1. Prepare some YouTube or Spotify playlists for those inevitable times when you need a distraction from the pain.
“I have multiple sclerosis-related trigeminal neuralgia, widely regarded as the worst chronic pain disease known to man. Sometimes, it is essential to try to focus on something else — anything else — while waiting for relief. I like to keep YouTube playlists based on subjects/video genres I enjoy, and add to it regularly without watching them first. So when the pain hits, I just choose a subject and go with it. It seems like a minor thing, but it really does help when you need to keep it together.”
2. Revamp your wardrobe with comfortable clothes.
“Ever since I was diagnosed with endometriosis six months ago, I had to relearn how my body operates. It was a good time to revamp my wardrobe. Right now I’m obsessed with leggings, bralettes, sweaters, and socks because they’re so comfortable and they alleviate the chronic discomfort.”
3. Write down the activities you can do at different pain levels — both for yourself and others.
“Frustrated that I wasn’t getting out as much anymore, I made a list of everything I could do at my different levels of pain and distributed it to my close friends and family. Now when someone reaches out to spend time with me I have a lot more options than I did before and I’m far less likely to cancel knowing that I can tolerate what I’m about to do. It also has helped my loved ones know how to help me best.”
4. Wake up early so you can prepare for the day slowly.
“When I wake up, many of my joints are extremely stiff and it takes about an hour to get going. My remedy is to wake up 40 minutes before I actually need to get out of bed. I take one pain pill and one muscle relaxer and eat a few crackers to eliminate any queasy feelings from the medicine. After about 20 minutes laying under an electric blanket, I do some gentle stretching to help ease my stiffness. When it’s time to get out of bed, my pain has dropped to a manageable level and I can get on with my day.”
5. Take up journaling so you have a place to vent.
“This is truly what keeps me sane. Sometimes I just need to get my anger, frustration, depression, etc. out in a way where I don’t have to worry about judgement or hurting anyone’s feelings.”