About 8 in 10 people in the U.S. will have back issues at some point in their lives. With numbers like that it’s no wonder most of us view the oncoming Christmas season with as much trepidation as we do cheer.
But back pain needn’t put a dampener on the holidays.
Here are 5 tips to help manage your back pain this season.
1. Don’t Shop Til You Drop
Americans spend a lot of time at the mall. It might not seem like it, but shopping puts a mighty strain on the body. As well as being on your feet for long stretches, you’re also lifting and carrying bags, shifting your weight unevenly, and often forgetting to hydrate.
If you can’t avoid the mall, be mindful of how long you spend on your feet. Take regular breaks to sit and give your back a rest. Make use of trollies and don’t be proud of loading the car up all by yourself.
If you can avoid the hustle and bustle altogether that’s even better. Look at buying your gifts online and having them pre-wrapped and delivered.
2. Keep up Your Routine
Once the holidays hit it can be all too easy to let your eating and exercise routines fall by the wayside. But while skipping your stretches to get a head start on your Christmas cooking may seem harmless, ’tis the season to stay on top of your self-care.
Christmas is a strenuous time, both mentally and physically. Taking care of yourself by maintaining your stretching and strength exercises is essential lest you ring in the new year in pain.
3. Meal Prep Is Your Friend
Putting on a spread for the big day? Plan your cooking ahead of time so you’re not over-exerting yourself rushing around on the day.
Activities like chopping and dicing can be done ahead of all the major cooking. You also needn’t be hunched over the bench to do it. Look around and see if there are other surface areas to use that will put less strain on your back issues – the dining room table for example.
Don’t stay in any one position for too long at a time. If you’re prone to losing yourself in a task and forgetting to shift, employ a kitchen timer to remind you to sit, stand, or stretch.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It can seem galling to ask for help with activities that you used to achieve alone with no issues but remember your family and friends would rather lend a hand than see you in pain.
Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks like shopping and cooking preparations. Getting the kids involved in decorating or present wrapping is a great way to give your back a break and give them some extra responsibility to boot.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
Christmas is a strenuous time for anyone, let alone someone with chronic back issues. It’s important to be kind to yourself and your body during the runaround.
Take frequent breaks and keep yourself hydrated. You may need to lean more heavily on your coping mechanisms as the silly season ramps up but be mindful that this isn’t a failing on your part.
Back Issues Needn’t Ruin the Holidays
Back pain can be particularly disruptive over the holiday season. With these 5 points, you can keep your back problems in hand and help manage your holiday stress to boot.
Looking to invest in a new mattress for Christmas? Check out how to find the best mattress for your back pain.