Are you in pain?

Everyday we are all busy.  Sometimes too busy to take notice of the messages our body is sending our mind.  We have all had that time when we have had an ache or injured ourselves and whilst we acknowledged the pain we, well, we just kept going.

The thing is, pain is a message (or a sign, if that’s what you are into) and we need to take notice of it.

Physical pain can be acute or chronic, as can psychological pain.

Acute pain is the type where you roll your ankle whilst running to collect something you forgot – and if you are a first-aider – you apply the RICE theory – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for a short while, depending on your patience level.  This pain can typically be managed with simple analgesia ie. paracetamol and ibuprofen – after the initial inflammation that was caused by the injury has settled, the pain subsides and you resume your normal activities.  Acute psychological pain might be experienced when people experience a situational crisis.  The immediate pain is managed through their ability to be resilient, they learn, grow and move on.

Whereas, chronic pain is longer lasting.  Just ask anyone who is waiting for a joint replacement (say a hip or knee) and they will tell you they have pain every day and they have worked out the actions that make their pain better or worse.  The ‘edge’ might be taken of this pain by the analgesia previously mentioned, but it is always there – sending a message to the brain to be mindful of the area. Like chronic physical pain, chronic psychological pain has the capacity to affect every part of a person’s wellbeing.  Again, there is a time of learning, but changes need to be made for long term management and growth.

Our mind and body work in such unison that it can sometimes be unclear where the physical pain ends and psychological pain starts.

Know that both acute and chronic physical and psychological pain has a purpose and is not to be ignored.

Trust that your mind-body connection is in play and be strong enough to use the opportunity to take action.

Do you play?

Did you know that it was the National Day of Real Play on Sunday?

As an adult, when was the last time you played, like really played?  That is, a time when you were totally removed from the world around you – like small children are when you are calling them and you needed to leave the house 10 minutes ago…

Here’s a few points I wanted to point out and share with you:

  • We know that play is important for good mental health for both adults and children.
  • We all could benefit from making time for play as part of our own self-care as adults.  Even I have to remind myself that it is 100% ok to take some time to play for my own benefit!  Its really easy to be ‘busy’ but the downtime that play provides is so beneficial on many levels.
  • Headspace – the National Youth Mental Health Foundation agrees that play is beneficial.  They identify that play has many purposes, some being that it can help reduce stress and anxiety and importantly is a method of recharging our tired batteries.
  • You don’t have to plan play – the whole idea is that you are free with no arrangements – just go with the flow and see how it feels!
  • If you have children, play beside them!  The interesting part about play is that its like a compliment – it is as good for the adult playing as the child who gets to have their adult alongside of them.

Here’s an idea – how about instead of thinking about the next task you need to complete or that you are so far from ticking off the items on your to-do list, take five minutes and have a play!  I look forward to hearing your ‘play’ stories!