For people living with facial pain, this COVID-19 pandemic can bring on extra stress, medical challenges, and anxiety. These challenges might cause you to experience more facial pain. During this pandemic, staying healthy both physically and mentally can help prevent hospital visits during a time when hospitals are already seeing a large influx of patients.
- Stick to a Routine
Set an alarm, shower, and change clothes on a daily basis. Laying in bed all day can increase the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself and your family
Some families are now juggling multiple responsibilities; teaching children and balancing a full-time job. Be realistic about what you can accomplish each day, don’t set yourself up for failure.
- Filter what you see
Is stress a trigger for your pain? Does watching the news stress you out more? Do posts on social media make you more anxious? Limit how much you see by keeping your social media and news viewing to a minimum.
- Take Care of Your Body
Take deep breaths, meditate, exercise, eat healthy, drink plenty of water and make sure you get enough of sleep. Check out the Calm app. This app has meditation guides, music, and scenery guides to help you relax.
- Take Advantage of Telehealth
Do you have a doctors appointment or need to see a doctor? You can now “see” a doctor using technology like your cell phone or computer. Check with your physician’s office to see if this is something they offer. If your doctor gives you a prescription, try and use the drive through to pick up your prescription. Also, speak to your doctor about what you should do if you have a major flareup in which you would normally go to the emergency room. Have a plan in place that would allow you to get relief, but stay safe.
- Connect with Others
Staying in the house all day is wearing. Connect with others through technology. Set up a game night, have dinner together, or just talk “face to face.” Google Meet, Zoom, and Facetime are just a few free modalities to be able to “see” people.
- Online Shopping
Many grocery stores offer “online shopping.” Take advantage of that so you do not have to go into stores where you could potentially be exposing yourself to the virus and/or putting yourself into a situation that may raise your stress levels. If your local stores don’t offer online shopping, reach out to a friend or family member to see if they would be willing to pick up the essentials and drop them off outside of your house.
- Order Takeout
Restaurants may be closed, but that does not mean you can’t enjoy your favorite meal from a restaurant. Sites like Grubhub.com and Seamless.com are waiving fees for delivery of your food. When you get your food, empty it from the takeout container to your own dish and then make sure you wash your hands and disinfect the counter thoroughly before eating.
- Be Cautious
Make sure you are washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Try not to touch your face, even when you are in pain. If you tend to grab your face when you are in pain, try using a scarf, heating pad, or ice pack instead. Make sure it is clean and wash your face as well as your hands if you are able.
- Ask for Help
Ask for help from friends or family. If you feel yourself needing more emotional support, contact Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800- 985-5990. You can also text TalkWithUs to 66746. Any of these resources allow you to speak confidently with a trained crisis worker, free of charge.
This is a difficult time for everyone in many ways. The Facial Pain Association is here to support you in any way we can. Please visit our website: www.fpa-support.org for more resources and to stay in the loop on any upcoming virtual events we may be offering.