The start of a new year always signifies a fresh start. It’s energizing and exciting to consider where we were 365 days ago and where we could be 365 days from now. Our comprehensive pain care team encourages you to take this opportunity to make a few new year’s resolutions for your pain management goals, too. To help you in this pursuit, we’ve got a few expert suggestions.
It might not be the first thing that many of us think of regarding pain management. However, research is clear about the connection between chronic pain and mental health. And one of the top ways to improve both is by practicing gratitude.
The practice of gratitude refers to the habit of being intentionally and consistently mindful about the people, places and things in your life that you are grateful for. What does that list look like for you in your chronic pain journey? We encourage you to set aside 10 minutes at the end of your day to make a list of three people, places or things that overwhelm your heart with gratitude. Don’t worry if it’s difficult at first; over time this will become easier and increasingly effective.
Whether it’s day one of your diagnosis or day 1,001, there is always something new to learn about your condition. We encourage you to use this year to get curious. Find ways to dig into a deeper understanding of your pain and the possible solutions for it. One highly effective way to do this is by getting involved in the research that’s being done about your condition. This could mean joining a clinical trial, attending meetings at a support group, or even finding a mentor who has been living with the same condition for longer than you have.
If this new year’s resolution sounds like an exciting path for you, consider approaching the following resources to get started in the right direction:
- Your local care team of comprehensive pain specialists
- A condition-specific advocacy group
- Your local library
- Set a Google alert for the news on current research being done regarding your condition
Try Something New
One of the top ways to remind yourself that your chronic pain doesn’t get to call all the shots is by trying something new. Be bold this new year! Start by making a list of all the things you’ve put off for longer than you’d like to admit – things that energize you and bring a feeling of fulfillment to your life.
- Get out in nature more
- Sign up for a class related to a hobby you’ve always been curious about
- Make a new friend
- Volunteer as a speaker for a topic you consider yourself to be knowledgeable about
- Spend more time with extended family
- Find a creative outlet to express yourself (i.e., painting, music, pottery, horticulture, etc.)
Medication and treatments are just a few of the ways of improving your quality of life with chronic pain. However, we want to inspire you to think beyond those medical resources. How can we help support you in living the life of your dreams today?
Trust the Process
Our final suggestion for your new year’s pain-free resolution is a simple [yet powerful] one. Find a chronic pain care specialist that you trust and faithfully adhere to their recommendations and treatment strategies. Inquire about additional strategies and therapies you could be doing on your own. Carefully document everything you want to share with your care team in a pain journal and share new trends at regular intervals.
And don’t forget to be patient as you wait for results.
If you are looking for a specialist to help you with pain management goals, we’re here for you all year long. We understand that pain is a wide spectrum of disorders including acute pain, chronic pain and cancer pain, and sometimes a combination of these. The physicians at CPI have special training in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a dedicated member of our care team.