Prioritize, plan and pace day-to-day activities with your chronic pain condition.

Living with pain affects all areas of your life, including the day-to-day activities. Find helpful tips on how to manage those daily tasks.

Pace your tasks

Space your activities out over the day and week to avoid doing too much one day and not being able to do enough the next day.

Take a break before you need it. Schedule breaks before starting your activity and don't only take breaks when the pain is bad.

Examples:

  • Split your laundry into two or three piles: urgent pile, not so urgent and end-of-the-week pile.
  • Make a few smaller trips to the grocery store throughout the week. Ask staff to help carry your bags to the car or consider grocery shopping online (offered at grocers such as Thrifty Foods).

Plan your tasks

Organize your day by setting small achievable goals. Break down big jobs into smaller tasks and plan rest periods between each task.

Examples:

  • Monday morning: vacuum the living room with breaks in between
  • Monday afternoon: prepare dinner
  • Tuesday morning: practice yoga and meet a friend for coffee
  • Tuesday afternoon: write an activity plan for the next day

Prioritize your tasks

Figure out what is most important for you to accomplish today and this week. Then plan and pace accordingly. With limited amount of energy and time, setting priorities is essential.

Make a to-do list but remember to stay flexible.

Be patient

Go easy on yourself. It may take some time before you see changes or improvements.

Follow the 10 per cent rule - increase the duration or intensity of any activity by no more than 10 per cent at a time. Even if you’re feeling better, don’t be tempted to overdo it otherwise you may experience a setback.

Also, don’t be shy to ask for help from friends and family.

Resources