We all make New Year’s resolutions – from eating healthier to getting more sleep. However, for those of us living with chronic pain, a different kind of resolution is needed. Living with persistent pain can be emotionally and physically draining, which makes setting realistic goals even more important. Read on to learn how you can start the year by setting achievable resolutions to help manage your chronic pain that could improve your quality of life this new year!
How Chronic Pain Can Negatively Affect Your Life
Chronic pain can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. In addition to physical discomfort, it can also affect people emotionally and mentally. For example, chronic pain can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of how chronic pain is potentially affecting other aspects of your life to make meaningful changes this year.
Things to do in the New Year to Help Relieve Chronic Pain
Get Enough Sleep
Aim for 7–8 hours each night. Chronic pain can make it difficult to get quality sleep, So it’s essential to create a calming environment and avoid blue screens before bedtime.
Make sure you’re moving every day. Even if it’s just a few minutes of light stretching, this can help prevent stiffness and improve your range of motion.
Eating healthy is vital for everyone, but even more so for people with chronic pain. This includes eating foods that reduce inflammation, like leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
Stress can worsen existing pain, so take some time each day to relax and do something you enjoy. Whether it’s reading a book or listening to music, find something that helps you decompress.
Mindfulness exercises can help manage stress and improve awareness. Try breathing techniques or guided meditation audio tracks that work to bring the body and mind back into balance.
Don’t be afraid to speak up about your chronic pain with your doctor or loved ones. They can offer support, advice, and resources that you may not know about on your own.
Talk to Your Doctor about Alternative Treatments
Acupuncture, massage therapy, TENS machines, and other alternative treatments may be beneficial in managing chronic pain symptoms. So, make sure you speak with your doctor about any options that could work for you.
The benefits of spending time outdoors are endless- from improving mood to boosting energy levels. Plus, getting exposure to sunlight can help naturally boost Vitamin D levels which helps in managing chronic pain.
Make Time for Yourself
The key to managing chronic pain is understanding that self-care is not selfish. Making time for activities you enjoy, whether watching a movie or going for a walk, can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
Ways to Prevent Chronic Pain
- Prioritize your activities: Sometimes, it can be difficult to manage chronic pain while also trying to keep up with your obligations. Instead of overwhelming yourself, prioritize the most important tasks and break them down into smaller steps that you can do over time.
- Ask for help: You don’t have to face chronic pain alone; reach out for help from family and friends when needed. They may be able to offer support or provide resources that can help manage your symptoms more effectively.
- Consider counseling: Talking about how pain affects your daily life can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which are known to increase discomfort levels. If this option is right for you, seek out a qualified mental health professional who can help.
- Stay active: Exercising is an excellent way to manage chronic pain. However, finding an activity that works for your body is essential. Low-impact exercises like yoga or swimming are great options that won’t cause further irritation.
- Track progress: Keeping track of how you feel each day can help you identify patterns and better understand what works best to manage your chronic pain. Writing down moods, symptoms, and activities done throughout the day can give valuable insight into what might be causing flare-ups.
Live a Free Life from Chronic Pain
If you or someone close to you suffers from chronic pain, the New Year is a perfect time to start working on some resolutions. Chronic pain can negatively affect every aspect of your life, from physical activities to mental health. There are things you can do in the New Year to help relieve chronic pain, like stretching and exercising regularly, managing stress levels, getting enough sleep, and eating healthy.
If you need help developing a plan to relief or prevent chronic pain, contact us at Integrative Spine & Sports. We provide available solutions that work with your body’s needs. Please fill out the form below to get in touch with us.