The day to day routine of working and functioning with chronic pain is utterly draining. You have to really make use of that time after work. That down time. That recovery time. To prepare you for the next day.
Some of the things I do are:
- Meditation: Right before bed, to quiet my mind and de-stress.
- Epsom salt bath: To soak up some muscle relaxing magnesium absorption. The bath itself is de-stressing.
- Some sort of bedtime routine that tells your brain it is time for bed: For me this is reading, helps me wind down.
- When I exercise I also do that at 7 pm, because it doesn’t ‘wake me up’ it fatigues me and makes me tired. Another reason for the Epsom salt bath, to relax after that as well.
And you really have to manage the pain levels you have before bed, lest they haunt you all night with painsomnia and fall into the next day. This is harder. Do whatever tricks you have for this. I use #2 and #1 from above as well as:
- My OKSA pulse, is on pretty constantly at night to help manage my pain.
- Ice on my head area if it is a migraine, usually lay in the dark with it on and meditate.
- Migraine balm if it is a migraine, after ice treatment is done. I use Japanese mint oil.
- Gentle stretches and a pain cream for FM.
- Pain medication as needed.
- Sleeping medication as needed.
And then hopefully the pain is at a manageable level so we can sleep. But it might not be. There are days when it is not and we get little sleep and start all over again. But I find a routine of relaxing helps at least prepare my brain to relax, since I have insomnia. And I find doing things like meditation helps me focus less on the pain. And the Epsom salts are extremely soothing and can take some aches away and then add a pain cream after to additional areas of concern.
Then back at it the next day. I have yet to find a way to meditate at work, but that would be a great thing to do if you can. To de-stress from the pain you are feeling while there. I do some relaxation breathing at lunch if I am alone. Then as usual, we manage the pain as best we can with the medications we have available to us to use to get through work, as needed.
I do find that a good down time routine is beneficial in recovering from the day in the best way that I can. And it is worthwhile thinking about ways that would work in your life that would have a similar effect on you. Ways that would unwind you from the day. Ways that would manage the pain you have before bed, if possible. Ways to relax your mind and body. Even if it is small things.