No, this is not another opportunity to complain about the weather or a Disney audition. We know that the world around us has changed drastically, yet it still feels like we are dealing with a lot of the same old problems. Pain, tension and feeling exhausted. Now add fear and uncertainty, which are huge triggers for anxiety, and we get a lot of frozen people. Stuck. Overloaded with information but unable to take action. Often our mental health and physical pain change together. As a result, your body seems to feel worse when you’re stressed. We need to talk about how we are going to use this time as an opportunity to conquer your pain and gain control of your mental health. This will contribute to making you a stronger person once this is over. Now grab a piece of paper because life is about to change.
Why Are You Frozen?
There is often a sense of hopelessness when we feel like we have tried everything or there is too much information going around. Maybe you have tried different forms of therapy and it did not seem to make a difference or you felt like you were being told to stretch all day every day in order to feel better. Pain still comes back and you’re frustrated. Although some of us may have more time than ever to do all these exercises, there is now an endless abundance of information and everyone seems to have an opinion on everything. This can be overwhelming and prevent you from taking action. I am here to tell you not to worry so much about doing everything perfectly and just DO something. My inner perfectionist is screaming but no one can truly change without being a bit uncomfortable.
How Do we Defrost?
8 Steps to Conquer Your Pain and Regain Your Health
Still don’t have the time or the energy to complete an overhaul on your life? That is ok! We could go through a lot of different exercises and talk about how there are endless methods to make you feel better but we’re going to start small. First, we have to get in the right mindset for change.
Our brains adapt and change based on how we think, behave, and feel. This is an intro to neuroplasticity which shows new neurons and synapses form in response to our current habits and experiences. That is a topic for another day. I want you to write this down. “I will do one thing each day for myself because I deserve it”. Great! Even small changes can make a huge difference. Wayne Gretzky said “you miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” You do not have to be an athlete to understand he did pretty well. So focus on the small successes, like getting up and stretching between Netflix episodes or getting up every hour to move just because you can. Also check out our blog on how to maximize your TV time, without pain!
- Make a list
So you have 99 problems and living the dream isn’t one. I get it! What I want you to do is write down 3 things that you are not enjoying on a day to day basis. Nagging neck pain? Headache? Digestive issues? That low back and hip tension you’ve had for 20 years. All the different things that you would be better without.
- Pick Your Priority
Too many of us have an all or nothing mentality. That means if I can’t go to the gym I can’t work out or if I eat one cookie I might as well have 50 cookies. Remember, start small. I know you are super motivated and ready to conquer the world right now but let’s be realistic. What happens when you become more busy? This is something I want you to stick with. From your list lets focus on what would improve your life the most. What is limiting you?
- Find your Resources
Context is key. If you are dealing with an injury it is important to have exercises that are tailored to you. This is where you might need extra help from your Athletic Therapist to discuss what exercises might be best for you at this time. Although there is a lot of great content out there, there is also a lot of misinformation which can be part of the reason why you became stuck in the first place. When in doubt, reach out! Check out our free content on Instagram and/or blog for injury-specific exercises. Therapists are also available for a Telehealth appointment.
- Make a schedule
One of the reasons people do not complete what they set out to do is because there is not enough time. This may sound silly but researchers have found that one common thing most successful people in the world share is that they have a plan. We’re talking goal setting and a schedule down to 5-minute increments. Now I do not expect that from you, at least not yet. What I want you to do is write down a time each day that you can commit 30 minutes for yourself. Studies show the brain does best with at least 20 minutes per day of activity.
- Keep it Interesting
Be willing to change it up. A lot of the time just moving is going to clear up a lot of different aches and pains. I am not saying that specific exercises are not needed to address your pain but sometimes we get bored. Above all, always resort to some kind of movement. Fun fact, exercise has some of the best supportive research in comparison to a lot of fancy machines used in some clinics. Try going for a walk or dancing with your kids. This is still going to help you with your goals.
- Add more Components
30 minutes go by fast. Can we add another 5 minutes throughout the day for some you-time? I think so!
- Do Great Things
This step is in here as a pat on the back because I already know you are going to do awesome!
Added Tips For Success
- Limit your screen time and interaction with the news. Check your screen time usage on your phone. I am sure we are both concerned about the amount. Try to designate only 1 hour to social media or to stay up to date with the news. Have to work on a computer? Every 20 mins look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds and stretch out. The great part of limiting your usage is you will have more time to take care of yourself and help improve your mental health.
- Drink more water! I know this is old news but water plays an important role in every system of your body and most of us don’t get enough of it.
- Set a timer so you stick to your schedule
- Get your rest! No system works alone. If you are tired how is your body supposed to have the energy to heal?
I am Still Lost.. Now what?
It is ok to feel lost at times as long as it is brief and not accompanied by feeling alone. Contact your Athletic Therapist and they will help you come up with a game plan to get you back on track. If you haven’t heard about our telehealth appointments check out this blog. For more information or to find out how we can help with your injury, ask to speak with a therapist below.