7 Ways to Ease Fibromyalgia Fatigue and Boost Energy

Stay ahead of symptoms with these lifestyle tweaks.

Updated on June 6, 2023

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Pain is likely the fibromyalgia symptom that holds your attention the most. But when you have fibromyalgia, fatigue can be just as insistent. To make matters worse, fatigue can intensify pain and make it harder to cope.

The good news is that you can break or at least minimize this cycle by taking practical steps to ease fibromyalgia fatigue and elevate your energy. The first move: Listen to your body. When you learn to recognize the earliest stages of exhaustion, you can do something about it before the effects amplify.

a middle aged white woman in workout clothing walks across a grassy hill on a cloudy day
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Work Exercise Into Your Day

When you're often tired, it's very tempting to stay in bed through the morning and spend evenings on the couch. While it’s important when you have fibromyalgia to get extra rest and take breaks from activity, getting regular exercise can help manage symptoms.

First, check with your healthcare provider (HCP) to discuss smart exercise choices for you. Then get moving, even a little bit every day. A simple 10-minute walk every day can be helpful. You can gradually increase the amount and intensity of activity as your HCP recommends.

a Black woman writes with a dry erase marker on a scheduling board
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Keep Your Schedule Simple

You're no doubt aware of how excessive stress can trigger or exacerbate your fibromyalgia fatigue. In fact, some research suggests that the onset of fibromyalgia could be triggered by a severely stressful event, such as a divorce, a job loss, or the death of a loved one.

To manage your stress levels, it can help to practice saying no. Not overcommitting is one of the best ways to keep yourself from feeling stressed, which can help control your fibromyalgia symptoms. Use a day planner and limit the number of things you schedule in a single day or week.

a middle aged Asian woman with pain in her neck rests her neck against her hand while she works at her desk
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Pace Yourself

Do you always push to the end, even though you're starting to feel exhausted? It may be time to learn how to pace yourself to avoid fibromyalgia fatigue. If you can’t trust yourself to stop before you get tired, plan out your projects in chunks from the start.

That might mean breaking up laundry duties into two days. When you exercise, consider three short sessions spaced out instead of one longer one. Schedule a sitting break for yourself when you run errands. Above all, resist the temptation to overdo it on your "good" days. Aim to accomplish the same number of tasks on good days as you do on bad days.

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Be Strategic About Napping

Naps can't make up for a chronic lack of nighttime sleep, which is a common problem for people with fibromyalgia. And in many cases—such as if you nap for too long or too close to bedtime—they can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep.

But a quick nap or midday rest can help minimize fibromyalgia fatigue and help you recharge your batteries. Just limit yourself to a 15- or 20-minute power nap and take them earlier in the day. And if you're tossing and turning at night, talk with your HCP about steps you can take to sleep more soundly.

an overweight Black woman slices an avocado while she makes a healthy meal in a sunny kitchen
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Eat An Energizing Diet

Eating a healthful diet is important for everyone, but when you are living with fibromyalgia, it's critical. A nutritious, well-balanced diet that includes fiber-rich complex carbohydrates can help keep your energy levels steady so you don't experience low blood sugar levels—a condition that can make you feel even more tired.

Aim to include lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthful fats. And certain supplements—such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and coenzyme Q10—may be helpful, too. Talk with your HCP about any supplements you are considering taking.

a middle aged Latina woman with short gray hair sits smiling and meditating in a yoga pose
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Stay Positive About Fibromyalgia

It’s normal to feel down sometimes. But staying down is not, and it may make your fibromyalgia fatigue and pain feel worse.

To foster a more positive attitude, start by saying, "I have fibromyalgia," and accepting it as a fact of your life. Then focus on the things you can control. More importantly, recognize that there are tools you can use to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms and counter the emotional impact, as well. Explore good therapies such as positive visualization and self-talk, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or meditation.

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Ask for Help

When your fibromyalgia fatigue simply won't fade, no matter how many energizing remedies you've tried, it may be time to ask for help. Remember, there is no shame in seeking the support of loved ones, friends, and colleagues when the going gets tough. Let go of the notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness. In fact, it's a sign of strength, because you've recognized the power of a helping hand in managing fibromyalgia.

So consider asking a friend to run a must-do errand, or your partner to cook dinner for a couple of nights, or your kids to help a bit more with the housework. It may be just enough to help you rejuvenate your energy stores.

Slideshow sources open slideshow sources

Bilodeau, K. Fibromyalgia: Exercise helps — here’s how to start. Harvard Health Publishing. October 13, 2020.
Mayo Clinic. Fibromyalgia. October 26, 2021.
Arthritis Today Magazine. Arthritis Foundation. Fibromyalgia and Sleep. Accessed June 6, 2023.
University of Florida College of Medicine Center for Musculoskeletal Pain Research. Fibromyalgia Sleep Help. Accessed June 6, 2023.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Fibromyalgia: In Depth. Last Updated: May 2016.
Gharibpoor, F., Ghavidel-Parsa, B., Sattari, N. et al. Effect of vitamin B12 on the symptom severity and psychological profile of fibromyalgia patients; a prospective pre-post study. BMC Rheumatol 6, 51 (2022).
Sawaddiruk P, Apaijai N, Paiboonworachat S, et al. Coenzyme Q10 supplementation alleviates pain in pregabalin-treated fibromyalgia patients via reducing brain activity and mitochondrial dysfunction. Free Radic Res. 2019;53(8):901-909.
Pagliai G, Giangrandi I, Dinu M, Sofi F, Colombini B. Nutritional Interventions in the Management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Nutrients. 2020;12(9):2525. Published 2020 Aug 20.

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