Self-care is a powerful coping mechanism that can reduce the intensity of your pain, act as a powerful adjunct to your therapy, and help you to cope with the emotional effects of your illness. Four pain patients speak of the self-care they find most helpful:
1) “Sometimes I just need to get my anger […] and depression out.” LaPiccolaSirena
Journaling helps you to process your feelings and vent your anger. If you’re facing depression and insomnia, these need urgent medical care. Still, writing out your feelings keeps you self-aware so that you can better manage your symptoms.
2) “March or roll yourself to a damn tub.” Emilya497abb1
Heat therapy has been shown to reduce pain intensity and increase mobility in some pain sufferers. A luxurious bubble bath before bed won’t hurt your psyche, and it might help you relax enough to get some sleep. If your muscles are cramped, heat will improve circulation, which can promote healing, too.
3) “[Yoga] is the best thing I could do for my back.” Jacqui Prochaska
Hatha yoga can release muscle cramps and is particularly effective in lower back pain patients. Used together with mindfulness training, it will let you manage pain more easily and improve your coping skills.
4) “Aquatic physical therapy is a huge help.” FutureKitLady
Physiotherapists are fond of aquatic therapy for arthritis sufferers because the water protects your joints and keeps movements slow. This way, you’re less likely to injure yourself, and your posture may even improve in time. Add warm ups and warm water and your body will thank you.
It’s easy to forget that self-love is a proactive habit. If you feel trapped in a pain cycle that’s creating too many bad days, simply remembering to be kind to yourself can ease your suffering.