5 Tips For Managing Your Mental Health When Living With Chronic Pain
Artwork by Sarah J Sabo
Anyone living with chronic pain knows that physical pain takes a bigger toll than just the way you feel physically. Living with an ongoing chronic condition also comes with plenty of emotional health triggers as well. In this article, we will look at 5 important things you can do to help manage your mental health while living with chronic pain.
Take proactive measures every day
The impact that chronic pain has on your life is immeasurable. With both physical and emotional implications it can feel like you can’t escape the pressure. One important thing you can do to help manage your mental health is to take proactive steps every single day to manage your stress level.
Emotional wellness is something that needs a little bit of your attention every day. Doing things like stretching, mindfulness, or relaxation exercises for a small amount of time each day can give your mental health a serious boost.
When possible, minimize stress
While it is pretty much impossible to remove stress from our lives, whenever possible take steps to minimize it. Whether it’s an unnecessary relationship that causes you stress or a situation you can avoid, cutting down on your stress level can help your overall mental health.
Get active as much as possible
For many people, chronic pain can limit their ability to be active. Because physical activity and exercise are related to endorphins and other brain chemicals that improve our mental health, being active can be a big part of your mental health care.
Listen to your body and your mind and find ways to be active without creating more pain or discomfort. Something as little as a brief walk outdoors or light stretching or yoga can make a big difference in the way you feel mentally and physically.
Find ways to make social connections
Research has shown that one of the best things we can do for our mental health is to connect with others. This is why making those social connections is a very important part of your mental health care. If you cannot meet with people in person, capitalize on virtual opportunities to talk. Many people find support groups to be a handy way to both connect with others and also meet people who are dealing with similar issues.
Adopt a self-care regimen
One final way to help boost your mental health is to adopt a self-care regimen. Find one or two things that make you feel great about yourself and do them every day. It could be as small as adopting a personal mantra that you repeat or as big as a daily bubble bath. Find the things that boost your spirits and incorporate them into your everyday routine.
If you are looking for tools to help deal with the physical and emotional impact of chronic pain, check out Flowly, which can teach you helpful tools like controlling your heart rate and breathing to manage pain.