Despite the ray of hope that COVID-19 vaccines provide, isolating ourselves from huge crowds and mainly staying at home are still a part of our lives in 2021. For many people, this limited mobility has led to depression and stress-induced chronic pain. The good news is that setting a daily routine can reduce depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
But before we continue with a proposed routine, it’s vital to leave perfectionism behind. In times like this, it’s best to aim for something over nothing. It may help to keep in mind that this list and the list you come up with are simply guidelines. You can tweak your routines as much as you like until you arrive at something you can do consistently.
Furthermore, keep yourself accountable. You can keep track of your tasks in a planner, or you can enlist a friend or a family member to check up on you regularly and ensure that you’re following through with your routine.
Managing depression, anxiety
Many psychologists recommend journaling to the majority of their patients. This is because the practice of writing your unfiltered thoughts every day unburdens your mind. Think of these journaling sessions as a “brain dump” and allow yourself to leave any lingering anxieties or stressors on paper.
Get some sun
Get your daily dose of vitamin D by soaking in some sun for 20 minutes, ideally before 10 am, to reduce UV damage on your skin. If there’s a park near where you live, schedule your daily walks early in the morning. If going out isn’t possible, you can also catch the rays on your balcony or window. You can also ask your doctor for their recommendation for the right vitamin D supplement.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get your serotonin boost. Serotonin is also known as the happy hormone, which stabilizes mood and increases happiness and overall well-being.
If you can take a quick walk or jog outdoors, do it. But if you’re stuck at home, there are various workout options available.
Human connection, even if through a screen, is another method to boost your serotonin. So, make it a point to reach out to someone every day through a phone call, text, or video chat. You can also host a watch party with a couple of friends. You will feel a lot better.
Managing chronic pain
Everything discussed above can also help you manage chronic pain. Below are additional pointers you can do to relieve chronic pain.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the best ways we can help our body cope with anything. Get the suggested eight hours of sleep. But if you’re extra stressed, you might need more. It’s alright. Allow yourself to sleep in once in a while.
Aim for a bit every day. This is better than nothing. The more you do your physical therapy, the easier it will be to develop a consistent routine.
Regular teleconsultations with your prosthetist
Keeping in touch with your prosthetist even through a video call can help mitigate any prosthetic-related issues before they get worse.
Foam roller massage
Numerous studies support the benefits of regular massage in relieving chronic pain. But if you’re not comfortable visiting your usual spa or having a masseuse over, you can turn to foam rolling.
Foam rolling is a type of self-massage that allows you to alleviate trigger points or tightness. You can also do this massage to reduce soreness, eliminate muscle knots, and increase flexibility. There are a lot of foam rolling videos available on YouTube to help you get started.
Whatever you choose to do, do your best to be as consistent as possible. And hang in there. We’ll all get through this.