Even though the holidays are intended to be about friends, family, and taking stock of the good things in your life, nearly everyone finds this time of year to be extremely stressful. The expectations and demands of the holiday season can be overwhelming, and for those with chronic pain, the toll of this season on their wellbeing can be significant. Commonly, chronic pain sufferers will feel compelled to either skip part of the festivities, or to push themselves beyond their limit and experience a flare-up that can last for days or weeks. Neither approach is very balanced and can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration. Thankfully, there are ways to manage the stress and strain of the holidays in a measured way that allows the chronic pain sufferer to enjoy parties and other gatherings in a supportive manner. Implementing just one of the following may be the piece you need to find more enjoyment in this season than you have experienced in years.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you know preparing for holiday meals and parties tends to trigger pain, or if you are in experiencing a pain flare, do not tough it out. Ask a family member or friend to lend a hand and take some of the burden off you.
- Plan ahead. Do not wait until the last minute to send out cards or clean the house for guests. Both tasks can be taxing and should be completed in phases, so you are not trying to finish everything at once. Start prepping cards in November, and clean one room or area at a time during the week prior to guests arriving. Alternatively, you can send an email or New Year’s greeting in January if a December Christmas greeting is too much or ask a neighbor to help with cleaning.
- Finally, take care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat well, and continue to take the medication or supplements you need to be at your best.
The holidays should be a time of celebration and you should not have to worry about triggering more pain. If you want additional techniques to relieve chronic pain, schedule a consultation with me today!