If you are a chronic pain sufferer, you have probably noticed that pain level goes up and down seemingly by itself, some days it is worse, other days it is better. If you are one of those who has a tendency to “make up for the lost times” during your “good days”, read on…..
It is quite understandable how big a toll being in pain takes. Often people report that they’ve put their lives on hold while looking for a cure or a way to reduce their pain. As it turns out, pain has some built-in ups and downs associated with it. If you over extend yourself on a day that your pain is a bit better, you might find that on the next day, or a few days later you are experiencing a flare up. What is the solution? PACING…..
Here is the key to successful pacing. You first need to learn what feels like a high impact, and what feels like a low impact activity for YOU. Naturally people would name different activities as high and low impact for them. For example, for most people sorting out their mail is considered a low impact activity while vacuuming is typically reported as a high impact activity. The key is knowing the difference in your particular case. Once you develop this knowledge about yourself, then all you have left to do is mix and match your day with alternatively low and high impact activities. For example, here is a well balanced way to spend a morning: wash dishes 5 minuets, sit on the couch and watch TV for 3 minuets. Dry dishes and put away in cabinets for 5 minuets, sit or lay down for stretches for 5 minuets. Load up one load of laundry for 10 minuets, sort out the mail for 4 minuets. Tidy up your room for 10 minuets, sit down for a cup of tea for 5 minuets.
By pacing you are likely to find that you have taken your life from hold to actually living it while you have not activated a flare up.
As always, please call me at 831-621-1150 Ext 100 or write to me at: [email protected] if you have any questions or want to share a success story with me.
G. Katie Dashtban, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist, PSY22256