4 Holiday Tips for People with Chronic Pain

Posted on December 15, 2019

The holiday season is supposed to be a fun-filled time with family and friends, but that isn’t always the case when you have chronic pain. The pressures and expectations that come with the holidays can lead to exhaustion, greater pain, and difficult emotions. With the holiday season already in full swing, here are four helpful tips to help you have a happier experience this year:

Ask for Help When You Need It

If you’re used to being the party hostess or playing a major role in holiday festivities, then it can be especially difficult to take a step back and ask others for help. However, it’s important to remember that asking for help when you need it will actually make your holiday experience much more enjoyable. Stress is a well-known trigger for pain flare-ups, as is exhaustion. Be gentle with your body and allow yourself to involve others in your plans. Plus, deciding to delegate might lead to a new, fun holiday tradition with loved ones.

Try Online Shopping

The hustle and bustle of shopping malls is a seasonal tradition, but it can also be a lot to handle when you’re in pain. If you love the thrill of holiday shopping, definitely still take yourself out for a day of mall madness, but be sure to allow yourself plenty of breaks to relax and regroup between sessions. If hitting the ground shopping doesn’t feel possible, then go ahead and take advantage of online shopping. You can curl up on the sofa with a cup of hot cocoa and browse away. 

Practice Gratitude

Research has shown that practicing gratitude has positive effects on both the body and the mind. Keeping a regular gratitude journal can help you manage your emotions, reduce negative stress hormones in the body, and even lower inflammation levels. Each  night, try writing down 3 things that made you feel thankful that day. The act of writing down the moments will help to boost your positive feelings. 

Prioritize Your Health

In the midst of the parties and celebrations, don’t forget to continue making time for any appointments that are scheduled during the season. As tempting as it may be to reschedule an appointment with your physician or skip out on a physical therapy session, staying healthy is the most important activity of all. While the holidays are a special time for indulgence, don’t let yourself stray so far from your nutrition and exercise plans that your pain management is affected. 

Proper rest, too, is even more important during the holiday season. It’s okay to say no to social events in favor of taking some time to yourself. When you do attend parties, bring along a bottle of hand sanitizer and wash your hands as often as possible to protect yourself against illnesses, like the flu. 

Living with chronic pain doesn’t have to mean the end of favorite pastimes and traditions. You may find yourself needing to creatively alter your activities and plans to match your pain level, but the holidays can still be enjoyable no matter your pain condition. The doctors at Riverside Pain Physicians work to keep you living a life that is as free of pain as possible. With several locations in the Jacksonville area, we’ll help you manage your pain and take back your life. Talk with your current medical professional about a referral to Riverside Pain Physicians or contact us today for more information. 

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