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Use $1.00 to Help You Measure How Much To Do

January 4th, 2007 · No Comments

You need to continue to do your hobbies, to exercise, to do things around your home to stay active despite your pain. Some of you might need to watch out for a tendency to avoid these things for fear of causing pain. However, some others of you might instead need to step back from overdoing activities, which prevents your body from getting the rest it needs to heal.

Here’s a technique to help you stay in control of your pain, and balance activities and rest.

The $1.00 Technique

1. What Activities?
First, discuss with your doctor what types of activities you can do and for how long.

2. Experiment with Activities
Next, experiment with different types of activities and different lengths of time doing these activities. You want to see if, and by how much, your pain increases when you do certain things. Your goal is to do as much activity as possible, even if your discomfort increases somewhat, but not to the point of higher and higher pain levels as days go by. For example, let’s say you start Monday morning at a pain level of 5, and by the end of the day, your pain level is 7. That’s okay, as long as by Tuesday morning, your level is back to 5 again.

3. $1.00 Worth of Activities
After experimenting, you’ll have a better idea of the amount of activity you can do. Assign that amount of activity $1.00. Now each day you can “spend” $1.00.

4. Be Creative – and Careful – with Your $1.00
So, you have $1.00 each day. Let’s look at some examples.

If you garden for 3 hours in the morning, and this spends 75¢, you know you only have 25¢ left for the day. So you can’t garden for another 3 hours in the afternoon. But perhaps you can walk at a slow pace with your family for 30 minutes.

If you have an event you want to go to at night, and you estimate that this event will spend 80¢, you’ll need to take it easy during the day, so you’ll have enough reserve for the evening.

At times you’ll go over your $1.00 on a given day. But then recognize that either the day before, or the day after, you’ll have to take it easy. Maybe you can save up 50¢ from the day before, and use 50¢ from the following day, so you can do more than usual. For example, if you have friends visiting on Saturday and you’ll be doing a lot, plan for this. You might take it easy on both Friday and Sunday. You might also be in more pain than usual at the end of Saturday during their visit, but you’ll have a plan to manage that.

Sometimes Being in More Pain is Worth It…
You’re deciding what to do, rather than your pain dictating what you do. There are many things that are worth more discomfort – you decide what they are. You’re balancing activities with rest. By using the $1.00 technique, you also have a way to keep track of your pain levels across the day and across several days.

5. Earning Money to Add to Your $1.00
You also have ways to add to your $1.00 by using all the pain management skills you know. Perhaps some quiet time in the afternoon will bring your pain levels down. Do a relaxation technique. Talk with a friend. Take a bath. Do a guided imagery. Watch a funny movie. If your pain levels go down, you’ll have more activity “money” to “spend.”

Once again, your goal is to live your life as fully as possible, despite having chronic pain. Happy spending!

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