After the year we have all had, making New Year’s resolutions may be slightly different to usual. Having goals and targets to improve your health and mental wellbeing are always a great idea and it is the perfect time for those who have to deal with a chronic pain condition to assess what improvements they can make in their lifestyle to reduce their daily pain and improve the quality of their life.
Whether you are the kind of person who follows your resolutions religiously or if they only last a week. Making a note of how you can improve your health and lifestyle is always beneficial and can even subconsciously initiate a change in your life where a habit or a certain facet of your life leaves much to be desired.
If your Chronic Pain condition has begun to prevent you from doing the things you love to do or you just haven’t managed to maintain a hobby because of the bizarre year of 2020, making a list of things that you would like to implement is never a bad idea.
Losing weight, exercising more and eating a healthier diet are all renowned staples of everybody’s new year resolutions. All three are never a bad idea, but there are other things that people can be doing to ensure that they optimise the quality of their life and minimise the impact of their chronic pain condition whether is arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, back pain or rheumatoid arthritis.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that effects over 1.5 million people in the UK and an estimated 10 million people in the United States. Fibromyalgia has unpredictable symptoms and the effect it has on the sufferer can vary greatly from patient to patient. Generally, Fibromyalgia is characterised by a chronic, widespread pain, extreme fatigue, abnormal pains, sleeping disorders, issues with cognitive functioning, anxiety, migraines, severe headaches and depression.
Fibromyalgia is still misunderstood by many medical professionals and this can often leave patients in awkward positions as their physician can be unsure on what the best course of treatment is.
Here are some prospective New Year Resolutions to see you through 2021:
- Stretching / Yoga – Stretching has been found to greatly assist people who suffer with conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. Stretching every morning and knowing your limits can make a huge difference. The more often you stretch the easier it will get, and it can begin to seamlessly slip into your daily routine. Watching yoga videos on YouTube with a specific focus on chronic pain can be a great place to start and just a few exercises that are carried out on a regular basis can begin to make a dramatic difference to your flexibility and easing of chronic pain. It makes it more manageable when you have events to go to and allows you to socialise more if you are feeling as fit and well as possible.
- Using your time wisely – Focusing on the things you love to do can be crucial in maximising the enjoyment you get out of life. Dedicating your time to spending time with people who make you feel good and make you laugh can help you view life in a far more positive mindset. Hobbies such as pottery, exercising, music, book clubs and many more can be a great relief from the stresses of daily life and give you something tangible to look forward to.
- Diet – Losing weight and eating a healthier diet is on many people’s new year resolution lists, regardless of whether they have a chronic pain condition. Eating a healthier diet can have a dramatic effect on how you feel, how your condition progresses and many more things. Gut health is one of the most important factors in managing auto-immune diseases and can often be underrated as a tangible action patient can take to improve their condition. Eating more fruit and vegetables as well as cutting out as much processed foods as possible enables those with an auto-immune disease to ensure they are allowing their body every opportunity to be as efficient as possible when fighting their condition. Many people underestimate the positive impact a very healthy diet can have on their condition and how much better they will feel for doing it.
- Sleep – Problems with sleep can be detrimental to chronic pain sufferer’s mental health and physical wellbeing. Working on your sleep routine is a great resolution and can be a positive step in maximising your quality of life. Getting enough exercise to tire yourself out can help and ensuring that you have a comfortable mattress and pillows can make a big difference. Using CBD oil can also dramatically help with sleep. Alternatively, if you are not attuned to the earthy taste of CBD tincture oil, you could try other delivery methods such as CBD capsules, or our increasingly popular transdermal CBD patches. There are, of course, other things you can do like burning incense and other essential oils to maximise the quality of your sleep. A good night’s sleep has untold benefits and can help you have a more positive mindset on life. Likewise, a bad night’s sleep can have very negative effects on your physical health and can lead to a worsening of your condition.
- Exercise – Staying active through lockdowns when you have a chronic pain condition such as fibromyalgia or arthritis can be extraordinarily challenging and finding the motivation to force yourself to exercise can be difficult. To first step is to establish what method and amount of exercise is beneficial for you without over-exerting yourself. Once you have established this you can gradually build the amount of exercise you do and this can have tremendous long-term benefits, enable you to be more active and ensure that when you attend events with friends or family you can cope better with extended days of celebration at weddings or birthday parties.
- To look after yourself – It is important to be conscious of your condition without letting it dictate your entire life. Learn to understand your limits and what specific activities or foods initiate flare ups. Even if you enjoy something but it has a negative impact on your health it is probably wise to avoid having it involved in your life. Making your family and loved ones aware of your illness and limits is also important, this will enable them to learn about your restrictions and they can help to ensure that you do not do anything that may compromise your health. People are not mind readers and educating your family about your condition can enable them to understand your condition more and in turn be a greater source of help and understanding. Silent illnesses like fibromyalgia can often not be recognised by some family members, but it is crucial that those who are close to you are aware of your struggle and then they can research how they can prospectively help you.
- Keep a diary of your symptoms and medication/supplements – Keeping track of your symptoms can be a great way to assess how you are progressing. Doing this in cohesion with the medication you are using and any supplements you are taking can enable you to gather a clearer picture of what is working for you in your life. This can allow you to establish whether a particular medication or supplement is having a positive impact on your symptoms in the long-term and it can help you realise the drugs that may be having a negative impact.
Whatever New Year’s Resolution you choose for 2021, ensuring they maximise your wellbeing is important. Exercising can be a great way to socialise more if you play a sport or go for walks with a friend or two. Improvements in your diet can become a new hobby where focusing your time and energy into learning new and healthier recipes.