Chronic pain can be particularly stressful during the holidays. It’s a time of joy and celebration for many. Still, for those who suffer from chronic pain, it can also be a time of increased anxiety and discomfort. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can take a toll on anyone. However, for those with chronic pain, the added stress and physical demands can be overwhelming. If you have a loved one who suffers from pain, it can be challenging to know how to help them during the holidays. Here are some ways to help someone have a more comfortable and enjoyable holiday season.
Be Mindful of Physical Demands
If you’re planning events that the person with chronic pain may attend, keep in mind their physical capabilities and make adjustments accordingly. Suggest resting breaks, offer seating, and avoid events requiring standing for extended periods. Remember that individuals who suffer from pain may have good and bad days, so staying flexible is essential. Some conditions like fibromyalgia don’t exhibit physical symptoms, so it’s important to avoid judgment.
Offer Practical Help to Those In Chronic Pain
The holidays can be a busy time for everyone, and it can be challenging for someone with pain to keep up with household tasks or appointments. Offer help with grocery shopping, housecleaning, or meal preparation. Some may appreciate your presence accompanying them to medical appointments. Others may need assistance with their holiday to-do lists. These small gestures can make a significant difference in their day-to-day life and help them focus on the season’s joys.
Listen and Be Supportive
Those who suffer from chronic pain may feel isolated or misunderstood, especially during the holidays. Listen to their concerns, offer emotional support, ask how you can help, and be open to their needs. A simple question like “What can I do for you today that will help?” will elicit a specific answer. Some individuals prefer to rest and take things easy, while others may appreciate invitations to holiday events. Others may only require transportation for errands. And others may need only your phone call or visit to make them feel better. Remember, the most important thing is to be there for them during this time.
Gift Them Comfort to Help Ease Their Chronic Pain
A thoughtful and practical gift can go a long way in showing your loved one with chronic pain that you care. Consider comfort and pain relief items, such as a heating pad or a cozy blanket. Some food delivery companies, like Spoonful of Comfort, are explicitly designed for those with health needs. Massagers, aromatherapy, and stress-relief items can also be thoughtful options. These gifts show that you care about their comfort and well-being.
No one wants to feel left out during the holiday season. If you’re planning a get-together, be mindful of how you can include someone with chronic pain. For example, consider a potluck-style dinner, where each guest brings a dish, so no one has the burden of all the cooking. Consider offering a quiet space for guests to rest or escape the noise of the party. Simple gestures like these can help your loved one feel welcome and included.
The holiday season can be challenging for those with chronic pain. Still, they can have a wonderful and enjoyable holiday with extra care and support. Remember to be mindful of their physical abilities, offer practical help, listen and be supportive, give them comfort, and be inclusive. These simple steps can help your loved one with chronic pain have a happy and stress-free holiday season.
Like us on Facebook here.