This post was written by one of our contributors; Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist – Bradley Scanes
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, where people are off or taking a little time to spend with family and friends and following the common festivities. However we may be taking our holidays but unfortunately pain does not. This means it can also be a tough time, full of pressures and expectations, and when someone is in pain this can be amplified. In this situation, we need to look after ourselves, take our time, and listen to our bodies. Hopefully these top Christmas tips for tackling those aches and pains over Christmas can help.
1. Pace yourself
This is always difficult, and you will either fall into one of two categories. You either do too much and overdo it and make yourself sore, or you do to little, become inactive and lose fitness. It is important to try and find that balance.
Top tip: Take a break before a break is needed
Write out a plan! And spread activities over the week. If you can prep the potatoes and brussels the day before to ease the pressure on the day then do it. If you can wrap the presents a week before so you are not rushing the night before then do it. The biggest mistake people who live with pain make, is doing too much on the days they feel good.
Top tip: Write out a Christmas week plan
3. Set some goals
To tie in with the above, set some goals for each day, this will be a good stimulus to get you up and going, and give the sense of achievement when it is complete.
Top tip: Set a daily goal
4. Be patient
Accepting there will be some pain and that things take time is one of the keys to achieving what you want. Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor is the Christmas shopping done in a day; or the Christmas dinner prepared in a day. Do things in stages, be realistic with what you can achieve in each stage, and be happy when you do.
Top tip: Break things down into manageable chunks
We know that exercise can reduce pain, and we know that exercise can make people feel better. It is also a useful way to prepare the body for other activities, so keep up your normal exercise routine to get that good feeling. But…if your normal routine happens to fall on Christmas day, we’ll let you have that one off.
Top tip: Continue to exercise over the Christmas period….don’t say I’ll start again in the New Year.
Christmas is a time to relax, take some time, and don’t worry yourself for doing it, it’s fine.
Top tip: Take time to put the feet up and not worry about it
7. Have a back up plan
Pain is weird, and can sometimes be unexplainable. You will have a good and bad days. If you pace well, and set realistic goals, you will have more good days….however, there may always be the occasional bad day, and when this occurs you need a plan B. Don’t panic, make note of what may have caused the set back as this will help next time, and then follow your plan b. This might be something like, put your feet up, make a cup of tea, write down what may have caused it, write down a new weekly plan rearranging stuff and go through your exercise routine.
Top tip: Don’t panic, and follow your Plan B
feature image: max-van-den-oetelaar via Unsplash