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“There is consensus… that pain care should be individualized, multidisciplinary and coordinated,” says Edward Bilsky, US Pain board member and Provost & Chief Academic Officer @PNWUHealth

September is Pain Awareness Month and the perfect time to pause and reflect on how daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our health and wellbeing. We’re passionate about better understanding your individual experiences and supporting you as you navigate your pain conditions in this ‘new normal’.

#PainTips

Stay in touch with your doctor
If your doctor has a pain management plan for you, make sure you stick with it. If you have questions, or are experiencing any side effects, talk to your doctor — many have made getting advice on care plans and medications easier during the pandemic by offering telephone and video consultations. …


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“Don’t try and be a hero. Just be gentle on yourself and don’t feel like you’ve got to be the best home schooler and the best worker; set realistic expectations about what all that means,” says occupational health physiotherapist David Hall in The Guardian.

When you are working in an office, your choice of where to sit is usually limited to ‘at your desk’. …


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Now that the clocks have gone back, the dark nights drawing in can change our body’s natural rhythm. For many working people, it means leaving and returning home in the dark. The absence of light triggers the release of melatonin and suppression of serotonin, leading to dips in mood and energy, poor sleep and a craving for high-carb foods. So, here are our tips for surviving these ‘winter blues’:

Go outside — “It’s all about good light contrast,” says Professor Russell Foster. “Getting enough exposure to outdoor light in the morning and then enjoying plenty of darkness at night should ensure your body clock resets itself daily, helping you sleep better and and avoid those dips in mood and the appetite changes associated with seasonal affective disorder.” …


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Being optimistic is important for wellbeing, happiness and resilience. Setting ourselves ambitious but achievable goals provides focus, direction and a sense of achievement when we accomplish them. Actively working towards goals and achieving smaller milestones along the way with the support of those around you also builds confidence.

Although we naturally have a tendency to be optimistic or pessimistic, we can influence our outlook on life through our daily actions and choices.

Here are our suggestions for taking an optimistic approach to goal setting:

1. Ask yourself, will this still matter a year from now.

2. Share your most important goals with people you trust. …


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September is Pain Awareness Month and this year’s theme is #LetsTalkAboutPain. It can be difficult to talk about your pain because of the perceived stigma, but the key to raising awareness and positive change is to get involved and share your story. Here are some simple ways to join in:

1. Talk to friends and family — let them know what living with persistent pain is really like and what impact it has. Encourage them to do the same.

2. Talk to your healthcare professionals — share tools to help them communicate better with you and other people with persistent pain. …


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From smartphones to satnavs, our lives are full of screens. But, despite its benefits, technology is making life noisier, and many of us experience unhealthy levels of noise daily that can affect our health, sleep and productivity. So, how can we lead a balanced life with tech without giving up our gadgets completely? Having a digital detox can make you feel more relaxed and engaged with those around you.

Tips:

1. Productivity apps that follow the Pomodoro technique, such as Space, chunk your day into focused periods followed by scheduled breaks.

2. Turn off alerts and notifications.

3. Adopt a one screen at a time rule and be intentional about when you go online. …


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The physical and mental benefits of spending time outdoors, in parks, woods or on the beach are well known. As little as 2 hours spent in nature each week, either taken in one go or as shorter visits, boosts wellbeing. It has been suggested that spending more time in natural environments should be part of healthy lifestyle advice, along with eating five portions of fruit and vegetable a day and doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. Here are our suggestions for simple changes you can make to your routine to engage with your surroundings:

1. As soon as the weather warms up, you can find thorny tangles of brambles in parks and along leafy paths awash with gleaming purple blackberries. …


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This month’s Action for Happiness calendar is full of ideas and inspiration for acts of kindness, generosity and compassion. Not only does being kind to others make you feel calmer and happier, but it also improves your physical health and helps you live longer. But, the best thing about kindness is that it’s contagious! Here are our suggestions for taking part in #AltruisticAugust:

1. Be kind to yourself and others.

2. Set up a book exchange.

3. Brighten up a neglected public space.

4. Organise an event.

5. Raise money for charity.

Book a consultation with MyPainScore to receive free personalised pain tips with this link.


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Life can be overwhelming, particularly if you are managing a long-term condition. When it all gets too much, taking time out in a way that’s meaningful for you can give you the strength to deal with whatever life throws at you. Whether it’s with friends, family or by yourself, there’s a wellness retreat to suit your style. More hotels are now offering wellness facilities — a spa or fitness centre, for example — but a retreat can offer a purposefully designed programme of expert-led therapies and activities that focus on healthy goals.

Sleep problems and insomnia — learn techniques to target stress and help you return to a normal sleeping pattern. …


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Volunteering provides important help to those in need and the community, but it can also have health benefits for the volunteer, too, from reducing stress and the risk of depression to increasing self-confidence and your sense of purpose. But, how do you choose the right volunteer project? You should find a balance between the skills you have, causes you care about, work you find purpose in, industries you would like to work in, and organisations you would like to be involved with. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

All for Good — the largest general search for volunteers based on location. …

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MyPainScore

Helping you take control of your pain so you can lead a happier, more productive life. MyPainScore.com/signup

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