Summer has come to a close and we have shifted into one of my most favorite times of the year. Yes, the cooling temps and changing rhythms are nice, but that’s not why I love this time of year so much. It’s because I think of this special time between Labor Day and Thanksgiving as the Window of Opportunity. It’s the most optimal time to focus on your pain relief plan and take specific steps to get consistent relief. 

After working with clients for so many years, I’ve seen the meaningful gains on quality of life women can make during this window… and it’s more powerful than any New Year’s Resolution trend you’ve seen!

For many, Fall naturally feels like a time to shift out of the summer go-go-go mode to restore and recharge. It’s also a good time to reflect. Usually, there’s good insight you can gain from evaluating what’s worked throughout the year and what hasn’t. Now is the time to reflect on what you should stop doing and what you should focus on instead to get more sustainable pain relief.

The reality is that there’s just a little over 100 days left of the year and just over two months until Thanksgiving. It’s possible that if you let this window pass you by that you’ll feel more burned out and depleted when the holiday craze hits…and dealing with the same pain.

I don’t share that to stress you out, but as your advocate and friend, I want to make sure you are aware of this precious opportunity right now to focus so you can reach your dreams.

I’m here to remind you that your dream of feeling better and having less pain is possible!

You can feel more confident about how to live your life feeling less hampered by pain and get back to doing more of the activities with the people you love most. You just need a plan.

Today, I will walk you through my simple 4-step approach to designing your pain relief plan. I know that when you’re living with pain every day that it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. By designing and taking action on your plan now, you will thank yourself come December!

1. Get Clear On Your Goal

The first step in designing your plan is for you to get crystal clear on your goal. You need something specific that you can track with objective information. How would you know for sure in a few months if you “feel better?” What if you’re sleeping better and fatigue is improved, but the pain is unchanged or vice versa? Would you have reached your goal?

Ask yourself what are the top two complaints that you want to work on right now and brainstorm what’s involved? Some common ones are sleep duration/quality, fatigue level (0-10/10), energy level (0-10/10), pain duration/intensity/frequency, mood (0-10/10), stiffness, weakness, and brain fog.

Write your goal down! Use first person and use objective information to note the change you want to make.

Here’s an example to make sure you’re getting it!

I will shift from feeling an average of 3/10 energy to 5/10 energy by 11/22/18 {that’s Thanksgiving}!

2. Break It Down Into Action Steps

The next step is to break it down into the specific action steps that will lead you toward your goal. When you’re doing this piece, consider a few things:

What have you tried in the past that helped you experience success in moving towards this goal? Can you try it again? Should you go about it differently this time?

What actions have you tried that didn’t work out? Why did it fail? Did you need more knowledge? More support? More time? Do you want to try it again with a different approach or scratch it?

Using the same example as before, action steps could be:

  • setting an earlier bedtime
  • removing caffeine
  • reducing sugar intake
  • turning off devices 2 hours prior to bedtime
  • getting into bed 30 minutes before bedtime to unwind
  • practice mindful breathing in bed for 15 minutes

Pick 3 action steps that feel achievable to you right now and break them down even further to be very specific.

Then dive even deeper and write out specific, measurable details of each action item. Indicate the start and end dates too. Using our example, it looks like this:

Starting 9/5/18 through 9/19/18, I will:

-setting an earlier bedtime -> Plan to be asleep at 9:30pm every night.

-removing caffeine -> Drink herbal tea instead of coffee.

-reducing sugar intake -> Remove refined sugar from my diet, but still consume natural sugars like honey in moderation.

-turning off devices 2 hours prior to bedtime -> Set an alarm on my phone to put my smartphone, laptop, iPad, and kindle away at 7:30pm.

-getting into bed 30 minutes before bedtime to unwind -> Be ready and get into bed with the lights out at 9:00pm every night.

-practice mindfulness for 15 minutes -> Relax by practicing mindful breathing from 9:00-9:15pm.

Make it visible.

If it’s not visible, it’s not real! Believe it or not, having visual reminders for these daily actions can help a ton by keeping it top of mind. Write or type your plan out and post it where you will see it daily. Make sure to return to the plan on the date you set to assess how you’re doing and make any changes for the next two weeks.

3. Recruit Support

If you’re like most of the women I work with, you might find this third step more challenging. I want you to reach out and ask for support. Identify someone in your life that you can share all or part of your plan with.

Tell them why it’s important to you and EXACTLY how they can provide support. What does support really look like for you right now?

Is it watching the kids, bringing a meal over, sending you cheerleading reminders by text, or calling to check-in on you once a week (provide the dates)?

If you’re coming up short on who to ask to be your support person, consider me! I’m an experienced women’s health coach and cheering women on to overcome their personal obstacles to reach their biggest dreams is what I do (and what brings me so much joy).

If that peaks your interest then I’d love to invite you to check out my upcoming 8-week online program that will walk you through the Mindful Pain Relief Method step-by-step to reach your goals. You’ll get tons of support from me and the rest of the community to celebrate every success and help you navigate every challenge. Click here to learn more about it.

4. Celebrate!

After putting all the energy into creating and implementing the plan, shouldn’t you celebrate? Surely, you’ll have learned something valuable by going through this process. Decide before you start the plan how you will celebrate your efforts and when (every 2, 4, or 6 weeks are good timeframes). Put it in your calendar.

My favorite celebrations are non-food related and for self-pleasure and joy. A new book, a massage, a warm bath, a new scarf, time to go to your favorite park, and tea with a friend are some suggestions to get you thinking.

I hope these four steps have given you some new ideas for how to approach your lifestyle so it supports you to feel better. I know for sure that if you continue with a strategic plan and adequate support through November, you will be feeling better! 

***

Here’s the summary:

Step 1: Get clear on your wellness goal by deciding what feels most achievable and meaningful to you right now.

Step 2: Break down your goal into the specific action steps that will lead to your dream result and write it down using timeframes.

Step 3: Recruit support by choosing which friends and family you want to help and communicate EXACTLY what you want them to do. If your village is absent, come to the Mindful Pain Relief Facebook page and let me know how to support you.

Step 4: Celebrate by marking a date on the calendar for you to commemorate the effort you’ve put into your pain relief plan. It’s not about whether or not you reached the goal 100%. It’s celebrating that you’re showing up for your dreams and being brave to try something new. 

Leave a comment to let me know if you’ll give these steps a try. I’m here to give you support, feedback, and cheerleading.

 

Your #1 supporter,

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT

 

 

 

 

Dr. Crystal Frazee, PT, CHWC, C-IAYT

 

P.S. If you know that you are ready to learn mind-body tools to take back your body and life then check out this upcoming program. There are 10 spots available and they are already starting to go!