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Practical Tips for Remaining Self-Sufficient During Chronic Pain Flare-Ups

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Being diagnosed with chronic pain or fatigue can be devastating and even life-changing. Whether you are single, married or have kids in your home, you can still live a life of self-sufficiency by discovering shortcuts that can transform your daily routine.

Meal Preparation

Cooking at home is supposed to be much healthier than ordering out or even purchasing frozen meals which usually contain extremely high amounts of sodium and can have a negative impact on your health. So when a pain flare-up strikes, you can be prepared ahead of time. Instead of buying whole fruits or vegetables, opt for pre-cut fruits and vegetables instead. A more affordable option to consider is buying frozen fruit pieces, veggies, onions and peppers. If you like using fresh garlic when preparing meals the alternative would be a jar of minced garlic. Invest in a slow cooker for make-ahead meals. It only takes minutes to add the food and spices to a slow cooker and program the time and temperature settings.

Have a Seat

Starting or even completing house chores can be cumbersome when chronic fatigue or pain strikes. Standing and moving around for too long can easily take its toil on you. By using a chair or a stool as an aide, it will help you to not over-exert yourself. You can position a chair in the middle of a room to vacuum your carpet or a hardwood floor. Place a stool in front of your kitchen counter or stove while you prepare your meal or if you have to keep an eye on the stove frequently. Sit down while you do your hair or makeup. Even if you do not have an already designated area, find a place you can turn into a multi-use area. Use a chair as you go around your home to dust and wipe. If you have a front-loading washer or dryer, pull up a chair to get the clothes in and out of the machines. Invest in a table top ironing board to sit while you iron instead of having to stand when you need to conserve your energy.

Online Shopping, Curbside Pick-Up and Delivery

When you live with chronic pain and fatigue it can be very difficult to drive to a store, park, walk through the parking lot, get a cart and have to walk from one end of a store to the other. How often have you managed to complete a successful out-of-the-home errand since your health significantly declined without experiencing repercussions for doing so? A lot of companies now offer online-only specials and discounts when you order items through their website. You can opt to pick up your order at a local store or you may even receive free delivery to your home if your order is over a certain amount. If there are things you routinely purchase, this might be a good option for you and might also give you additional incentives or rewards for purchasing online.

Many pharmacies and even some grocery stores now offer curbside pick-up where you can place an order, pay for your items online and drive up to a designated pick-up area outside of the store where someone will bring your items to your car. Most first-time users may even receive a complimentary percentage off the total bill or a coupon for the first time you try their service. Delivery services are also becoming the latest fad. Companies such as Postmates offer you the ability to have someone go to a store, shop for you and deliver the purchased goods right to your front door. This service isn’t offered in every delivery area so you would have to check to see if this is available to you.

Have a Plan of Action for Relaxation

A lot of people who find themselves in the midst of a pain flare-up might not be able to get any relief from their prescriptions alone. So having your own plan of action for relaxation can help you get through some of your flare-ups. Try soaking in a warm bath filled with scented epsom salt to assist with relaxing tight muscles and help bring down your pain level. Invest in a heating pad and electronic massagers for the areas of your body where you experience the most pain and discomfort. Because many people with chronic pain also have additional health issues, medical treatment and prescription drugs can become rather expensive. If you do not want to spend a lot to purchase these things at a store you can often find heating pads and massagers at your local thrift store for next to nothing.

Discover Your Own Way

Just because you live with chronic pain or fatigue does not mean you can no longer continue to lead a “normal” life. You may just need to make some adjustments to your routine so that you can still be as self-sufficient as possible. You owe it to yourself to find ways to live your life as the warrior you are. Discover your own way to stay positive and live life on your terms.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: February 8, 2017
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