Many people record some aspect(s) of their health in some way. It can have a variety of benefits, so let’s take a little look at how monitoring your health and pain can give you a little control back.
Types of Monitoring
There are lots of things you may want to keep a diary of in some form: Blood pressure, activity levels, sleep, stress levels, mental wellbeing, blood sugar, blood test results, weight, migraines, other symptoms, and pain.
You can keep track of such things with printable charts, diary entries, smart devices, voice memos, apps, or spreadsheets. It’s a case of deciding what’s important to you to monitor, how best to record it, and what works for you personally.
The benefits of monitoring health
Keeping a record of different aspects of your health can be useful for a few reasons :
- It can give you a broad overview of what’s going on, helping you break things down into specific issues and making it all a little less overwhelming.
- It can be a crucial part of identifying ways to better manage, treat or investigate your health and any illness you’re contending with by highlighting patterns and relationships between different factors, areas that are most troublesome, or potential triggers for symptoms.
- It can help with motivation.
- It can also be a tool to use when discussing your health with doctors and specialists, while being useful to refer back to in future.
There’s An App For That – Ouchie
If you’ve got a smartphone and like the idea of keeping track of your pain levels, treatment, and self-care goals, then you might want to check out Ouchie.
The idea of the Ouchie app is to help you track your pain and other measurable details, from medication and goals, to mood and sleep. From there, you can connect with peers, others patients and access resources. There’s also the chance to earn rewards for achieving targets, helping to encourage and motivate you in moving forward. While tracking your health/pain, goals and progress, it gives you the chance to learn, so you can check out new developments, products and research. I’ve not been financially sponsored to write this post, it’s just an app I’d come across and would like to share.
The app acts as a bridge in connecting you to a larger community so you can reach out to others – if and when you want, without any pressure – and to get support. If not, that’s totally fine, there’s no pressure to share your journey or anything you input into the app if you don’t want to. I like that there’s a choice. You don’t have to dive right in, you can just use it for tracking your details and if you decide you want to connect with others or share your goals, then great. It’s about going at your own pace, making use of whatever tools work for you.
What I like so much about this is the warm community vibe. It’s a place to nurture your own soul as you seek support, to know you’re not alone and to be among others who ‘get it’. It’s also a great way to be accountable and to get yourself into a routine of checking in with yourself each day – how’s your sleep, your mood and your pain? What goals do you have, what small things can you do for yourself today? Sometimes we have the best of intentions to take back a little control over our health and our lives, and to work on these self-care goals, yet struggle to put it into practice. This is where using I think the Ouchie app can be very useful.
There’s also the Ouchie blog. They kindly asked if I’d like to contribute – you can find my post on my experience with chronic pain here.
Tips For Monitoring Health / Pain
- Try to be consistent and set yourself a realistic target of how much you want to record and how often.
- Find a method that works for you. Some may find a spreadsheet on their computer handy to use or an app that can be used on your phone/tablet wherever you are, while others may prefer the good ol’ pen and paper.
- Consider what you want to get out of monitoring your health as this will give you motivation to do it and a better idea of what to record.
- Ask yourself whether this is something you wish to do privately, or something you’d like to do as part of a community to get and give support alongside others.
- It can be a case of trial and error getting into a routine of monitoring and how best to do it. Try to stick with it and learn as you go along, keeping hold of any records for future reference.
Do you keep records or monitor any aspects of your health, well-being or pain? Do you find it helpful?