Managing Pain

5 tips for a Thanksgiving with chronic pain

November 18, 2022

Everyone loves Thanksgiving right? What is not to love about a juicy turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, crispy green been casserole and a sinfully sweet sweet potato casserole to top it off?! Oh yeah, and we can't forget to include how wonderful it is to spend quality time with our loved ones! We all have different holiday traditions that are meaningful to us. One of our family traditions that i personally truly love, is going around the table and everyone gets their chance to say what they are grateful for in their life and in our family. It is one of those hallmark moments that are so uncommon to see in real life!

Whatever loving traditions your family has, sometimes celebrating and hosting a holiday dinner can be difficult. Even more so for people with chronic pain. As much as i love to prepare a beautiful turkey dinner i have my limitations and sometimes my leg just can't take the pressure! I know so many of you experience the same problem, whether its a knee, back or whatever part of your body, preparing big meals is just dang difficult! I want to share with you today five tips to make this day more enjoyable, easier and far more relaxing than it has ever been!

Tip #1

Allow yourself to take breaks

You do not HAVE to get it done right now. It can wait the five minutes you NEED to give yourself to sit down and rest. What can be even more helpful is to plan your day with breaks included! I know for me that if i get behind the pain i can never catch up to it. So when you are planning your schedule, include some down time between mashing those potatoes and basting that turkey!

Tip #2

Prepare ahead of time

Avoid the hustle and bustle that is last minute preparation and running around like a chicken with our heads cut off because we don't want the biscuits to burn but the casseroles have to go into the oven! Not only do we not get to take breaks if this happens, but the likelihood of being in pain is so much higher. Use the full week before thanksgiving to grocery shop, plan, prep and cook. So many things can be done in the days leading up to the big feast, take advantage of that!

Tip #3

Stop judging yourself

It is OK that you need more time than your best friend to get things done. It is OK to take breaks when you need them. It is OK to not be able to preform like your sister, brother or aunt. How you need to do things says absolutely nothing about you as a person and it does NOT make you less than anyone else. Give yourself and break and some love!

Tip #4

Have your go to pain supplies on hand

All of us know what works best for us to stop the pain from getting to bad, but also, for managing pain in the moment. Two of my greatest loves in life since i have had chronic pain are ice and my pain relief menthol gel! If you are out of your topical creams make sure to stock up before hand! If you have ice packs, make sure those puppies are nice and frozen the day before. Make it as easy as possible to make sure your pain doesn't get out of control.

Tip #5

ASK for and ACCEPT help

Listen, i know that it can be hard sometimes to admit we can't do it all. Especially for those of us with an independent streak! lol But i want you to commit to asking for help when you need it. Make sure you have a healthy mindset around asking for help. Instead of thinking 'i'm a burden' shift that to 'my family loves me and wants to help me'. When help is offered, grab onto it like its a lifeline!

You are a beautiful person who deserves to enjoy this wonderful day just as much as the next person. I hope this helps! Enjoy your Turkey day! Gobble gobble!


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