Hi all! And Happy New Year! To start off this New Year I have a guest on the blog — Jennifer McGregor! Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to make it easier for people to find high quality health info. She is a pre-med student who enjoys writing about health and medical topics to help the readers find reputable health resources.
We all do it. We notice we’ve gained some weight, so we started dieting. Our skin starts to look bad, so we invest in makeup and face creams. But, if you take care of yourself every day, you’ll find that you don’t have to take corrective action for your health quite as often. Especially if you suffer from chronic pain. Here are some great ways to prioritize yourself all the time.
Get more sleep
The benefits of getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night are many. Your skin will look better, you’ll have more energy, and you may even suffer from fewer aches and pains since nighttime is when your body recovers from muscle strain. You’ll also enjoy the side effects of REM sleep, which is restorative to the mind. Give yourself enough time to rest each night. To promote better sleep, you should keep your room cool and dark. It can also help to do some decluttering in your bedroom and using a hypoallergenic pillow.
Take your vitamins
There are many different types of chronic pain, and no matter what you suffer with, chances are, you can benefit from keeping your body properly nourished. While this is accomplished primarily through foods, certain supplements, such as 5-HTP, riboflavin, and turmeric, may help ease symptoms. Those who suffer with daily pain might also consider solutions like taking ginger and glucosamine.
Chronic pain and stress are two conditions that tend to overlap. And there is little doubt that stress can exacerbate pain. For this reason, it makes sense to take proactive measures to reduce stress in your life. Per Mayo Clinic, meditation is one of these. When you meditate, you connect your mind and body. You gain a new perspective on the things that cause you anxiety and you can transfer your attention from negative to positive feelings. While this may not eliminate your pain altogether, it will help you cope.
Stress and chronic pain are definitely intertwined, and high levels of stress can exacerbate pain. While reducing stress in this day and age can feel like an impossible task, there are small changes you can make that truly add up. For example, try saying “no” more often so you’re not overextended, or you could try journaling to get worries out on paper. You could also deep clean your home and clear clutter so your home remains a refuge from stress. You can even find ways to outsource help around the house so you’re not overwhelmed. There are myriad ways to reduce stress, so find your sweet spot and make it work.
The thought of regular exercise when you live with chronic pain may sound challenging. However, exercise can make a significant difference in your pain levels and your overall physical well-being. Activities like walking, yoga, strength training and bicycling can be great choices to help those with chronic pain stay active. Plus, with the advent of smartwatches, you can track your exercise and even monitor your sleep so you can see the results of your efforts in real-time and stay accountable.
You’ve likely heard of the arthritis diet, but you do not have to suffer with arthritis to enjoy the perks of eating anti-inflammatory foods. For instance, you can start eating a Mediterranean diet, which can lower your blood pressure and curb inflammation. It may even lead to weight loss, which, if you are significantly overweight, can help reduce tension and strain on your joints. A Mediterranean diet isn’t boring, and includes fish, fruits and vegetables, beans, grains, and olive oil. Rossella’s Farmacy has a number of great nutrition articles and recipes to help you develop a better, healthier diet.
When you live each day in pain, you have to do everything you can to reduce this for your mental and physical health. The changes above are easy to implement and won’t interfere with your current lifestyle. They are all simple self-care strategies that will go a long way toward helping you live your best, pain-free life.
What ways do you plan to incorporate self-care into your life this year? Share below!