December 1st!! How did that happen? It feels like Thanksgiving was only a few days ago! I woke this morning exhausted with a lingering hangover from the holiday weekend a sore lower back. Yes, I was a key player in this year’s family football game (not), but I don’t remember hurting my back. I can only credit the soreness to anticipated Christmas stress. Did you get that? I’m not feeling stressed, yet my back is already channeling the strong possibility of stress. December is a bad time for your back. Here’s why:
– stress levels rise exponentially
– heavy lifting of shopping bags, packages and boxes
– reaching and twisting to hang lights/decorations
– sitting in uncomfortable positions for hours on end wrapping endless gifts
– dancing on bars or desks or tables after too many candy cane martinis
– Save the stilettos for special events and choose comfortable shoes with good support — especially when you are hitting the mall.
– Avoid carrying heavy bags on one side. Rather, try to balance the weight and carry equal amounts in each hand.
– Sleeping on your back puts a lot of pressure on your lower back. Try sleeping on your side, and if you must sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees and another under your lower back. This will take a lot of pressure off.
– Be mindful. Lift with your knees, use a step stool or ladder to reach high places and change your position frequently both when sitting or standing. Don’t start any new intense exercise programs in an attempt to get a jump start on your new year resolutions.
– Finally, acknowledge the stressors in your life, like Santa, the elf on the shelf and in-laws. Very often, by simply admitting you are feeling stress, you can ward off its physical manifestations.
O.K. I am following my own advice. I admit it. I am already stressed and it is only December 1st. I feel better already — sort of.