As we close out the year we look to start new habits and end old ones we think are not healthy. We just spent a month over stuffed with food and sitting still and soon the gyms will be packed for the first 2 weeks in our attempt to exercise. When we think about occupational pain we have to look at what is the root cause of the pain. Many wanted to go somewhere or buy that little something extra for a loved one but financially could not afford it. Others expected to get wonderful gifts that did not materialize while others expected people to be more excited when opening their gifts.
When all this does not occur as we expect psychologically we become let down wiring our brains to not feel the joy of the season. This results in several changes chemically in our body’s system which if we continue to stimulate these negative connections we grow further into a state of sadness. This if left unchecked grows into a lack of activity which allows our joints to stiffen and muscles to tighten as they weaken. As a result we slowly disengage from our everyday living tasks and every like ache grows into an ever growing pain.
This is not to say we do not have a try cause of pain, but occupational pain stems from a lack of engagement in our everyday day living. What may have started from our over spending beyond our means or setting expectations upon others that we do not control we start to loose our everyday enjoyment with daily living skills (aka occupations).
So what do we do since the season has passed? We have to start small as the negative components are easy for us to look at while it is harder to find a positive thought these days. Some simple things to do would be to take a small stroll even if just walking down the hallways a couple times. Play with a pet or your love one. Disconnect from the internet and tv. Play some music you love that makes you happy and dance or sing or both like there is no tomorrow. Get ride of all the junk food left overs and replace them with healthy natural foods.
Those are easier but more to think about is to pay yourself first even if it only $5.00 is all you can do. Rather than getting that latte put that money into a special savings and soon see the benefits of the savings. Find saving as much of an activity as going shopping.
Another thing to try would be every time you are to think negatively change it around to a positive thought. Write it down in a journal so you can reflect and meditate on it which in my mind can be one in one. For example if you look outside and it is pouring down rain many think “I cannot do anything today because it is raining” but if you think about it, you can read a book, listen to music, organize part of your home, play with a loved one inside, and remember the rain cleans the earth washing away all the pollution, dirt, germs, while eating the plants, replenishing the ponds, lakes and streams so animals can drink. On a hot summer day it also helps to cool the ground and air.
So as we end the year, do not let occupational pain from the holidays grow into a debilitating loss over living your life every day to your fullest potential. Instead only you can control your thoughts and control what you do and think. If you have not had a health checkup in a while go and have a physical from your doctor and have your teeth cleaned. If you are unsure how to reengage in your everyday living then look for an occupational therapist in your local community to help your get started and remember do not get caught up in the online chatter and keeping up with Jones. Make your own path and keep smiling one. Savor the little things and make them large rewards.
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