Between the rain, it is darker longer, traffic and holiday expectations, your chronic pain can flare up to the point of you just want to stay inside and tucked in bed.
Here are a few tips:
- Take steps to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). As the hours of daylight grow shorter in the winter, some people experience a dip in their mood that can range from mild to severe. Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what causes this, but most agree that the change in the hours of sunlight affects people’s biological clocks, serotonin levels, and melatonin levels, which can all lead to depression. If you feel you are suffering from seasonal affective disorder, contact your physician right away, and start to make a few lifestyle changes:
- Take a 10-15 minute morning walk on most days
- Sit next to a bright sunny window while you work in your home or office
- Open all your windows and shades as much as you can, and make sure nothing is blocking the windows outside
- Ask your doctor about photo-therapy (or light therapy).
- Stay Active You simply want to curl up in a pile of blankets and stay in bed to keep warm during the winter. Unfortunately, inactivity is not good for chronic pain, and it can take a toll on your mind, making you feel lethargic and leaving you too much time to think about your pain.
Exercise can actually do wonders for pain by nourishing and repairing spinal structures, keeping the anatomy healthy, flexible and strong, and stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. Whether it’s doing some simple stretching or aerobic exercises every day or even getting out of the house and going to a local community center to swim, activity can at least make the patient feel as if he or she has some control over their pain.
- Find Support
The human mind can sometimes be your worst enemy, especially when bottling up how you’re feeling both physically and mentally. Simply letting others know that you’re having a bad day and then hearing them say how they understand what you’re going through can be therapeutic. Talking with others who are dealing with the same pain can be a great way to learn about how they cope when feeling a bit down as a result of their symptoms