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How I Power Through the 'Rain Pain'

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I don’t know about you guys, but if there’s anything I hate more than the day-to-day pains of chronic illness, it’s what I like to call “the rain pains.” Many people don’t realize the effect that the weather can have on a pain condition, but boy when it strikes, it strikes strong and hard like lightnin’. (See what I did there?)

Let’s start with the science of it all. There are several factors that go into the connection of weather pressure and pain. Now I use the words weather pressure for a reason. While scientists have yet to pinpoint a direct connection between pain and the weather, most theories aim not at the precipitation itself, but at the drop in barometric pressure. This means that our elevated symptoms do not stem from the rain or snow, etc., but from the drop in the weight of pressure in the atmosphere surrounding us. I’m no scientist, in fact it’s a miracle I even passed science in school, so if you’re looking for more information, I found this article to be pretty enlightening.

Now that we’ve gotten our homework out of the way, I thought I would share some
ways that I plan on getting through today’s rain pain.”

1. Dress comfortably —
 I’m very blessed that I work in a casual office. Now typically I do my best to be as business casual as possible, but today was a leggings and Victoria’s Secret sweatshirt kind of day. Layers, layers, layers. Who knows what kind of hot flashes or chills will strike throughout the day, so stack those layers on, take a few off, whatever you have to do to keep yourself comfortable. (But take it easy with the “taking layers off” part, you don’t have the time nor patience on a rain pain day to deal with HR.)

2. Tea, tea, tea 
– I seem to benefit greatly from green tea, ginger tea, and chai tea – though chai tea serves as more of a comfort tea than medicinal. I just love those spices. Make sure that the teas you are drinking are organic, you don’t want to be steeping any pesticides or carcinogens into your cups, especially since we’re using them as therapy! Go with a brand like Traditional Medicinals or any other teas proven to be organic.

3. Don’t strain yourself ­– If you’re feeling like you want to get things done despite the pain today, that’s fine, however, pace yourself. Set distinct goals and let yourself accomplish what you can with the energy you have. If it can wait, let it.

4. Try to move – I know, I know, the stiffness and pain seems unbearable, but moving your tired and aching muscles can be beneficial to you in the long run. Even if all you do today is move from your bed to your couch and back again, you’ve moved. My mission at work today is to get up from this desk as many times as possible despite my pain and fatigue, even if it’s just to grab papers from the printer or fetch the mail. (And, on the days when my pain and stiffness is at its worst, I drag my butt to Zumba class anyway. Sounds crazy, right? But actually, once I get through the first few songs, moving and dancing actually releases the tension and stiffness in my body, and I sleep better that night than I would have if I stayed home)

5. Rest – “But Katelyn I don’t have time to rest; I have work, the kids have extracurriculars, I have appointments, we need groceries” —  Hold it, warrior. There is always time to rest. This may not mean a full 90-minute nap, as glorious as that may sound right now, the focus is to rest your mind when you cannot rest your body. Put on your favorite music while you’re driving around, listen to an audiobook (yes they still have those), take five minutes in the car to do some quick breathing exercises to calm your mind and body. Find something. Anything. Make that your rest.

My final piece of advice to you all on “rain pain” days is this – remember how strong you are. You are a warrior! You are mighty! Your success rate of surviving bad weather days in the past is 100 percent. That’s impressive! Keep your head up, snuggle in, and weather this storm like the mighty warrior that you are. Now, I was going to post some cheesy quote about how rainbows come after storms, but man that’s nauseating. So instead I’ll share a personal story with you all. The last time we had a severe rainstorm, I had just pulled in my driveway from Zumba. I was sore, tired, and man was I cranky. But, my favorite song came on Pandora, I happened to be wearing a shirt that said “fighter,” and I decided, “Ah heck, life’s too short” and I spent 30 minutes in my front yard dancing in the rain. I can’t even begin to tell you all how liberating that experience was for me – plus, I’m sure my neighbors got a good laugh out
of it, too, so it’s a win-win.

woman wearing tank top that says fighter

I believe in you, I know you’re going to get through this, and if you need someone to help you through this thing called life, I’m here 24/7 (because it’s raining and Lord knows I ain’t gettin’ any sleep tonight).

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Lead photo by Thinkstock Images

Originally published: February 7, 2017
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