So the weather is wonderful! The sun shines and the outdoor beacons. DANGER, DANGER! This is the time of year that we that live with chronic pain need to be mindful. It is easy to overdo it and start the ugly cycle of pain. So how can we thrive and mitigate the pain? It is a matter of mindfulness and engaging our passions in a balanced way.
One of my passions is gardening. Today the weeds in my yard are calling me. “Pull me! Make the garden grow.” My chronic pain is in the form of fibromyalgia, cervical dystonia, migraines and some joint issues. For me it is easy to overdo it because I don’t feel the results until later. I have to do things in intervals. In the beginning I garden for 5-10 minutes and then take a break. I have to remember all the rules; use good body mechanics, take frequent breaks, stretch before and after, ice or moist heat or both afterwards.
All of this is easier said than done! Especially when you are doing something that is bringing you joy. Yours might be taking a hike, playing with your dog, or fill in the blank. So how can you do it? Make a plan! You can work up to doing more—one step at a time. Have a goal and then break it down. Work up to it, 10% at a time or talk with your healthcare providers and create an individualized plan.
Now you have a plan. How do you implement it? How are you going to keep yourself accountable? Working with an app, using an alarm, asking for support from you family and friends or a coach can all help to keep you on track. What other ways do you get through the weather change? I want to hear from you!