Learn how to pace activities by breaking them down into smaller manageable task.
Pacing helps inform limitations. Setting a baseline helps to stop before the pains kicks in.
Balancing activities includes resting and pacing the activities. Always keep track of exercises, leisure, and physical activities.
Learn to Relax
Relaxation of any type is effective for pain management. Relaxation exercises can take some pain away, and make it a little easier to tolerate.
Some of relaxation activities include deep breathing, relaxation to control pain, guided, imagery, cognitive distraction, and humor.
Research shows that more sleep may also improve the ability to manage pain. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Maintaining a regular schedule for waking and going to sleep will help with getting quality sleep.
Some factors that will disturb sleep include medications, eating and drinking habits, smoking, stress, and physical problems.
Strategies to improve sleep vary between people, but can include managing the temperature and lighting in your room, decreasing TV or electronic screen viewing time before bed, decreasing fluid intake (including caffeine), exercising later in the day or music therapy.
Relationship and Pain
Living with chronic pain can affect relationships with loved ones.
The following strategies can help maintain those relationships:
- Learn to communicate effectively
- Share with family and friends
- Develop a support network
- Treat others as you would like to be treated
- Balance personal needs with others
- Thought stopping” which means interrupting or removing problematic recurring thought patterns.
- Develop problem solving strategies
- Develop a support network for managing emotions and pain.
- Develop relaxation strategies that work for in helping with pain.
Experts believe that pain management heavily depends on the individual’s ability to accept the pain and take steps to manage the pain.
One thing to do is to set up a goal. Setting goals for chronic pain have to be precise, measureable, attainable, practical, and trackable. Incorporate these goals in the activities. Do in combination with others as needed and modify goals regularly.
Remember to stay active in managing goals and communicate them with others.
Changing negative thoughts can change awareness of pain and develop better coping skills.
Some of the strategies to help you change the negative thoughts and feelings are:
- Identify positive and negative stressors
- Master stress
- Work with grief and depression
You can gain your self-confidence by using the following strategies:
- Learn to control the things you can control
- Learn to ask for help
- Learn to stand up for yourself
- Develop problem solving skills
- Learn from your experience and from others
Put It All Together
Now, it’s time to put all of these strategies together to better manage chronic pain.
A wellness lifestyle helps focus the ability to manage pain. A wellness lifestyle may include optimism, humor, a sense of purpose, sense of control and social support. A positive self-image is as important as a wellness lifestyle. A third component to incorporate are uplifting activities. These can improve mood, bring personal enjoyment as well as enjoyment for the family and increase ability to enjoy life.
Maintain and Flare Ups
What if pain gets worse and creates a setback?
- Try creating an individualized plan for pain, as well as for sleep, stress, and social roles.
- If pain lessens, practice gratitude. Pain and stress affect thought processes. Practicing gratitude helps to positively alter perspective.