We all use “bandaids” in the forms of distraction and avoidance of our difficult thoughts and feelings (emotional and physical) and we often wonder why it only works as a short-term solution and never fixes anything. Then we get frustrated and keep using them, using all that precious warrior energy… is there a better way?
I hope this helps you to keep making the most of it!
This year, let’s focus on living by our values instead of setting goals. Connecting with our values is one way to improve our lives with chronic pain and illness. Check out the video below for more on the difference between values and goals:
I hope this helps us all to make the most of it in the new year!
This practice can help us create distance between ourselves and any unhelpful thoughts we have about our pain and illness. Unhelpful can include just dwelling on the fact that these occur for us (that often contribute to anxiety and depression).
Hope this helps you to keep making the most of it!
This practice is particularly good for anyone finding themselves in a caregiving role. This may be as a healthcare practitioner, doctor, nurse, or as someone taking care of an elderly parent, a partner or child who is chronically ill, or really any other caregiving role. Sometimes the best thing we can do is offer compassion to another, while also taking care of ourselves.
Another values-based activity that can be done with low energy is gardening. I’ll admit I have never really been into gardening but after keeping my flower alive (and I mean, also bringing it back to life during the heat waves this summer), I’m inspired to have more of a garden going forward.
Journaling has a number of benefits for health and mental health. Though I only started it recently (due to yoga teacher training), I’ve found I enjoy it more than I thought and it has been beneficial.
Here are some articles on the benefits of journaling:
This metaphor works for any thoughts, feelings and sensations, but I personally find it effective when think about chronic pain and illness. Of course, we don’t want to injure ourselves or forget about pacing. That doesn’t mean we can’t engage in any values-based activities. I hope this helps bring some perspective and hope.
One of the most effective practices I do in order to better cope with physical pain and other sensations of chronic illness is the body scan. The research also supports it being helpful. Interestingly it’s also been used as a meditative practice for hundreds of years (possibly longer) to help cope with physical sensations. While it can be a bit scary for chronic pain/illness warriors to go inside, the benefits can be well worth it. This practice is also great because you can totally do it lying down (as long as you’re not at risk of falling asleep). This versions is half an hour long, so if you’re not quite up to doing it that long yet, check out my meditation channel for the shorter version.