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Managing Chronic Pain During the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and if you suffer from chronic pain, it can be a difficult time of year. There are so many things to do. Shopping, decorating, cooking, and much more may leave you feeling overwhelmed with your schedule. It is essential to ease into the holidays, and do everything you can to make this busy time easier while managing chronic pain. Below are five pain management tips to help you enjoy a pain-free holiday season!

1. Delegate Tasks

The first step to having a pain-free holiday is to delegate different tasks to your family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. While you may feel like you can handle it all, pushing your body beyond its limits can make your chronic pain worse and have you wincing in pain during the season’s main events. So when it comes to cooking, cleaning, and picking up family members from the airport, turn to your support system for help. Doing so will help take a load off your shoulders and allow you to manage your pain.

2. Take Breaks

Make time for yourself this holiday season. If you don’t take the time to rest and recharge, your chronic pain can become worse. To avoid this, set aside a specific time each day so that you can relax and recuperate. If you feel your chronic pain flaring up, stop what you are doing immediately and take a break. Drink a bottle of water to ensure you’re staying hydrated or even drink something anti-inflammatory, such as green tea or ginger tea.

3. Organize & Prioritize

Even when you delegate away tasks, there will still be so much you’ll want to do this holiday season. Staying organized will help you determine what tasks are priorities and what tasks can wait. Organizing will also allow you to get tasks done easier. For example, organizing your kitchen and its ingredients now will ensure you are able to get your holiday cooking done as efficiently as possible on Christmas Day, so you can focus on what matters. You’ll also find that this organization will help to alleviate stress and discomfort, both key when it comes to managing your chronic pain.

4. Shop Online

Instead of dealing with large crowds in the mall (especially during the COVID pandemic), consider doing all of your shopping online. You can shop for gifts, decorations, and even groceries online! This will save you from walking around the mall or a large store, which can trigger pain. With online shopping, you’ll be able to have your purchases delivered or ready to pick-up for curbside, so that you can save your energy and minimize chronic pain.

5. Know When to Stop

If you feel that you are reaching your limit during the holiday activities, it’s important to speak up and let others know. Don’t force yourself to do things that your body can’t handle. This will only exasperate the symptoms of your chronic pain. Instead, remember our first tip and delegate tasks to family or friends. If you are still feeling overwhelmed and in pain, consider visiting a pain management specialist who can provide you with a treatment plan to manage your chronic pain and get you back to enjoying the holiday season!

The holiday season can be a busy time, especially when chronic pain is holding you back from doing the things you want and need to do. This year, don’t let your pain get in the way of keeping you from what matters most. Follow our pain management tips above for a pain-free holiday. Remember to take it easy, delegate tasks to others, and stop if you are feeling any kind of pain. If your pain is persistent, contact Greater Austin Pain Center. We have three pain management clinics across Central Texas and offer minimally invasive procedures and injections that can help manage chronic pain that has not responded to medications or therapy.