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The Bare Minimum Health Plan

Bare Minimum Health Plan - How to keep the wheels turning when you're exhausted and in pain

When you’re dealing with chronic pain and fatigue, it can seem overwhelming to try to do all the ‘self-care’ stuff that we feel like we should be (and that everyone is constantly telling us about). We know that eating well and exercising is good for us, but how can I workout when I can barely get up and get a drink of water? How can I cook a meal when standing for more than 1.2 seconds hurts?

When life sucks, it seems impossible to ever feel good again. It really doesn’t take long for your mind to sink that low when you’re exhausted and in pain. I know. I’ve been there.

I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis when I was 24. I got lucky and had a few years of very minimal issues after that first flare. Then 2018 rolled around. Suddenly, I was 28 and dealing with severe recurring flares. At first, they were just a couple of weeks long, only one or two joints bothering me. They got worse and worse until in December 2018, I missed more work than I attended. Even on the days that I was able to go into the office, I frequently ended up going home early.

laying on the couch with a dog laying on top
Dr. Pollo hard at work

The only things that eased the pain were heat and laying down. So I spent a lot of time either in the tub or under a warm blanket, frequently with my puppy laying across my hips. Dr. Pollo earned his keep that month!

At that level of pain, it becomes difficult to even think. Often my husband would try to talk to me and by the end of the sentence, I had forgotten where it began.

I had no idea what to do except lay still and try to keep warm. But it didn’t take long before that started causing me even more pain, difficulty sleeping, and just feeling terrible. Feeling good felt so out of reach that it was hard to motivate myself to try anything.

My turning point came when I realized that I could shift my thinking. I started trying to make things suck less.

The Bare Minimum is enough. In fact, it’s ideal when you’re struggling. I’ve summed up the Bare Minimum Health Plan in a PDF for you so you can focus on making the changes that will have the biggest impact right now.

Keep positive habits going (at a managable level), prevent negative spirals (where things just get worse),
and ultimately recover from this latest flare better.

Once you’re gotten the plan, feel free to hit reply on the email to let me know what your biggest takeaway is after reading the Bare Minimum Health Plan!

Talk with you soon!
-Samantha 💜