Is Christmas Killing You?!

4 Ways To Stay Pain-Free & Sane Through The Holidays!

Read On For How To Enjoy Your Holidays Pain-Free!

It’s finally here…the holiday season is upon us. This year’s late Black Friday festivities deposited us directly into December, leaving us less time to prepare and cranking up the pressure that much sooner for the remainder of the holiday season.

For some, the adrenalin-pumping go-go-go of the holidays is a fun rush. For others, the stress and overwhelm can be frustrating and cause pain, which becomes all the more isolating during what’s supposed to be a joyous and hospitable time of the year.

And by keeping just a few key commitments to yourself, you can enjoy the pleasures of the season, without the pain, frustration, overwhelm or the dreaded holiday stress!

QUESTION: Besides struggling to stay calm & steer clear of all the tempting foods that increase my pain levels, I’m worried about sticking to my remedial advice & exercises while I’m traveling and staying with family. I’m doing so well – how can I avoid falling off the wagon during the holidays and keep sane whilst surrounded by all of my family?

ANSWER: The holidays can be full of fun festivities, but all the fun and socializing can often lead to holiday burnout. Not to mention managing all the tempting foods and potentially tricky family dynamics. First off – you’re not alone! So many of us go through the same stuff every year: stress because of family tensions, traveling, being away from our routine, etc, and it’s anything but easy. But here’s the good news: You can stick to your health & wellness commitments during the holidays, and I’m going to give you a few tips on how to do it. After all, what’s an adult committed to maintaining their healthy lifestyle to do? Stay committed to 4 principles of sanity to keep yourself balanced and vibrant during the most hectic months of the year.

Here are my top 4 simple strategies to stay sane and pain-free through the holidays.

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Make Your Time Good

Do not try to “make good time” on your ‘next car trip’ or ‘next family get-together’. We can’t improve time by speeding through it. We can only make time good by being present, taking deep breaths, finding the beauty in the voyage and enjoying every moment. Sure, make this convenient and organised for you; leave before peak travel hours, and opt for a less congested route. But if you do get stuck in traffic, surrender. Go with the flow. Choose to make your time good. You will get there either way.

Same goes for your flight – embrace flight delays. Buy yourself a funny, romantic or crazy book in the gift shop and lose yourself in the pages. Avoid mind-altering substances that drain you (coffee, cocktails, in-flight wifi). Treat the plane like a flying spa to avoid the stress and welcome the time: Bring your anti-inflammatory nettle tea bags. Drink ½ liter of water per hour in the air. Spritz your seat with colloidal silver spray and yourself with rescue spray. Hide behind your eye mask and earplugs; just completely zone out. With this mini-detox, you’ll arrive rejuvenated and better able to resist the cakes, chocolates, alcohol and other pain-causing, crazy-inducing carbs waiting for you at all those parties.

When you’re out of town or away from home, DO NOT stop your remedial advice and personalised exercises! Bring everything you need with you when you travel. Whatever it takes – just keep moving! Incorporate the whole family. Get a game of touch football going, play tag with the kids, go cross-country skiing – whatever encourages your family to get outdoors and be healthy together.

This holiday season FOCUS ON FUN. Remember why we have holidays to begin with? Let fun be the focus, and things will instantly lighten up with your family and friends. If an event is becoming crazy stressful, take a step back, take a deep breath and delegate responsibilities to ease your load.

Balance Your Binges

Now, about those parties. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence once in a while. But your system can only rev so high for so long. Balance every feast with a bit of planned famine. Don’t drink alcohol every day—you’ll inflame your liver, the site of our selfish, angry energy (which can occasionally trigger family spats…). After a big night out or a huge meal, stick to pain-fighting bone broth (its glucosamine and chondroitin soothe arthritis and joint pain), nourishing green veggies (to help strengthen your immune system and cleanse your gut) and anti-inflammatory ginger & turmeric tea (your liver’s best friend) for 12 to 24 hours, to allow your metabolic system reset.
Binge on social time, too: Instead of scheduling a meal or coffee with one friend at a time, plan one big reunion and get everyone together at once. Stay up late, laugh yourself silly, and then set aside some solid downtime the next day.

Strengthen your inner voice to say No. If you’re overwhelmed by party invites and already dreading the string of sugar and alcohol hangovers that lies in the months ahead? Just say no! It’s ok to do things your own way. You don’t need to go to every cocktail hour, and you certainly don’t have to drink and sugar binge at every social gathering. Feel free to use your, “No thanks,” as freely as you feel the need! Don’t binge, but do indulge a tiny bit. You can’t totally deprive yourself or you’ll be miserable. Trying to abstain completely from treats, not only during the holidays but in your everyday life, is a surefire recipe for disaster. However, give yourself limits – have one treat, and work it into your calorie allowance for the day.

Do You and no-one but You! Herd mentality can be strong over the holidays, particularly if you’re spending them with your extended family. The best way to make sure you’re getting the healthy food and exercise you need is to remember that it’s ok to be different. Moreover, you don’t need to intrude on anyone else’s routine, or malign their choices, in order to justify your own. It’s ok to be different! It’s what makes us unique!

mince pies

Keep Drinking That Warm Water With Lemon

Seems like such a little thing, doesn’t it? Wake up, head to kitchen, get warm water, squeeze lemon, drink. Little, yes, but mighty. Lemon’s antioxidants bolster your immune system, zapping any viruses picked up at the party. The burst of vitamin C lowers cortisol, increases iron absorption and keeps asthma at bay. The lovely smell increases your alertness and concentration. But most importantly, this daily ritual helps you center and ground yourself in your own life, every single morning, even if you’re standing in your mother’s kitchen. Use that moment to replant your healthy habits’ foothold in your life, even in the most hectic times. Set your intentions to stay true to yourself and steer clear of pain, whether from inflammatory foods or inflammatory emotions.

Relax and take quality personal “Me Time”

When all the socializing gets to be too much, take a moment (or a few hours) to be by yourself in a setting that refills your proverbial bucket. Whether that means taking a walk, taking a nap, doing yoga, or otherwise clearing your mind, remember that it’s ok to take time alone to reassert your sanity. Also, avoid saboteurs – if a particular member of your family always brings you down or ridicules your lifestyle decisions, avoid him or her! Limit your conversation with that person. If friends or relatives can’t be supportive of you and health & wellness goals, don’t share the details of your life with them. Then they won’t be able to berate or criticise you.

Lastly, just relax. Remember that things might fall apart every now and again, and there’s always time to pick up the pieces and start fresh tomorrow. Take a deep breath and know that relaxing in the midst of total mayhem is a great way to gain a different perspective.

No matter how crazy the season, you can stay sane. You can be pain-free. Remember: This is your time. Stay Present & Make it Good.

Send me your thoughts after you read through. I would love to hear your thoughts or questions on how this helps you throughout the holiday season!

Wishing you all a healthy & safe holiday season!

I look forward to seeing you soon.

All My Best,

Manjot 🙂

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Is Pain Affecting Your Sex Life?

Read On For How To Free Yourself From Physical Pain Into A New Realm Of Intimacy
Do you experience physical pain? Is this stopping you from being intimate with your partner? Is your relationship being affected by this change in intimacy? Are you fearful or unhappy due to all of this? Are you getting frustrated by trying to maintain a healthy sex life? Many of the millions individuals who suffer with back pain will experience this.

If this is true for you or someone you know, please continue reading for my great tips ways to alleviate this pain, reconnect with your partner and bring happiness back into your life.

Firstly, I want to reassure you that you are not alone in feeling this way. Chronic pain can lead to sexual problems and when you’re in pain; the last thing you probably want to do is be intimate with your partner. However, a key component to healing this aspect of your life is to remember the importance of remaining close to your loved one. A healthy, intimate relationship can positively affect all aspects of your life. And a healthy and healed body can make a big shift in this important area of your life as an opportunity to welcome a deeper level of intimacy.

back pain

The good news is that back pain doesn’t have to mean no sex, though it may mean taking a different approach to lovemaking, which can be a good thing for your relationship. The first important step is to get a back pain diagnosis from your doctor or health care professional. Remember that sexuality is an integral part of normal, healthy relationships. So I am always happy to answer any questions about how a specific back condition might affect it and the greater impact on your life, for you to follow the advice to take forward.

And I have some great tools below that will reassure you and help you to take the next steps towards healing from your pain.

Many people living with pain often have fears about sexuality and intimacy with their partners. I have tips below for the 3 biggest fears:

Fear of rejection by a partner: It is so common for people with chronic pain to feel that their partner is no longer interested. You may wonder if a partner is less attracted to you because you are in pain.

Tip 1: Share your feelings and fears with your partner and listen to your partner’s concerns and be open to accept support. Communication is critical and will help address anything unspoken to reach a resolution. This is so important otherwise, one partner may mistakenly interpret a reluctance to engage in sexual activity as an excuse for not wanting to be close, which can lead to feelings of rejection and resentment, which can then spill into other aspects of the relationship. Be open and clear so your partner can understand what you’re experiencing.

Fear of pain associated with sex: It is natural to worry that sexual intercourse will cause you more physical pain, especially if you’re already in pain from movement.

Tip 2: You can address this concern by experimenting with different positions that are more comfortable. Depending on your specific pain, where it is and how it progresses, it’s very important to understand what position is better for you and which position could cause more harm. For example, if it is painful to bend forward, positions arching your back may be more suitable. Whereas if it is painful to bend backwards, positions lying on your back and bringing your hips towards your chest may help. The use of pillows under your head, back and stomach (if lying on your front) is also an important tool in getting comfortable. Also, remember to keep everything slow and gentle as any movements that hurt should be avoided or consider light touch to start or a shower to relax your body before.
Please consult with me if you have any questions surrounding this, as it’s vital to use these tools to aid healing, not facilitate pain. Please Note: Never “push past the pain” as this can make your pain a lot worse!

Sad couple having an argument

Fear of failure to perform: Pain, depression, medications and alcohol can all affect sexual performance or the ability to get aroused or have an orgasm. Sometimes, failure or difficulty to perform is caused by stress and anxiety. In addition, physical pain is a huge component of stimulating stress in your body, so it can feel like a ‘Catch 22’.

Tip 3: It’s important to reduce the tension and create an atmosphere where neither you or your partner feel rushed. In many cases, patience and understanding can help in overcoming performance problems. Stress management and learning to listen to what triggers your pain is important for healing and also finding the right comfort to break through the barriers that are causing anxiety within you. Start with a simple relaxation technique, such as to lie on your back and begin with slow deep breathing for a few minutes; this helps calm your anxiety, relax your body & mind and increase oxygen levels.
If you suspect a medication may be affecting your sexual performance consult your GP.

My last tip: Try to enjoy this new phase of exploration with your partner. Just because back pain may limit one’s physical abilities, it doesn’t have to limit sensuality. Trying new positions can be a rewarding journey of exploration that leads to a new intimacy between partners. Never underestimate the power of candlelight and soft music to create a relaxing and comfortable ambience. The negative effects that pain has been causing in a couple’s sex life can sometimes spill over into other aspects of the relationship. Therefore, being able to restore healthy sexual relations will lower stress, and lower stress often leads to less pain. The ultimate combination:
Personalised Advice + Happiness + Fulfilment = Less Stress = Less Pain.

Female-Pain-sex

Send me your thoughts after you read through. I would love to hear your thoughts and how this has affected your life and relationship.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

All my Best,

Manjot 🙂

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