Now is the time to de-stress and lighten the pain load

The holidays are almost here

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It's a week before Christmas and, hopefully, you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel—your home has a decoration or two; you’ve ordered some gifts and there might even be a favorite sweet treat or two in the kitchen. If you are living with chronic pain, you may very well be exhausted and in more pain before the holidays even get here.

Now is the time to take a breather in order to lower your pain levels. Here are some good ways to distress so you are in a positive frame of mind to enjoy the celebration.

Accept Limitations

Living with a chronic pain condition, you may not be able to do everything you had planned during the holiday season. Sometimes, traditions need to change. Don’t beat yourself up. If you can’t chop down the tree or prepare the big holiday meal this year, everyone will survive. Instead, use it as an opportunity to bond with some of your other family members and teach them how to carry on your proud family traditions.

Get Some Exercise

“But won’t exercising worsen my pain?” In most cases, when you get your body moving and your heart pumping, your brain releases endorphins, which puts you in a better mood and relieves stress. Moving your body also helps to let go of the day’s worries, allows your busy mind to wander and stretches muscles to keep them from tightening up. Exercise can also help you sleep significantly better at night. Check with your doctor before you start a new exercise regime, just to be sure.

Unwind Your Way

Pencil in plenty of “you” time every single day. You need it and so does your body. Relax and enjoy whatever calms you down and rests your body and mind. Whether it’s a morning stroll for a coffee, getting a massage or enjoying reading a children’s book to a favorite youngster, take the time to unwind and truly enjoy the joy of the holiday season.