Make a Pain Resolution! 12 months in 2017 means 12 steps towards less pain by next year.
Coping with chronic pain or other painful conditions is tough, especially around holidays when a lot of responsibility is placed on a person. Christmas shopping, family gatherings, new years parties it might seem overwhelming at times, and next year feels like it’s right around the corner. But if you take the time now to make your new year’s resolution a Pain Resolution, you might find that the next holiday season will be a whole lot easier. Try reducing your pain with some of these monthly resolutions that are easy to follow and have great benefits to your health.
January: Ask family/friends for support.
You want to reduce your pain this year? Best to talk to family and friends. Chat with them about how you are feeling and what you want to accomplish this year. Ask for help with keeping up your resolution. Having a solid support system will help you complete any pain-reducing goals you may have. You might reduce some stress as well.
February: Talk to your doctor.
Before going off and completing your resolution, talk to your doctor before doing anything drastic such and running or any strenuous activities. It might not be the best activity for your body right now, and they’ll have some advice on how to start slow. This is a great time to talk about any concerns you may have, and to get started down any paths of testing or seeking second opinions, to ensure you have the right diagnosis, the right medication, and the right schedule of treatment.
March: Stretch, stretch, stretch.
Stretching is a great start for reducing pain, especially those with fibromyalgia or chronic back/neck pain. Stretching helps increase the circulation in your joints and relieve stiffness by reducing tension. Now would be a wonderful time to consider starting yoga, which will help you learn healthy stretches, and increase mobility & blood flow in your joints.
April: Start walking, biking, or enjoying the outdoors.
Spring has sprung, which usually means the weather is beautiful, and worth experiencing! Get out there and enjoy it! Walking is a great aerobic exercise to help manage chronic pain. According to this research study, most people who walked regularly had reduced pain and less joint limitations. Biking is another simple, low-impact exercise that’s inexpensive and easy (just get on and ride around your neighborhood, to start!). Exercise has been shown, time and again, to reduce chronic pain, reduce fatigue, increase heart health, and reduce any anxiety.
A lot of people go overboard with weight-loss resolutions, hit the gym too hard a few times, and give up. Don’t go down that road this year. Take it slow, and simple. Start with just 30 minutes of simple exercise, a few times per week, and work your way up from there. It’s far easier to stick to an exercise regimen that doesn’t leave you aching and exhausted all in the beginning.
May: Really start to shift your diet to be more health-conscious.
Changing your diet is a great way to reduce chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia symptoms, and much more. Once May rolls around, all the “big holidays” are over, where you might have trouble starting a healthy diet, which makes it a perfect time to begin! There are a bunch of little things you can do, such as replacing that bowl of ice cream with a bowl of fresh fruit. Or, skip some of the carbs in your meals, and replace them with lean protein or fiber. Not only will a healthy shift in your diet you help manage your pain, it’ll start you managing your weight as well, which, in turn, will make you start to feel better! Don’t forget to keep exercising and keeping up with each of the prior months’ steps!