Have you ever cancelled plans because of your pain? Have you ever been worried about making plans because you don't know how you'll be feeling? To cancel plans or be worried to make them...is a normal part of a hurting life...but I do think there are things we can do to help ourselves be as "socially able" as we can be.
So...when you want to be social and your pain is high...what can you do? what do you do? What helps you cope? If you have plans in the evening...what do you do for you during the day to prepare? If your activities bring you more pain...how do you manage that? How do you talk to yourself before, during and after? Give the questions some thought and then take a look at the examples...is there anything you can add to help you manage your social calendar?
Here are a few examples and I challenge you think beyond them to what you can do for you to keep you social this summer.
- if plans are in the evening - rest during the day and do low energy activities and chores if you need but try and save yourself and your energy for later
- have a relaxing bath/shower
- bring a long your portable coping skills and use them as you need while out and about
- wear comfortable clothing and footwear and change when needed
- go for walk - if you're at a gathering and you need to stretch out - go for a walk
- if your activities are physical and you need a break - take it! sit for a bit and don't feel stressed that you need to - take a break when your body needs it
- keep your thoughts and that voice inside your head positive - use your own words to support and encourage you
- bring along any medications or therapy aides you may need - pillows to support back and body are a good idea
- share your coping skills with those you spend your time with and ask for their help when you need it
- and when you get home and you're hurting for all you've done...DO NOT beat yourself up! but take the time to soothe and nurture yourself and your needs. Remember the things you've done and the memories you've made...you lived beyond your pain! now soothe yourself without leaving scars behind
Summer plans can be a part of a hurting life too but we need to plan and prepare for them. Give thought to what you can do for you to be as socially active as you're able. And then get out and enjoy your summer.
take good care of you