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SELF-CARE cycle

Contrary to the previous blog, as mentioned, it is cycle which can be disrupted.


If we can start to accept pain, understand its reason for being there, challenge your thoughts about what pain means, (NOT damage) and accept your protective behaviours of doing less can contribute to your persistent pain, this is a GREAT START!


Goal setting - understand what is it you would like to achieve with or without pain- what is pain actually stopping you doing? Can you break that goal down in to digestible bite sizes that you can manage for the short term?


Self-help + support options - are there things YOU can do to make you achieve those goals? If not, can you ask a friend or family member to help in the short term? E.g. you cannot do ALL the ironing, can your other half help do some.


Sometimes we don't feel as tired, when we are not as active, because we do not get the release of serotonin following exercises (which is the chill out hormone). We may develop habits of sleeping and waking up much later - which is not helpful for preparing for returning to employment. Therefore, if you can keep a good routine where you wake up 'ready' for work, but start doing rehab and pacing your daily chores. This will allow the body clock to remember when it is time to sleep and be awake.


Functional restoration - start focusing on the bad habits you have gotten into, when doing simple movements like getting out a chair, are you using your hands to assist? if so, practice chair squats without hands every day, little and often. So your nervous system start to re-boot and understand you don't have to use your hands!


Challenge those negative thoughts - 'this will never work' to positive affirmation 'i know i can do it, it will take time'


Relaxation skills - this is a SKILL, so you will have repeat the activity on a regular basis before becoming good at it. This could be mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, yoga, heat therapy and stretching.


Planning and prioritising what matters to YOU, and pacing those activities daily so you are enjoying the activity and NOT over doing it which flares up your pain. Your tolerance will gradually improve.


Skills to manage unhelpful moods - e.g. getting angry to the fact the ironing/cleaning is not finished right now, but to take a breath and tell yourself, i will do some and come back at it again later.


Healthy eating is underestimated with pain, but getting the right nutrients will boost your energy and encourage rest and repair.


Sustain change - continue on pacing and gradually building up your activity tolerance even when you hit a road bump, because it is only a bump!






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