Our lives are busy—it’s one thing most of us have in common. Men and women in their 20s and 30s work long hours and have packed social lives. Parents work all day, attend their kids’ sporting events in the evening, take care of the kids and the home and find time for extra friends or family if they’re lucky. Between the work we do for a living, the chores and maintenance that needs to be done at home, and the busy schedules we keep, who has time to just sit and rest?
Rest is an important part of recovery and a preventive step to avoid chronic pain. With work stress, home stress and everyday stress, your body needs some attention to help you feel good for the long term. So, in addition to being there for you (check out our Goody’s Back & Body Pain products) , we want to help you find more time in your day to help relieve stress and prevent pain.
Sneak in body breaks throughout your day.
Whether you sit or stand at your job all day, taking breaks out of that same position is important. Maybe you can’t officially walk away from your workstation as much as you want, but you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you to stretch and recheck your posture or form while you work. Much of the pain we feel regularly comes from poor posture during the day. If you’re swinging a hammer or sitting at a desk, your form is key to being pain-free. These check-ins can also increase your awareness in general and help prevent mistakes—a win-win!
Squeeze in exercise naturally.
Exercise is so crucial to maintaining strong, healthy bones, joints and muscles, but it’s usually the first thing to fall off our schedules when we are busy. If you can’t schedule exercise, look for points in your day or night when you can take advantage of a natural space for exercise. For example, if you walk your kids to the bus stop each morning, make your walk back longer and faster. Do squats, lunges and stretches while you’re folding laundry or while you’re waiting for someone or something at work. Incorporate your kids into your exercise if they’re the ones preventing you from doing it.
Set a specific time period as “me” or “free” time.
People often think of me time or free time as things they couldn’t possibly find time for. The key is to schedule it. Start with 30 minutes and schedule it into your calendar at least two to three times a week. The time can be used for anything. Yes, it can be used for you to simply stop everything and relax, but that stresses out some busy people, especially at first. Use the time to do something you can’t seem to fit in—like exercise, cleaning closets, cleaning your car, playing a game with the kids or even catching up on work from your job. The point is to save that time to do something that will relieve your stress. Once you start scheduling this time, you may get creative about all the things you can accomplish, maybe even a nap!
Re-examine and recreate your morning routine.
If our day starts hectic, the rest of our day often feels stressed increasing the chance of soreness or injury. Use your first me/free time to look at your morning routine and craft a new one that works better for you and your family. Starting each day off with some quiet time to meditate, walk/run or do yoga instead of checking our phone or email, gets your mind and body in a positive place and ready to start the day. If you don’t think you have time to do this, look for things currently in your morning routine that can be moved, like making lunches for the kids or yourself. Move that task to the evening when you’re making dinner and are already in and out of the refrigerator and pantry.
These are just some tips that can help you prevent pain before it starts, even if you can’t get 8 hours of sleep a night, a nap or a few hours alone with nothing to do. Once you start using these tips, you will likely find more ways to de-stress your day and keep the pain away.