Take It Day By Day
ABOVE ALL ELSE THIS WEEK, REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE OF HOW YOU MANAGE YOUR PAIN.
A WEEK OF INSPIRATION
Let's face it. Not every day can be amazing, especially if you're living with pain. But when you are having a good day, be sure to embrace it. And when you're having one that's not so great, let's see what you can do to help you get through it and maybe even turn it around. We've got a whole week's worth of inspiration on pain management and pain exercises for you right here.
MONDAY — FIND GRATITUDE
New week. Fresh start! Approach this new beginning by thinking about what you’re grateful for — things both big and small. In fact, put pen to paper and make an actual “gratitude list.” You’ll be amazed at how quickly this list can grow and how good it makes you feel. There are actually more than 40 research studies suggesting that positive thinking and gratitude can boost your happiness, health, relationships, careers, personality traits and emotional well-being.
Above all else this week, remember that you’re in charge, not pain. And when effective pain management is what you need, then be rest assured that Aleve can help to alleviate minor pain and help you get through the day worry-free.
"Either you run the day, or the day runs you."
– Patricia Briggs
TUESDAY — MAKE CONNECTIONS
If you run into challenges this week, who can you turn to for help?
Friends, family and neighbors. Don’t feel like you’re burdening others. Remember, there will be a time (if there hasn’t been already) when they need your help, too. Think about the family and friends you can lean on for emotional support, or maybe a neighbor you can count on for potential errands or help around the house.
Turn-it-around tip: Be proactive
Instead of waiting until times are tough, make plans in advance to have lunch or coffee with a friend. It will give you something to look forward to and help keep your mind on a positive path.
There is growing research to support that exercise can do wonders for both mind and body. Regular exercise is best, but even just a quick, brisk walk can have an immediate effect and last for hours.
Yoga is another great form of low-impact exercise involving stretches, poses and controlled breathing. There are different styles of yoga to meet everyone’s needs. You can probably find a number of yoga studios in your area, but yoga is something you can easily do at home, too. Just try to recreate the relaxing ambience of a studio as much as you can.
WEDNESDAY — REMEMBER TO BREATHE
Having a bad day? This, too, shall pass. Take a deep breath. Actually, make it about 10. Deep breathing exercises actually can help lower blood pressure and initiate a deep state of relaxation. So, how do you do it?
- Find a quiet space.
- Sit or lie down.
- Take a normal breath, then try a deep breath — inhale slowly through the nose, let your chest and lower belly rise as your lungs fill and your abdomen expands fully, then exhale out through the mouth (or nose, if it feels better).
- Once you've mastered steps 1–3, repeat with your eyes closed. Do this for a few minutes or whatever time you have. This is a pain management exercise that takes practice, but even a minute can help.
For more ways to relax, visit our Whole Living article.
"Let’s save tomorrow’s troubles for tomorrow."
– Jim Rohn
THURSDAY — STAY STRONG
Some days are harder than others. But with a positive attitude and a few distractions you can get through it
- Throw yourself into your work.
- Recruit the family for game night.
- Get a challenging jigsaw puzzle, crossword or Sudoku game.
- Do you need to do some deep cleaning? Today’s the perfect day to start!
- Exercise — it’s a healthy way to pass the time, and it’s a great stress reliever.
- Fight negative thoughts by losing yourself in music or a good book.
- Have a funny-movie marathon or watch mindless television.
- Call or video chat with a faraway friend.
If you’ve run out of ways to stay distracted and negative thoughts are starting to creep in, you might want to retire this day early and hit reset tomorrow.
FRIDAY — MAKE IT COUNT
As you head into your weekend, plan ways to make someone else’s day better. If you find you have extra time, consider volunteering at a shelter or community center. Or, if you’re short on time, perhaps you can drop off some items at the local food pantry. If you can’t serve this week, committing to a future date can still have an immediate feel-good effect.
"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others."
– Charles Dickens
SATURDAY — WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING, NOT WHERE YOU'VE BEEN
Are you in a slump? Try to put the challenges of the week behind you and focus on good things ahead. Think about positive life happenings coming up, and set some goals for yourself.
These could be life goals, like being more positive, going back to school, eating healthier and exercising more. Or, these could be more specific, short-term goals, like running or walking your first 5K. Goals can give you something to look forward to and keep you motivated. When you’re looking into new goals, just make sure you’re giving yourself the proper amount of time to prepare and achieve them.
Turn-it-around tip: Hug it out
Don’t underestimate the power of human touch. It has been shown to actually aid in both physical and emotional healing. So, take a minute today to hug a friend or family member.
SUNDAY — GET READY
Take time today to make a schedule and get organized for the week. Here are a few things you can do to help make it go a little bit more smoothly:
- Do your cooking ahead of time. If your week is looking hectic, make dinners on Sunday. You can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, cook them for the whole week and freeze what you can’t get to before Wednesday.
- Make lunches the night before. If you have lunches to pack for yourself or the family, do them before you go to bed so you don’t have to worry about them in the morning.
- Get outfits ready the night before. Like with the lunches, laying out clothes the night before can help alleviate stress the next morning.
- Have your calendar filled up. Know exactly what appointments and activities you and your family have before the week starts. This way, you’re not scrambling to try and figure out who’s doing what and when.
- Check your attitude. A simple thing like thinking positively can have a huge impact on how your week goes.
"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it."