Following my injury I found it much harder to socialise with my friends, and to some extent my family.   I was finding just surviving day to day incredibly difficult.  All my energy was being put into trying to continue to work, and I was coming home from work and going almost straight to bed!  Sitting down was incredibly painful and I could only walk short distances.  Although I was getting some social engagement whilst at work, I was missing out on such a lot.   As my condition, and my ability to manage it, improved I started to regain a better work-life balance and began to enjoy life more. 


Although at the beginning of my pain journey I had very little ‘social life’, I was at least meeting and engaging with people at work, and at home.  I am convinced that without this engagement my mental health would have deteriorated considerably.  I know from experience how easy it is to become overly-focused on your pain, but also how helpful it is for that focus to be re-adjusted by being with other people. 


I strongly recommend doing whatever you can to continue to be with people, and ‘socialise’ with others just for fun.  It is probably the best therapy you can have.  Like me you may need to think more carefully about what you are going to do with others, and where, and make some additional preparations.  For example I still don’t like going out to dinner with others if the seats are hard but if I  want to go then I can take my own cushion with me!

Social interaction

Click on the pictures to learn more about each strand

1. Embrace the 'new you'

2. Understand pain

3. Understand YOUR pain

4. Know your pain triggers

5. Make plans, set goals

6. Pace yourself

7. Track your progress

8. Improve your sleep

9. Manage health conditions

10. Move and exercise

11. Improve your nutrition

12. Support your mental health

13. Relax and be mindful

14. Do things you enjoy

15. Attend to life stressors

16. Access clinician support

17. Ask for, and accept help

18. Help others understand

19. Review medications

20. Make adaptations, use aids

21. Return to work / education

22. Engage and socialise

23. Volunteer / help others

24. Explore resources

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