Distraction is one of the more important tools we can use as chronic pain patients. It doesn't matter what that distraction is as long as it gets your mind off pain for a while. Reading, music, watching TV - anything that takes your focus off yourself. Meditation is a great way to regulate your breathing and get your body to relax. We all tense up and breathe faster during a pain spike, and it always makes the pain worse. That's why those relaxation techniques are so important and should be worked on daily. The more you work at it, the more it becomes autopilot when you really need it. Sometimes soaking in a hot bath will help keep you relaxed and breathing more normally.
Winter is always a rough time for me because I love being outside. Spring is beginning in my neck of the woods, and I find myself taking several tours of the yard every day. By now I think I know every bulb and bud on every plant. LOL! Every so often I'll pull a weed here and there and manage to keep up with that chore without it being a huge, physically demanding job that has to be hired out. I guess for me taking care of my plants and critters is what keeps me going.