How to Deal with Tough Mornings and Chronic Pain
You wake up to the sound of your alarm clock. With sleepy and half-closed eyes, you slowly roll over the bed to hit stop, or in my case, snooze. You lay there for a few more minutes because you’ve only been awake for a few seconds, but you already feel so much pain.
Your head is throbbing, your skin is itching, and your joints are aching too. You lay there a bit more. Afterwhich, you decide to sit up slowly. You try to stretch out your hands, but extending them would hurt you so much. So you settle with small movements instead. You try to get up and you can't, but you have to.
The reality of painful mornings
This is what a normal morning looks like for a person who is struggling with chronic illness-- slow, painful, and dreadful. But full of hope and wishful thinking that the day could still change, and that the symptoms will eventually go away.
Some days, they do, but most days, they just don’t. So you lay there in bed the whole day, or you try your best to get up and face the day regardless. Mornings are definitely tough, but doing the following tips might help!
Do not rush
One of the most important things to remember is that you have to give yourself ample time to prepare yourself to get up and move. You can do this by setting up the alarm an hour or a few minutes earlier. Take your time and know that the more gentle you are with yourself, the more you’d be able to make it through the day.
Plan your breakfast the night before
More than time management, knowing what I would have for breakfast, and knowing that it would be delicious, motivates me to get up. True enough, this is the most important meal of the day, not only for health reasons but also because for me, it sets up my mood for the entire day. So make sure you choose the right meal, and you spoil yourself as well.
Make sure to drink a glass of water before you climb out of bed. This does not only prevent dehydration but drinking water on an empty stomach helps rid the body of toxins and improves metabolism. Starting the day by drinking water is a good way to refresh and revitalize you for the day ahead.
If working out is too hard, make sure to incorporate simple and regular stretching in your morning routine. It does not only improve blood circulation and energy levels, but it would also help in relieving tension from your joints and muscles.
Tell yourself that it’s okay, but try to do it anyway
Remind yourself your mornings are unusual because your body is not normal. You are struggling with a chronic illness. It’s okay if you decide to stay a little longer in bed, it’s also okay if you decide to stay there the whole day. It’s okay if you won’t be able to do anything, it’s okay if the day’s not going to be productive. Constantly remind yourself that you should listen to your body and that you should not push it beyond its limits.
It’s okay if the morning is tough and you can’t get up, if the day is hard and you feel like you can’t make it through. What’s important is that you try.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?