This the season for jolly good cheer, potluck lunches galore, sweet treats as far as the eye can see and belts that can no longer buckle. When we think about the holiday season we have a lot to be grateful for and much to celebrate. However, the amount that many Americans tend to celebrate has a huge impact on weight that directly affects chronic pain sufferers. If you fit into this category, now is the time to get those New Year’s Resolutions ready to rock and roll for a healthier, happier and pain saving year to come.
According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That number is astounding! With lower back pain being the highest reported place of chronic pain, the number of sufferers and cost to treat these conditions is increasing rapidly. If you fit into this group, this might be the new year to make a new change for your life and health.
Here are the top New Year’s Resolutions when it comes to chronic pain and health in general:
A great way to start the new year off right is to eliminate negativity. You will want to be specific in this goal. Start by writing down all the people and things that affect you negatively. Next, find strategies to help rid you of this negativity. This could mean changing relationships with friends, approaching your career in a different way or improving your attitude on a daily basis. If someone or something in your life is unsupportive or demanding, it might be time to take hard look at the situation and make a change for yourself. It is ok to put yourself first to make big changes in the new year.
Resolving to exercise and get into better shape has got to be one of the most boring and overused New Year’s Resolutions out there, but truth be told, it is probably the best one for you. Habitual exercise can really make a difference when it comes to chronic pain. One of the biggest advantages to exercise is it releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and for a short time even reduce pain.
It is understandable that the amount of exercise will be dependent on your ability and level of chronic pain. For some, just a short walk around the block could really make a difference. For others, a new workout program might be just the thing that releases those endorphins.
Don’t forget about your diet as well. Many people are unable to exercise away a bad diet. There’s a multitude of trackers and apps designed to help you get your diet and exercise under control. This might be the year to make that change.
Explore a new hobby
Now is the time to focus your brain on another activity instead of the chronic pain. You might consider learning to crochet, trying an adult coloring book or finally learning a new language. It is never too late to try something new and get yourself immersed with something that brings you joy and maybe even a little challenge. Exercising your brain is also good for your mental health and well-being. With the amount of you tube videos available, there’s almost nothing you can’t learn these days.
Toss out electronics in bed
Studies show that there’s a link between chronic pain and sleep deprivation. It is easy to see why chronic pain would affect your sleep cycle. Proper sleep is important for your body to rest and heal. It is also not surprising that electronics are becoming a popular bedtime ritual for many people. The problem here is that electronics also get in the way of a good night’s sleep. You may resolve this year to toss the electronics before bed and focus on your beauty sleep.
Seek professional help
When all else fails and you just want a little relief, seeking professional help might be your best bet for a proper New Year’s Resolution. The help you seek might be in the form of a life coach, a psychologist or a pain doctor. You should never feel ashamed to seek help for chronic pain or a mental health check.
If you are like millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain, you may want to get in the holiday spirit and choose a New Year’s Resolution for your health. Chronic pain can be so detrimental to your mood and your daily routine. Do something for yourself in the new year and take extra measures to reduce and take charge of your chronic pain.
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