammon, Jigsaws, Sewing, Reading, Playing with my nephew at Power Rangers using his figurines, Flow free App (Addictive), Photography, Photoshop, Binge watching on Netflix, Meditation, Restorative yoga, Solitaire, Furniture making (Little help from Dad), Card Making, Jewellery Making and my favourite for the bad days, a good rest/sleep :sleep: ) and on the good days, time with my sister :-D ) it goes on....

My list is endless now, it was my mind that got in the way of me seeing what I could do and achieve with FMS.

Hope this is of some help
With loving kindness
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby zappa20 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:47 am

Excellent post Gracious, very positive and informative. Hope your niece loves her dress, you should post a photo if you can. xx
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby dotty lotty » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:22 am

Very inspirational Gracious. :teddy-bear:
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Re: trouble keeping occupied

Postby rich44 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:45 am

My hobby used to be the same as work tinkering around with computers but I've had to stop all of that because I can't type and use a mouse. I can just about hold my phone and use that.

I took out an audible subscription so I pick up a couple of audio books each month.

I was an avid book reader but can't hold one in front of me for long now even holding my phone my hands cramp and elbows really hurt.

I try to prop my phone up against something and I do everything on that, music, books, audio books, chatting etc without being able to do that I'd be really fed up.

It's hard enough not being able to play about with stuff the way I used to especially as my brain doesn't work well enough anymore.

I love watching wildlife do manage to get to one of the hides at Pensthorpe sometimes.
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