Holidays bring us joy! We plan so many things for our holiday season and want them to work according to our plan. But unexpected stress may come in our way of preparing, such as being anxious about our preparation not being perfect, the flavor of cooked meals not being good, meeting so many people at a time, feeling left out, etc. Anything can change our state of well-being and make us feel anxious. Most significant, emotional stress can manifest itself in the form of physical pain, making us feel down. We could experience excessive headaches, belly aches, or even feel depressed. At these times, we should understand that we are not alone in this and that we can overcome these conditions by incorporating certain strategies into our routine.
Here are a few ways in which we can manage our pain during the holidays.
1) Do Not Overwork
Holiday means work, but it doesn’t mean you need to overwork. It sometimes becomes necessary to complete all the works that you have assigned to yourself in your to-do list but it becomes easy if you also add “do not stress, take it easy” to your to-do list. You can also divide all your works among your family members to avoid workload stress. Organizing and prioritizing your work will remove your chances of stressing out. Make sure to take ample rest in between your work, and carry out the activities at your own pace.
2) Fitness Routine Is The Key
It may be a holiday for everything, but not for your body. It may be easy to skip exercise for a day or two but not advisable when you are on a long holiday. At the time of holiday, we tend to eat unhealthily and not get enough sleep. These are enough reasons for your pain to worsen, hence exercising and getting proper sleep is the key to managing pain. Exercising moderately will reduce water retention and inflammation which will help you to enjoy your holidays without any pain.
3) Keep In Touch With Your Physician
It is common to neglect your medicine at the time of the holiday season but it is not advisable because skipping your medicine might make your pain worse. To avoid forgetting to take your medicine, you can set a reminder or an alarm on your phone. In case you find your pain is worsening, do not hesitate to call your doctor. Your doctor can treat you and help you get back to your holiday season perfectly fine.
4) Surroundings Matter
It is often said that spending time with people you love the most keeps you happy. At the time of holidays, you may get surrounded by many people, which can make you feel a little overwhelmed and worsen your pain. But this can be avoided if you can be around those people who love and understand you. Your favorite people can keep you happy and make you laugh, because, as the famous saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine”. You can always enjoy watching a movie or some TV shows together to keep it light.
5) Mental Health Is Important
It is said that if you experience chronic pain, your mental health might be at risk. You can manage your mental health by scheduling a meeting with your therapist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are people who would understand what you are going through and that will make you feel not alone. Communication is the key to conveying your mental health issues to your therapist or family members. Seek help whenever you feel depressed or anxious.
6) Eat healthily
Pain sometimes can be caused by inflammation and it can be avoided by eating healthy and keeping yourself hydrated. To avoid inflammation, you can avoid the consumption of alcohol, preservatives, and oily foods. Gaining weight can put pressure on your joints and make it difficult for you if you happen to have pain in your knees. Though the festive season means consuming a lot of unhealthy food, eating healthy is one of the best approaches to control pain.
7) Say no to yourself
In the hustle of the festive season, sometimes we commit to a lot of works. In case you are a perfectionist, it puts a lot of pressure on you to complete all your works without needing anyone’s help. Sometimes all you need to do is learn to say no to yourself. Dividing all your works among your family members reduces a lot of stress and also gives you enough time to rest.
8) Make time for relaxation
It is normal for holiday seasons to be a stressful time generally, but it is also normal for us to take some time out just to relax. Different relaxation techniques can help in dealing with stress. Journaling is one of the best ways to relax, and you can always write about your feelings and thoughts, which is known to have therapeutic effects. Meditation can also be a great choice in managing pain. Lastly, going for a walk and getting some clean air makes you feel fresh and releases all your stress.
9) Simplify things
Many seemingly difficult problems can be solved simply if we know the right method to solve them. Take time to explore new activities and if they interest you, add them to your “to-do list” of favorite things. You can read your favorite book, or watch your favorite movie to end a stressful day in a most relaxing way.
10) Plan your travel journey wisely
Holiday seasons can be a time for a good trip, but sometimes traveling can make you uncomfortable if you don’t plan it strategically. It is advisable to take breaks in between driving, and if you happen to travel by flight, make sure that you book a non-stop flight to avoid transit in between.
Pain can negatively affect your holiday season, but not if you take enough precautions and know about the different ways to manage your pain. Holiday seasons can be overwhelming for different reasons, but keeping up with your daily exercise routine and taking your everyday medicine can provide you relief from pain. Pain sure can make you feel depressed, but please remember that there are always people to help you out. It is not always easy to ask for help, but sometimes it is important to ask for help. You can always try self-talk and positive reinforcement of your own thoughts, because, sometimes, communicating with ourselves helps
PainPathways is the first, only and ultimate pain magazine. First published in spring 2008, PainPathways is the culmination of the vision of Richard L. Rauck, MD, to provide a shared resource for people living with and caring for others in pain. This quarterly resource not only provides in-depth information on current treatments, therapies and research studies but also connects people who live with pain, both personally and professionally.
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