So another International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day has passed…time to recover and take a breath – but what then? Are you going to wait until next year to promote awareness of FM?
From Fibro Daily:
The efforts of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day shouldn’t be relegated to May 12th. Instead, they should infuse the whole calendar with the Fibro Warrior Spirit.
So short of storming the castle and scribbling all over accessible calendars, how do you infuse that Fibro Warrior Spirit into the days beyond May 12th?
Well, really…you should storm the castle.
Think of the castle as all the entities that resist Fibromyalgia, rolled into one, then storm it with your charm, determination, and wit. Organize the non-Fibro castle with a ferocity that makes a knight take notice! After all, this is your health we’re talking about. Your life. Don’t play proper!
Play strategically, with a smile. A Fibro Warrior smile.
By doing so, you’ll invoke change.
Ways to Strategically Invoke the Fibro Warrior Spirit:
1. Develop a social media presence.
Start a Facebook page and Twitter account that focuses on raising Fibro Awareness. Ask people you know or who are on your personal page to like and follow the cause, then spread the word.
To develop a strong following, you must consistently post relevant posts. The internet is FULL of these, so start researching and posting! A Fibro Warrior searches every nook and cranny for “bootie”.
Again, social media is going to play a huge part in this effort because you will organize meetings via the social media sites. Even if only one person responds to your meeting request posts, forge ahead!
To prepare for this meeting, take paper, pens, and highlighters for those who might not feel comfortable using technology to take notes. A Fibro Warrior always carries supplies.
Why do you need to take notes?
Because you are going to brainstorm ideas about how to publicize Fibro Awareness in your community and to do so, you need to keep that arch enemy Fibro Fog at bay.
A good way to start publicizing is by giving free Fibromyalgia presentations at local meeting spaces, such as the YMCA. Make a list of those types of places. Make sure to include:
- yoga studios
Focusing on beauty and health businesses makes sense, as their clientele are more attuned to wellness. Also, such businesses tend to be frequented by women, which is your target audience as more women are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia than men. However, don’t forget the men! Their pain remains severely unacknowledged.
At the very least, all presentations should feature an explanation on the history, diagnosis, and research of Fibromyalgia.
3. After brainstorming, approach local businesses about using their space to give a presentation on Fibromyalgia.
That means you also need to:
- Ask if the business is willing to hang flyers prior to the event.
- Ask the owners/employees/fitness instructors to make an announcement before each class/session they lead.
- Make sure to network the right way! You want to let the public know when a business has helped your efforts. That means you should give them a public thanks by mentioning them on social media and in promotional materials.
- Hit up as many businesses as possible to reach as many people as possible. You can use your Fibromyalgia group to divvy up presentation responsibilities—i.e., one person does the approaching, one does the presenting, one handles the promotions.
A victorious Fibro Warrior knows how to delegate and appreciate.
4. Use every endeavor—meetings, presentations, and interviews—to further the cause.
Make a sign-in sheet and request that people leave their name and Facebook/Twitter info. Prominently display your own contact info so people can like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.
Once you have the contact info, add them to your friends and keep them informed of all you are doing. The more people you tell, the more people will share.
Consider this info collection your Fibro Warrior battle cry.
5. Learn to write a press release. You can easily research this online.
After building substantial support and giving a few presentations, send out a press release about upcoming presentations to:
- local TV station
- local radio stations
- Fibro websites and podcasts
Local media personalities are always looking for positive stories about the community. In the press release, include all the online success you have had plus the presentations you’ve given. Mention that you’d love to share more about your Fibro Warrior efforts over an interview.
If they say no, don’t let them off so easily. Contact them again, at a later date. A Fibro Warrior always keeps the target in sight.
6. Fight for Fibromyalgia legislation on a city, state, and national level.
(For USA) Check out government websites to see if the ones you are focusing on have released any proclamations about recognizing Fibromyalgia.
Also, a very handy map can be found at http://fmcpaware.org/resolutions-and-proclamations?sid=640
If you click on a state, it will reveal what fibromyalgia legislation the state has passed.
If your city/state doesn’t have any, it’s time to start:
- writing letters
- writing emails
- making phones calls
to government officials. You can find their names via search engines and government websites. Include any press releases and media coverage you have received. Politicians like numbers (surprise!) If you are making a positive wave in their community, they’ll want to hitch a ride.
Remain diligent on follow-through with the politicians you contact. So many efforts fail because of a lack of follow-through. Just because a contact don’t respond right away doesn’t equate to wasted efforts. You just have to outlast the politicians’ determination to ignore. Don’t get used to being ignored. Fibro Warriors stand tall and proud even in the face of adversity!
7. Breathe. Laugh. Live.
In order to succeed as a Fibro Warrior, you must live your life to the fullest.
Don’t let Fibromyalgia prevent you from doing that.
Enjoy a hot bath. A massage. Eat a luxurious meal. Nap. Spend time with family and friends. Work. Do yoga.
By pursuing activities outside of the Fibromyalgia realm, you will actually strengthen the Fibromyalgia realm. That’s because you’ll see it with a refreshed, renewed vision.
Remember: You are a Fibro Warrior, so invoke and change. Some people don’t even think you exist, but those people don’t know what’s about to hit them.