Living well with pain.
The theme for the last couple of days is the idea of preparing us to manage our own pain program after we leave the four week program. Today one of our classes was “Living Well with Pain”. We looked at how all aspects of our lives are involved in successfully managing pain. As always exercise was the main course but we also looked at diet, nature, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, religious and spiritual involvement, and contribution and service. All of these make up therapeutic lifestyle choices. Having a well-balanced life is an important part of managing pain.
This brought to my mind a thought that I have been working on for a couple of weeks. I have been trying to picture what my life will be like as I pick the amount of each of the categories above to balance my life. Of course for me a main consideration is making a living but as I look at the other categories I want to make sure that I include an appropriate amount of each of these.
There are some rules that I want to try to follow.
- Meals should happen at regular times.
- Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
- Limit the total chore and work activity
- Include free time with no purpose
- Include categories that I don’t readily understand
I had a picture in my head of a weekly schedule with tasks planned for the whole week and they would be color coded with the type of activity they were. I could schedule things like stretching, walking and stairs throughout the day and maybe give them a color of green for exercise. I could do similar things for chores and work, and maybe put fun and social activities together. Then the complete project should have the effect of a rainbow with no one color getting priority. Having a good balance across the week and on each day.
Today was another milestone in exercise for me as I reached my maximum for walking. So where I had got up to 28 minutes twice a day, tomorrow it will be 30 minutes once a day. The way I see this is that I can move the saved time to another “active” category like chores or work. It could be recreation. Either way it would be something other than relaxation. I have gained a level of activity that I don’t want to lose.