Some key things to point out before I begin. I have a journal for general life. I have my blog for everything health and back. I use an app to track symptoms and pain. However, I have a general journal that helped me a lot when I was off from work with unmanaged pain and depression.
For these reasons:
- I had problems with motivation to do things
- I didn’t Feel productive even when I did do things
So this helped me goal set and show some achievement in simple easy ways. Which was vital for my mood management with the pain and depression.
Its design was quite simple and based on the things my psychologist and pain management team had set forth for me to accomplish. You can design one based on similar criteria. The idea is the act of writing, the setting of goals, the acknowledgment of achieving small tasks in a day, and acceptance that small things really do matter on bad pain days when you are going through a very hard time coping.
Structure: Based on example
Today I exercised for 10 minutes, which is a slow increase over my previous amount. I will try maintaining the 10 minutes for the next few times and see if I can keep at that level before increasing.
Migraine: 7 Fibromyalgia: 6
As per usual exercise flared knee pain and levels of fatigue. I will stick to every second day for it and the slow progression in time. Migraine was not induced by exercise this time. It came after. Slightly managed by triptan as this is a day I can use a triptan.
Small Task Accomplished
Due to decently well-tolerated migraine pain and lower FM pain, I was able to:
- Did some laundry
- Swept entryway
- Mopped entryway
Small Goal for Tomorrow
- Need to scoop litterboxes
- If possible, light dusting
If it is a Good Day I will:
- Make a trip to the bank
- Go for coffee with mom
Three things I am Grateful For
- I have a freelance writing gig to keep me occupied for a day or so
- For the nice weather
- That my nausea wasn’t so severe today and I could eat a bit for supper
How is my mood?
- I feel like my brain is stagnating and I feel guilty I am not doing enough but I know I am accomplishing a little each day. And I am making progress.
- Migraine got worse at night and my mood sort of took a nose dive. I had to distract myself a lot. Had the ‘this is endless and I will suffer forever’ feeling. Had to tell myself pain is variable and that just isn’t true. Good days happen.
Any Important Symptoms
I’ll have to monitor this, but I had a bout of vertigo. Usually, that is well treated so we will see if it was isolated or not.
Why I had this structure
So that is the structure mine had. The main things are Small Goals, Small things accomplished, Three things Grateful for, and Mood.
- Small goals- helps with motivation to set a goal for the next day. We don’t know how we will feel the next day, so it has to be small and achievable on a bad day. We can do more, of course, but one small achievable goal is the idea.
- Things accomplished- helps you feel productive when you are having bad days. Accomplishing at least one small task.
- Gratitude- Has been shown to help with mood management.
- Mood- this was something my psychologist had me do. Write down the mood. The thought that came with it. And a more rational thought. Good for depression and mood maintenance.
- Other things such as pain level, exercise, and symptoms are just add-ons I was keeping track of daily. But I used an app for pain and symptoms as well, so it was overlap. Exercise I was monitoring because I was slowing aiming to achieve a long-term goal for the pain clinic.
Get yourself started with a nice simple gratitude journal: