I only have so much brain power. I mean, as much as I’d like to multi-task, learn something new every day, solve problems of all sorts… I only have so much brain power. So how am I using it these days? I’ve been spending a lot of time creating a Wellness journal of sorts. It all started when I was participating in the Pain Program at Kaiser. I needed something to help me transition from this program to the real world where there was only me. Only me to hold myself accountable, not a support group every day or the doctors I don’t want to let down… just me. I have to continue on this path to a quality life by doing daily exercises, working on my diet, managing my stress with meditation and relaxation exercises… practicing everything I have learned! Just thinking about it doesn’t work for me. Writing down what I have done enables me to hold myself accountable AND celebrate my successes.
So… I created this document to hold myself accountable. It’s similar to the pain journals I have created and posted in my Tools and Resources page. There are many differences though, for one it’s not just a daily journal, it’s also a tool to help me figure out what areas of my health/ life I need to address that are out of balance. I created worksheets to identify my short and long-term health goals, my plan for what to do when I’m in a flare… I included a Quick Reference sheet with exercises that I use on a daily basis. It’s a work in progress. Here’s the break down of what I have included in the set so far:
- Wellness Wheel: tool used to help you discover opportunities for an improved quality of life and create goals based on those areas.
- Wellness Plan: worksheet for documenting your short and long-‐term health goals and listing up to four key goals in the areas that you want to work on that will help you achieve your overall short and long-‐term goals.
- Flare Plan: worksheet for documenting the tools that help you, both physically and mentally, when you are in a flare. It helps to document these so you can just flip to this page and use the tools that you know will help you.
- Exercise Quick Reference Sheet: there are countless exercises you can do to help with your pain, these are just some of the stretches and strengthening exercises I use on a daily basis.
- Daily Wellness Journal: worksheet for you to document each day; your exercise, food, pain level and how you addressed your pain, what you are grateful for that day and memorable moments/ accomplishments.
- My Priorities for Today…: worksheet to document your personal and work priorities on a daily basis.
- Automatic Thoughts Worksheet: template to help you manage your stress and negative thoughts.
So far, with a much older draft, the Kaiser folks have been encouraging me to publish this Wellness Journal. It’s a little intimidating. But it got me thinking. I want to keep working on this. I want to create something that anyone with chronic pain or any type of health issue can use to improve the quality of their life.
I’m excited about this. I’d love to get feedback on what I have created so far. If you are interested in helping me by reviewing, testing and giving me your honest feedback – I’d love it!
Shoot me an email or leave a comment here and I’ll get in touch with you right away.
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I’m putting a link to your wonderful article on my blog.
Thank you Tamiko! This is going to be very helpful. ~Sheila
Great Idea, think i’ll start to write a pain/wellness journal to, maybe it could help me work out where i’m going wrong and eventually get out of this flare. xx