What hinders you the most in being able to leave the house? The answer I received on this poll was pain and anxiety. As we explored in my “The Missing Link?” blog post, anxiety has a huge affect on chronic illness and pain. It is difficult to leave the house in pain and it is hard to go out when you are anxious. When they are both combined, now that is a doozy of a problem to deal with. I find that I get anxious about being in pain when I go out and having to deal with the aftermath. However, I have some tips on dealing with both pain and anxiety while leaving the house that can help you get out more.
When you find yourself in pain and have to leave the house for any reason, bring support with you. That support can come in many ways, whether it is a couple of back up pain pills, a foldable cane, or a wheelchair that you can keep in the car. Plan for the worst pain that you could have, but hope for the best. The outside world is never as comfortable and accessible as your home, but there are definitely things that can be done to make your pain a little more bearable in the meantime. Look into getting portable stick-on heating pads or one time use ice packs. You can even invite someone to come with you on the days that you have to go out, so you know that you have portable support right next to you.
Now anxiety about going about can be as equally as difficult to deal with as pain. First, let’s talk about anxiety surrounding pain. For me, I have found several tricks to make it easier to get out of the house. First, I make a goal for what I want to do when I come home. Whether it is something like taking a nap, watching T.V, or browsing the web, it gives me a goal to look forward to. Another thing I do, is to bring fidget toys with me in my purse and car. That way I always have something to squeeze in case of a panic attack to help ground myself. I always bring some extra lorazepam with me, just like I do with pain medicines, so if I need it, I have it. Lastly, I bring my phone and a set of earplugs with me. I am able to block out the world or listen to calming music before getting too anxious.
Those are some case specific tips I have found to be very helpful in making it easier for me to get out of the house. However, there are still some things you can do that cover both aspects at the same time. For example, when I am out, I plan to see a movie. Most of the time, I do not feel physical or mentally up to it, but I’ve found that I feel better afterwards. In general, just treat yourself a bit. Whether that is going to your favorite restaurant, getting takeout, or spending time with a friend, it all serves to help get your mind off of the pain and anxiety that you are experiencing.
Having anxiety and physical conditions are hard. There are going to be days that we really want to go out and there will be days that we would rather do anything but that. I hope that the tips I have given will help you in one way or another. It is not going to be easy, but you can do it. Listen to your body and mind. It is a step by step, day by day process.
Thank you for reading this article! Are there any tips you have that I missed? Please subscribe and I’ll see you next time my Un-imaginables!
Sources: Original Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels