Distraction activities to help manage pain

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Enjoyable activities can help take your mind off the pain you’re feeling and distract you from worries. They can also relieve boredom.

Distracting activities can include:

  • talking to a friend or a relative on the phone or in person
  • playing a video game
  • reading a magazine or book
  • watching a movie
  • baking
  • working on a project
  • playing a board game or card game

Using distraction for real-life situations

Let’s think back to the two situations you were introduced to earlier in this section. Using distraction activities, here are some possible solutions.

Situation 1

You have just received treatment and are beginning to feel some side effects such as nausea.

Distraction activities:

  • Invite friends over to watch a funny TV episode or movie.
  • Play with a portable video game.

Situation 2

You’ve just received medication to help with your pain and are waiting for it to "kick in."

Distraction activities:

  • Create a fun music playlist on your phone or laptop. Try finding songs that are fast-paced or relate to how you feel. This way you can match the beat of the song to the pain you are experiencing or even sing along!
  • Get creative! Try painting, beading, drawing, assembling model kits (such as planes or cars), or putting puzzles together.

Now that you’re a pro at distraction techniques, think of other activities that can be used as distracters.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019