5 ways to show yourself kindness when dealing with long-term pain

written by Anna Harris

It can be hard to keep bitterness from seeping in when you’ve been dealing with pain every day for a long time. Whatever your issue that’s causing the problem, you wonder if you’ll ever be able to do what you used to without worrying about how you might exacerbate symptoms or how much the pain my limit you.

If you’re living with chronic pain, it’s important to be kind to yourself and remember that, regardless of whether your pain resulted from things out of your control or are the results of your choices, you deserve to show yourself compassion.

1. Listen to your body

Even when you know your physical limitations, you can still feel the pressure to do or be more. On days when you have a lot to do or feel you should do a lot, take a moment to check in. How is the pain today? Where are you feeling it the most? How does the rest of your body feel

Paying attention to the cues your body is giving you can help you know where you can give yourself some grace and where you can push yourself.

2. Manage your overall physical health

Managing your pain is hard, but it’s even harder if the rest of your health is suffering. Find ways to incorporate exercise that doesn’t exacerbate your pain, or maybe even exercises that help. You can find suggestions from your doctor, online communities, or articles like this one!

Eating well and making sure you’re getting your body the nutrients it needs to support itself will also give you your best chance for feeling your best.

By eating a balanced diet you’re reducing your risk of heart disease, lowering your weight (which can take off some of the strain that may be worsening your symptoms), and managing your blood sugar levels.

3. Get a massage

Back pain, neck tension, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis pain are just a few ways we can feel chronic pain. Consider indulging in a massage to help reduce your stress and the physical tension in the body. Plus, it can reduce overall mental stress, which can worsen symptoms if prolonged or excessive.

4. Do something you love with the people you love

Chronic pain can make it difficult to enjoy everyday activities. Think of things you can do without worrying about making pain worse and invite a friend, partner, or family member to join you. Even if the pain is still present, you deserve to live life, and taking control by making plans with others to share in activities you can do together can help reduce the feeling that your pain controls you.

5. Remember that your pain is not who you are

Whether you’ve been dealing with your chronic pain for a long time or not, many people struggle with feeling that the pain permeated their life. It’s important to remember that, while your situation might be different, the pain is something you’re experiencing but it is not a reflection on you as a person.

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