‘Tis the season… whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other holiday at this time of year, there will likely be many activities to keep you busy through year’s end.
Decorating, planning, shopping, cooking and visiting with loved ones brings much to look forward to — but for people living with chronic pain, there may also be anxiety and trepidation.
If you live with pain, you already know how challenging it can be to perform simple everyday chores and functions. The thought of adding all the holiday “stuff” to it can be truly daunting, and it can really put a damper on what may otherwise be a season of delights.
If you are a pain sufferer who understands these feeling all too well, read on for 6 useful holiday tips that we hope will help bring a smile to your face (and less pain in your body) for a more enjoyable holiday season.
Time flies — and before you know it, you have too much to do in too little time. This can mean over-exerting yourself to catch up and causes undue stress that can really take its toll on your body.
Plan your activities well in advance of any pending holidays, (even if you think you still have “plenty of time”,) so that you can pace yourself and enjoy your festivities in a more leisurely fashion.
Give Yourself a Break
If you’re one of those people who loves to go all-out for the holidays, hosting elaborate parties, displaying the most dazzling decorations or over-spoiling the grand-kids, consider what you can let go of this year.
Certainly you’ll always want to observe certain traditions during these times, but try going through your list of to-do’s to see what you might possibly eliminate to lighten the load. (If the thought makes you cringe, try it just once and you may find yourself feeling more relieved than disappointed about anything removed from the list!)
Ask for Help
Not everyone has friends and family nearby to help, but if you do, don’t feel like a burden asking them to lend a hand. Sharing the list of activities not only helps alleviate some of the pressure on you, it also presents an opportunity for interaction with those you love, which is especially delightful during the holidays.
For example, if you must have guests for dinner, make it a potluck — it’s good traditional fun and takes some tasks off your list of responsibilities.
Opt for Convenience
Are you someone who likes to have a real tree for Christmas, or fine china on the dinner table for Hanukkah? Yes, the holiday is special and warrants the finest amenities for your celebrations, but a little compromise can go a long way when it comes to the impact of seasonal activities on your pain condition.
It may be worth lowering the bar just a bit by using an artificial, pre-lit tree, for instance, or using decorative paper/plastic dinnerware. If it helps to reduce your pain and makes you more comfortable through the holidays, this seems like a worthwhile trade-off.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of YOU
Yes, this may sound like an impossible goal when you have a flurry of seasonal festivities disrupting your normal schedule, but it’s imperative that you still make time for self-care if you want to enjoy your time more fully. The better you feel, the more you can participate in those activities that bring you pleasure.
While it’s not always easy to keep up with everything at once, try to do your best to look out for yourself; drink plenty of water, get sufficient hours of sleep, enjoy holiday goodies but not at the expense of proper nutrition, etc. And most importantly, find time to relax and recuperate when possible, to replenish your energy for the next seasonal event.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
If you’re in the care of a pain doctor, remember to stay on track with your prescribed medications and/or treatment schedules. Skipping parts of your pain management regimen can diminish any progress you’ve made and cause you more discomfort. Stay on top of your schedule and enjoy the benefits of a better holiday season.
- Try to stay positive by doing more of the things you enjoy when possible, and with people who bring you the most happiness. Avoid isolating yourself from the festivities, even if you can’t fully participate in all of them. Your state of mind and emotional disposition play a large part in how you experience pain. If you’d like to understand more about this topic, read this recent article: “What do You Think About Your Chronic Pain? (Hint: It Matters!)”
Can We Help You Get Through the Holidays with Less Pain?
At Florida Pain Relief Centers, we are committed to helping our patients live a more pain-free quality of life, so that all your seasons are something to celebrate.
Our highly skilled physicians are dedicated to relieving your suffering and ensuring your comfort with compassionate, individualized care and state-of-the-art technologies for pain relief.
If you’re tired of living with chronic pain and want more information about options available for relief, contact Florida Pain Relief Centers today at 800.215.0029, or click the button below to set up a consultation at one of our clinics online.