Dealing with pain that just will not go away is absolutely exhausting so it is essential that you find a way to confront and cope with it. We need to develop coping mechanisms to deal with some of the side effects of chronic pain.
Some lifestyle strategies can help you cope and live with chronic pain. Here are some that may help you.
- Pacing is essential to all chronic pain sufferers. We all know precisely what this means and without pacing ourselves we will feel in worse pain. It can be hard to pace yourself if you are on a good day but if you don’t you may find the following few days even worse. Go gently and do what you can, when you can and do not make too many demands on yourself. If you have something important you want to do but know that this will trigger off more pain then ask someone to help you with it. If you do not ask you will not get help.
- Sorting and prioritising your life is another thing chronic pain sufferers must do. Think of the job you want to do and if it really needs to be done. Can it be done in stages instead of all at once or can it be left for someone else to do it for you?
- Sleep is another essential part of managing your pain. I am an advocate of this and have been for years. I go for an afternoon rest come rain or shine. My body switches off and I sleep for an hour or so and wake up refreshed and ready to deal with the rest of the day even though I am still in pain. Maintaining a sleep routine is vital. I use everything around to help me sleep which includes an electric heat pad, eye mask and earplugs plus we have blackout curtains which I even close for my afternoon rest.
- Plan your week’s goals well ahead so you do not mistake going out for two consecutive days and then ending up in terrible pain. Keep an old fashioned notebook and pen or diary handy to write down your week’s goals.
- Book a monthly session for some acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy massage, osteopathy, or any other type of complementary therapy you think may help. You are worth it and even though some are short-lived that short time without pain is like winning the lottery.
- Finally, exercise, which I know can also stir things up. Just that 10-minute walk around your garden will help to keep those muscles you are not using much from seizing up. In pain, we are in a constant battle between our minds and bodies. But our body needs some movement in order to be able to heal even though our minds are telling us otherwise. If you cannot manage walking then maybe some water exercise, in a bath or a hydrotherapy unit.