Depression and Chronic Pain: 5 Tips for Managing the Holidays

Depression and Chronic Pain

With the holidays just around the corner, it can be a fun but also hectic time of year. Along with the holidays, winter itself can be a challenging season with its shorter, cold days. While the seasonal change and increase in parties, family meals, gift-giving, and travel are cause for celebration for some, others struggle during this time of year. For those who have depression and chronic pain, the holidays can be particularly stressful.

In today’s post, we’ll give tips to help you manage depression and chronic pain so you can feel your best during this holiday season.

Tip #1: Practice Self Care

It’s more important than ever to maintain a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get a good night’s rest. If you stretch or meditate in the mornings, continue to do so, even if your “To Do” list has grown longer because of holiday activities. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s way of naturally combating depression and chronic pain. Eating well-balanced meals regulates your mood. Attention to eating and exercise will help you avoid seasonal depression and can help reduce pain.

Tip #2: Create Limits

Life with depression and chronic pain is already hectic. The holidays add another layer of stress with decorations, functions to go to, gifts to buy, and meals to prepare. All of that rushing around can be difficult, especially if you’re suffering from pain. Know that it’s alright to set limits. It’s important to only do what feels right for you. Do what you realistically can and no more. Set limits that are going to make this holiday season the best for you.

Tip #3: Find Support

While you may be able to manage depression and chronic pain throughout the year, consider gathering more support over the holidays. Join a group or community where you can spend time with others. Let your friends and family know that the holidays are difficult for you. Talking with others, although it can be difficult at times, can give you the added support you need, even if it’s just an extra phone call you receive from a friend. There are chronic pain support groups in Mandeville and Covington.

Tip #4: Avoid Depressants and Alcohol

The holidays bring lots of parties and people tend to drink more during this time. While alcohol or other depressants might temporarily relieve pain or depression, alcohol actually is a depressant when it wears off. In addition, after drinking, people are less likely to practice self care and exercise or eat right. So limit the amount of alcohol you drink during this time, opting for one of these non-alcoholic beverages.

Tip #5: Ask for Professional Help if You Need It

All too often people try to manage their depression and chronic pain alone. During the holidays, however, this can become much harder. Because of this, it is a good time to consider seeking help from a professional. Don’t put off reaching out--take this time to see a physician. At Segura Neuroscience and Pain Center, our physicians can diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment that’s right for you.

How We Can Help

The holidays should be an enjoyable time of year spent with family, friends, and loved ones. These suggestions can help make the holidays more manageable. Being aware of your pain and mood are the first steps in getting help. Contact us for more information on how to manage your depression and chronic pain before this year’s holiday season begins.

About the Author

Dr. Richard C. Robertson, Jr., MD, is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Interventional Pain Management. He is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a medical degree from the University of Mississippi. He completed his residency in anesthesiology at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans and further specialized his training by completing an ACGME-accredited fellowship in interventional pain management at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC.

This website is not intended provide specific medical advice, medical diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this website and links to other websites, Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use this information in place of the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this website.