CHRONIC PAIN & COVID-19

May 30, 2020

We are aware of the most publicized demographics who are feeling the effects of COVID: the elderly, employees who are now working from home, and the frontline or essential workers.

But what about individuals living with chronic pain?

This already under-served group has been feeling the ripple effect of high stress and fear throughout our communities. Such emotions are truly contagious, especially during times of high societal unrest.

Much of our response to these concerns lies in the emotions we are currently experiencing, which help create our mindset.

For example, individuals with chronic pain who may already feel vulnerable and scared are more susceptible to picking up on the fear and anxiety of others.

A transmission of emotions can happen long-distance by watching the news or hearing about someone else’s struggles, but this can also happen directly and more discreetly from people we interact with on a daily basis.

Many people are venting their frustrations outwardly these days. While this may be a healthy practice (to some extent) for the person venting, individuals with chronic pain must aim to create and foster positivity in their surroundings.

This may mean requesting that friends and family channel their emotions in a different way when spending time with you, or focusing on redirecting your own stress -- whether you are with others or alone.

While you cannot control other peoples’ actions, there are some phrases and activities that people with chronic pain can use to encourage more positivity around them in all situations:

    • “It sounds like you’re really frustrated about _________. Let’s go for a walk to clear our heads.” - Walking is a great way to process our emotions and help put things into perspective. This statement also validates the feelings of the person you are talking to.

 

    • “I’m loving spending time with you, but I’m super stressed about _________ right now. I know if we continue to sit here and talk that I will just feel more tense. Let’s pull up a video/app and do a short meditation.” - This helps individuals with chronic pain clearly convey their emotions, and meditation can help center the body and mind.

 

  • “I can’t stop thinking about _________ lately, but I don’t want to let it weigh me down anymore. Can we go for a drive and listen to some music? There’s this new album I’ve really been wanting to listen to.” - Similarly, this helps express how you are feeling while suggesting a relaxing activity you can do together.

 

  • “I can tell you feel passionately about _________, but I don’t like to see you so worked up over it. I know a secluded place where we can pack a lunch and eat outside. How does that sound?” - A statement like this helps those with chronic pain level with the ones they love and enjoy the stress-relieving properties of nature. 

While COVID is certainly one of the issues at the forefront of everyone’s mind, these conversational cues and stress relievers can be used by individuals with chronic pain during any situations where tensions are running high.

With some preparation and positive intentions, we can all change our internal dialogue and surroundings for the better.

At the end of the day, taking control of your mindset means taking control of your pain. Are you ready to learn more about planning for chronic pain management? Take the first step and schedule a call with a Pain Mentor today!

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