The holidays are around the corner, quite different from other years. Pain complaints do not depend on the time of year and can also arise during the Christmas period. Here are four tips to hopefully get through the upcoming period!
Easier said than done this year... is to avoid boredom. Especially during periods of lockdown, it is an almost impossible task. But still, if you manage to distract attention, you will stop thinking about the pain and develop new pathways in the brain. In the longer term, you will work on a brain that is less focused on pain. One of the problems of distraction is that it is often difficult to think about what to do if you are bored. This exercise can help.
Make a list and write on it:
- Activities that I used to enjoy, but don't do very often anymore;
- Activities that I like to do;
- Activities that I have never done, but would always like to do.
Think about the day or a moment when you have no idea what to do, take out the list, and then you can decide what you are going to do. Agree with yourself that you are going to do 'something' anyway, whether you feel like it or not. Because you have prepared the list, you don't have to think so hard at that moment.
Since the Christmas period is usually so different from your everyday life, it can be difficult to hold on to some good habits. See if you manage to keep moving and to maintain your movement rhythm. Or start moving when there is no steady rhythm yet (read the blog about borders). Regular exercise remains one of the best remedies against long-term pain.
Think about next year
Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a day, but underestimate what they can accomplish in a year. Having goals to work towards can be a tremendous help in changing the state of our brains. Hopefully shifting to a state in which the brain is motivated and focused to achieve your goals, and increasingly seems to forget the pain. By working towards your goals, you give the orchestra in your brain a new set of instructions and they gradually forget to play the pain melody.
Which activities would you like to pick up and develop in the coming year? Maybe
- A sport or an exercise
- Something you would like to learn
- A creative activity
Write down what's on your mind for yourself! When you get to work, make sure you don't fall into the trap of performing too well at the start and gradually losing motivation after a few weeks. Build in small steps towards your goals, and you'll see that you're slowly but surely making progress (read the blog on motivation & micro habits).
Let go now and then
Perhaps the most important tip is to let go of everything now and then. You are active and try very hard to improve your pain. However, sometimes a balanced blend with letting go of everything for a while can be useful to facilitate the process. As important as it is to make slow progress and work towards your goals, no one can focus on progress all the time without a burnout. In particular, the Christmas period can be a great time to let go from time to time, or at least to find a balance between the effort of progress and the necessary relaxation.