THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO AT HOME TO REDUCE CHRONIC PAIN
Written by guest author Jackie Waters
Living with chronic pain means that every little thing becomes more difficult. Between pain flare-ups and dips in energy, it can be challenging to keep up with the demands of everyday life. And for many chronic pain sufferers, medical intervention isn’t enough — they need to take pain management into their own hands, too. Here are three things you can do at home to improve your life with chronic pain.
Overhaul Your Diet
A healthy diet is an important part of managing chronic pain. While there’s no cure-all diet for chronic pain sufferers, there’s evidence that some foods can fight inflammation linked to chronic pain. Eating a diet rich in whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meat promotes health, while processed foods, sugar, and red meat may contribute to inflammation and reduce energy levels. Eating well can also help shed excess pounds that are contributing to your symptoms.
If the time involved in shopping and meal planning stops you from eating as well as you should, consider signing up for a meal delivery service. These services deliver fresh food right to your door, along with instructions on how to prepare recipes with the ingredients you receive. You can even find meal delivery services that cater to dietary restrictions. If meal delivery is out of your budget, getting your groceries delivered saves you time and pain as you can order from the comfort of your home.
Exercise at Home
Even though a sedentary lifestyle aggravates chronic pain, most people living with an illness don’t get enough exercise. Signing up for a gym membership or fitness classes can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know if you’ll be able to keep up. But opting out of exercise entirely isn’t the solution.
Instead, start exercising at home to improve your health. There’s a lot you can do at home, even without any special fitness equipment. Starting and ending your day with a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood costs nothing but is great for your mental and physical health. Bodyweight fitness is an excellent way to build strength and you can tailor a routine to any skill level. Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that increases flexibility and promotes mindfulness, and all you need to get started is a yoga mat and free instructional videos.
When simply standing causes discomfort, cleaning house becomes a huge challenge for chronic pain sufferers. Reduce the cleaning burden by turning to appliances that offer convenience, such as dishwashers, vacuuming robots, and all-in-one washer and dryer combinations. Equipping your home with Smart technology lets you control everything from your thermostat to your door locks with the touch of a button, reducing how often you need to walk across the house for a quick task.
Helpful as they may be, high-tech appliances and gadgets aren’t in everyone’s budget. However, there are other ways to simplify hour housekeeping regimen. Cleaning in short, daily bursts is easier for chronic pain sufferers than hours-long cleaning sessions, and there are simple, affordable cleaning products that can make everyday tasks easier. Look for products like electrostatic dusting cloths, disinfectant wipes, and Swiffer floor cleaners that offer convenience in a lightweight package.
If managing your home still proves to be too much, housekeeping services are a wonderful tool for keeping your home comfortable while minimizing your personal workload. While you’ll need to find room in your budget for professional cleaning services, you can tailor the frequency of visits to reach a cost that works for you.
When you live with chronic pain, good days and bad days are a fact of life. On the good days, do your best to structure your lifestyle in a way that minimizes your pain at home. And when the bad days hit, don’t feel guilty if you can’t always keep up. Living with chronic pain means taking life one day at a time, giving your best while understanding that your “best” doesn’t mean the same thing every day.