Does living with chronic pain feel like it’s limiting your life? It doesn’t have to. You can help manage your pain condition with a few basic self-care steps, and add more fulfillment to your life in the process. So, if you are ready to take more control over your chronic pain symptoms, you should commit the following self-care habits.
Keep Clutter From Making Pain Worse
Did you know that clutter can cause health issues? Too much stuff in your life and home can actually lead to more stress, which in turn can worsen feelings of pain. To prevent your home from aggravating your condition, use these tips from HomeAdvisor to get it decluttered and organized. Focus on creating a positive flow throughout all of your interior spaces, but also take organizational steps that make your daily life easier, such as a Lazy Susan in the kitchen or a Murphy bed in multi-use rooms.
Use Exercise to Keep Endorphins Flowing
When you live with chronic pain, you may find it difficult to stay active. Pain can make exercising feel stressful, but the truth is that physical activity can make your pain more manageable. Moderate to strenuous exercise helps your brain pump out more endorphins, natural chemicals that boost your mood and lessen the effects of pain. For older pain sufferers, even a light workout can be enough to produce the natural high needed to curb unwanted symptoms.
Explore Alternative Methods for Pain Relief
Working out is not the only natural remedy for your chronic pain condition. People who suffer from pain often attempt to avoid prescription pain medications and the negative side effects that come with them. You can try a variety of holistic, healthy approaches to reducing your pain symptoms. From acupuncture to yoga to meditation, these alternative practices show real potential for relieving chronic pain. CBD oil is another treatment gaining popularity, but you should do your homework to make sure this solution is best for you.
Avoid Foods That Worsen Inflammation
Exercise and diet work together to help you manage your weight, but this combo can also help you manage your pain. You already know that a workout can weaken feelings of pain, but watching what you eat can help as well. Studies suggest that sticking to a diet of anti-inflammatory foods can help calm your immune system, as well as inflammation that can lead to more feelings of discomfort. Cutting processed foods is a major first step, but also try to fill your plate with healthy berries, whole grains, and green veggies.
Reduce Stress to Reduce Your Pain Symptoms
If you feel like your pain gets worse in times of stress, you are not imagining things. Chronic stress can bring on inflammatory responses inside your body, which can cause disease and increased pain symptoms. In addition to decluttering your home, you should find other practices that keep your stress levels under control. Learning to stay present can go a long way in treating stress, anxiety, and pain, so try to focus on your immediate surroundings when you begin to feel overwhelmed. A few deep breaths will usually do the trick.
Sleep Well to Improve Your Overall Wellness
The relationship between your pain and your sleep habits can be challenging to manage. On one hand, feelings of pain can make it harder to fall asleep, but a lack of sleep can lead to more severe pain symptoms. You can try to break this harmful cycle by changing up your routine around sleep. Create a bedroom that is conducive to relaxation and sleep, and make sleep a major focus in your health and wellness plan. If you have a hard time getting your mind to relax at the end of the day, try using one of the stress-relieving practices above or add some proven sleep-inducing activities to your nighttime rituals.
Chronic pain doesn’t have to be an obstacle that keeps you from living your best life. By adding some essential self-care to your normal routine, from getting enough exercise to managing stress, you can keep chronic pain from being the center of your life.
Verity Allen - BSc, BA, MBAcC, Lic Ac