How to Survive the Holiday Season with Chronic Pain

The holidays give you the chance to spend time with your loved ones. If you have chronic pain, you may have difficulty getting through your favorite activities. You may head home earlier than you want and struggle to spend even a few hours out of bed. The team at Louisiana Pain Specialists can help you do everything you want during the holidays and learn how to cope and survive with your chronic pain.

Plan in Advance

Planning is the first step towards handling your pain during the holidays. If you're like most people, you probably have a lot on your plate and multiple activities that you want to do. Think about the things that you want to do and the things you need to do. Planning helps you see how much you have on your list, so you can take steps to accomplish them before the "rush."

 

Learn to Let Go

As much as you want to have the perfect holiday celebrations, it would be best to learn how to let go and be realistic about the holidays. Chronic pain might limit the activities you usually do outside of your home, such as hitting multiple stores to pick out gifts and meal ingredients or spending a few hours playing in the snow. Take some time to figure out your limitations. Don't be afraid to say no to some events if it gives you time for your favorite activities. If you try to do too many things and overload your body, you'll wind up in more pain than you had before.

Be Prepared to Cut Back if Needed

Around 20% of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Knowing that you're not alone can go a long way towards making you feel better about your situation. Surviving the busy holidays is much easier when you know when to cut back. Though you don't need to give up everything, it's helpful to cut back a little and focus on a few things that you know you can do.

Follow a Routine

Many people struggling with chronic pain follow a set routine every day. Even if you follow a pattern, you may find that the holidays throw everything out of whack. Try to find some easy ways to stick to your routine, such as taking your pain meds simultaneously every day. Sleeping and waking up at the same time can also help.

Divide the Work

Dividing the work you need to do is an excellent way to take pressure off your body. It's also easy to divide your work into smaller steps leading up to the holidays. You can make cookie dough and freeze it one week before baking it the next week and decorating the cookies the day after.

Make Lists and Delegate What You Can

Another way to survive the holidays with chronic pain is through lists. It's hard to stay organized when you have a lot of things on your plate. You may find that you forget some of the simple and everyday things that you need to do because you get so caught up in the holidays. Each list should include your daily tasks, such as washing dishes or prepping ingredients for dinner on top of the holiday things you want to do. Not only will the lists help you keep track, but they can help you decide what items you can put off for another day or two.

Take Breaks Often

Pushing yourself is one of the worst things that you can do. If you try to follow the same routine you did before struggling with chronic pain, don't be surprised if you experience even more pain. Arthritis and back pain are just a few examples of chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia and a herniated disc. Monitor your pain to know when you should take breaks. Even a five-minute break in the middle of a busy day gives your body time to recover and rest before you get back to it.

Talk to Your Doctor

The holiday season is so busy that you might find yourself skipping a few things. Never disregard your doctor's appointments or any advice that they give you. Setting a reminder on your phone lets you know when to take your medication. Taking pain meds before you experience pain can help you avoid pain in the future. 

Focus on the Things That Matter

Around 10% of people who have chronic pain experience so much pain that it interferes with their ability to handle their daily activities.  You may have enough pain that you cannot stand for more than an hour, or you need to take breaks when you spend more time on your feet. To get through the holidays with your pain, make sure that you focus on the most important things. Close your eyes and think about the things you love the most about the holidays. As long as you experience those things, you may not miss those activities you don't get to do.

Chronic pain can affect specific parts of your body, such as your back or joints, but it can also affect your entire body. Getting through the holidays with that pain is difficult because you don't know your limitations and how certain activities will affect your pain. Between making family meals and finding the right gifts to enjoying the season, and decorating your home, you have tons of things that you want to do. Call Lousiana Pain Specialists to see how you can get help for your chronic pain condition and keep the situation in check during the extended holiday season.

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