People living with chronic pain already experience countless daily struggles. Adjusting to your life with chronic pain can become even more challenging during times of crisis. Those experiencing such pain often feel their symptoms worsen in stressful situations.
And now, with the entire world going through tough times during the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving or maintaining a relatively stress-free and pain-free life is complicated. Below are a few tips to help you manage your chronic pain and maintain good mental health during coronavirus isolation.
The Effects of Stress
Many illnesses can be psychosomatic in nature, (derived from mind (psyche) and body (soma)), hence the saying “laughter is the best medicine.” Although it won’t cure diseases, laughter and a positive outlook can help to lessen some pain symptoms. It can work wonders when it comes to relief from your discomforts.
And there’s the opposite side of the coin as well. Stress, depression and poor mental health can all worsen and intensify your chronic pain.
Several studies have shown the interconnectedness between chronic stress and chronic pain, so the evidence indicates that you need to take care of both your physical and mental health simultaneously if you want to improve your pain condition.
In order to get your chronic pain under control, you’ll need to learn how to manage stress. Every person is different, and everyone responds to and deals with stressful situations in their own way. But there are some common techniques that you can use to lower your stress levels.
A popular example is the 4 A’s approach: Avoid, alter, adapt, and accept.
While there’s currently no avoiding the coronavirus lockdown and isolation, you should try to avoid thinking about the situation all the time. Occupy your mind with work if you can, or come up with daily tasks that you’ll need to complete around your home. Read the books you always wanted to read or watch that favorite TV show while doing some light stretches.
Accepting and adapting to the current situation can be more complicated than avoiding it. The best way to adapt is to follow expert recommendations and learn to accept that you can only control how you handle the current situation, not how it develops.
Be Informed, But Don’t Research COVID-19 All Day Long
The fastest way to increase your stress levels and worsen your chronic pain is by spending your days soaking up information about the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s currently essential for you to know whether there are any new restrictions and regulations in your area and whether your family and friends are doing well. Nothing else should concern you if it increases your stress levels. Stay informed, but don’t dig through all the news obsessively.
Choose Your News Sources Wisely
Unfortunately, there are too many media outlets that primarily aim to spread panic and cause a reaction. It’s in your best interest to only get your coronavirus information from reliable sources.
Organizations such as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are globally recognized and will provide you with the information you need to know. Pick a trustworthy source and avoid opening “click-bait” article titles you find on social media.
Don’t Rely on Medication Exclusively
Taking medication for your chronic pain is sometimes the only way to manage it, but don’t go overboard or rely solely on pain meds.
Try some light exercises at home, or if you’re able to — go for a swim and do some yoga. Physical activity is essential for managing chronic pain, so do whatever you can to avoid being too sedentary during the pandemic.
Right now, the best we can do is to follow recommended preventative guidelines and stand by for scientific solutions as the pandemic runs its course. But for the duration, we should do all we can to reduce stress levels and keep a positive outlook. It’s the best way to maintain good mental health and manage chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Got You Down?
At Florida Pain Relief Centers, we understand the cycle of chronic pain, and the effects it can have on a person’s emotional and mental state. Our skilled pain specialists work to address all aspects of your condition(s) for overall mind/body well-being.
To find out how we can help reduce or eliminate your suffering for a better quality of life, call Florida Pain Relief Centers today at 800.215.0029 and schedule a consultation.
Or, click the button below to set your appointment online so we can discuss options for helping return you to a more pain-free lifestyle.