July 15, 2019
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When you’re living with pain, your energy levels take a huge hit. This can make it difficult to work, care for children, spend time with friends and family, enjoy hobbies, or even participate in special occasions and events. Pain takes its toll on a person psychologically as well as physically, potentially contributing to depression and anxiety.
One of the things that people are most hoping for when seeing a new pain physician is that they can find ways to boost their energy levels and live a full life despite their acute or chronic pain condition. While your Riverside Pain physician will best know how to help your individual situation, there are several ideas that you can try on your own to boost your energy levels as you manage your pain.
Try to Stay As Active As Possible
Talk with your doctor about your options for exercise and physical activity. It may be impossible to imagine when you’re in the throes of pain, but gentle activity can actually work wonders when it comes to raising your energy levels and potentially even helping to manage your pain. Ask if you can engage in walking or water aerobics, forms of activity that are less strenuous and more gentle on your joints. Exercise boosts blood flow and makes you feel more alert. You might also consider looking into exercises that are associated with stress reduction. Restorative yoga and tai chi are both known for their physical and mental health benefits. Mindfulness is a key component of both of these exercises, and mindfulness has also been shown to potentially be helpful for pain management.
You can take classes at home using Youtube videos or books as a guide, or you can participate in group classes at Jacksonville’s many studio choices. In classes like restorative yoga, you’ll find that many people in the class are also seeking relief from pain or related conditions.
Get Regular Sleep
Sleeping well isn’t easy when you’re in pain, but getting the proper amount of sleep is essential to better energy levels. The key is to avoid sleeping too much or too little. You want to stay as active as possible during the day, but maintain a quality sleep schedule at night. Make your evenings as relaxed as possible. For instance, take a walk outdoors with a loved one after dinner, and then wind down with a favorite book or other activity before bed. Try to stay away from phones and televisions an hour or two before you plan to sleep, as they can make your body want to stay awake. For added relaxation, you might consider using essential oils and aromatherapy. Some people also benefit from light music or nature sounds. Figure out what works best for you to stay relaxed and ready for a decent night’s sleep.
Choose Healthy Foods
Wanting to reach for the junk food is understandable when you’re in pain, but healthy foods will make you feel healthier, too. Look for foods that are filling, with less added sugar and more protein. Vegetables and low-glycemic (less likely to negatively affect blood sugar) are natural energy boosters. Berries and apples are good examples of low-GI fruits. Of course, desserts are fine in moderation, but you can try to make them healthier by including healthy spices (like cinnamon and turmeric) or fruits in your dish. Just check with your doctor that none of your diet changes will interact with any medications that you’re taking.
Connect with Nature
Spending time outdoors positively affects your mood and, in turn, can offer an energy burst. Skip the treadmill in favor of a stroll through the park or just enjoy a healthy picnic outdoors with family and friends. If your hands and wrists aren’t a source of pain, many people enjoy gardening or caring for plants outdoors.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Not everyone will understand how draining it is to experience acute or chronic pain. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for those days and moments when you need to take it easy. You can’t care for anyone else when you haven’t yet cared for yourself. Give yourself permission to reduce your stress load and focus on your needs, so that you can have the energy to focus on the other things going on around you.
Eating healthily, getting plenty of sleep, spending time outside, and allowing yourself the time to attend a yoga class or take a swim can help you feel energized as you manage your pain condition. As always, talk with your doctor if your low energy levels feel like they aren’t just a result of your pain, or if they’re beyond these remedies.
Experiencing pain and in need of a physician to treat your condition? Contact Riverside Pain Physicians today. We’re located in Orange Park, Southside, Monument, and Jacksonville Beach. We have the options that you need to live a more pain free life.
Tags: acute pain, chronic pain, how to have more energy