Meet Alice and Bodhi! They are pretty certain they’ve treed a squirrel. There’s a 50/50 chance they’re right. They’re enthusiasm far outweighs their expertise. Staring up at that pine canopy can keep them busy for hours. That’s the herder* laser focus. I wish I was so easily occupied.
Being easily distracted is a function of pain. Nothing holds your interest for long. You need multiple easy diversions and tasks. Short and sweet, for certain. Here are some things I do to try to occupy my mind and body when I’m in pain. I am more or less able to do these things on all except the worst pain days.
How to distract yourself from pain
- play with the dogs – we have three
- housekeeping – chores broken into very small chunks, e.g., rinse the dishes, load the dishwasher, wipe the counter, sweep the floor in one room, dust 2-3 pieces of furniture. Breaking it up this way lets me take breaks in between as needed. Also, I may not get through even the chores I have listed here on a bad day.
- listen to an audio book – migraines have killed my ability to read entire books IRL or Virtual form
- watch Netflix, Amazon, Hulu
- walk a lap around the yard (on better days I will take a walk through the neighborhood, but when the pain is bad it’s best to stay close to home and not get stranded.)
- color – yep in a coloring book; don’t act like this is weird, everyone is doing it. This requires me to be fairly healthy,
- meditate – I use the Calm app. on better days I attend a group
- listen to music
- pace the halls
- chat with friends via text, fb
- knit, weave, stitching (embroidery/cross stitch); I’m trying to learn to crochet, but I don’t have the patience or cognitive capacity right now
- light yoga – I may only do 5 minutes at a time. I may be limited in the asanas I can achieve due to triggers, but it can get me through 5 minutes.
- indulge curiosity – research various topics on the internet; a good quality google search can provide a nice distraction
- window shop – fill that etsy cart and then don’t follow through
- photography – I take photos from where I am. I have a lot of shots of the same view
- Oh, and I write and write and write: lists, stories, letters, poems, journals
What distractions do you use to survive your pain?
Note: I’ve been down with that killer Migraine. Was in clinic getting infusions Monday-Wednesday. Monday was an especially bad day, so I missed posting my photo. So, here it is a couple days delayed but just as well intentioned.
*Alice is a Border Collie. Bodhi is a mutt, part Sheltie.