Get enough sleep
If you are tired during the day and have trouble sleeping, try to:
- Set a bedtime and a wake-up time-and stay with these times, even on weekends. This helps your body get used to a regular sleep time.
- Get some exercise during the day.
- Avoid taking naps, especially in the evening.
- Avoid drinking or eating caffeine after 3 p.m. This includes coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
Deal with problems right away
Treat medical conditions and mental health concerns early, before they get worse and become harder to treat.
Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Start slowly and increase your efforts bit by bit. If your joints are stiff, try taking a warm bath or shower first to loosen up. Also, do some stretching exercises each day.
Schedule your day so that you are most active when you have the most energy. Learn to move in ways that are less likely to make your pain worse.
Practice healthy habits
- Eat a balanced diet. Good nutrition will help you stay healthy and strong. For more information on good nutrition, see the topic Healthy Eating.
- Stop smoking. Smoking may affect your level of pain and may reduce how well your chronic pain treatment works. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
- Reduce stress. Try a relaxation therapy such as breathing exercises or meditation. For more information, see the topic Stress Management.
Think about tools that may help
Assistive devices, such as walking canes or doorknob extenders, may help you do your daily activities. These devices can help you to be more mobile and independent.
With self-massage you can help relax your own back muscles using a tennis ball.
Caregivers need care too
Experts say that it is important to take care of yourself, too, and not to feel guilty about it. For more information, see the topic Caregiver Tips.