Numerous studies have consistently shown that social isolation makes chronic pain even worse. Interestingly enough, when you engage in fulfilling social interactions, those “feel good” chemicals released by your brain help to calm pain. You may even find yourself laughing for the first time in days while talking over coffee, amusing yourself over silly gossip, or competing over a game of cards. During those precious hours of socializing, the energy from positive social interactions lessens pain – putting it on the back burner and not allowing it to take control of your life. Indeed, the most beneficial aspect of socializing is that your focus is shifted away from your pain.
Fortunately, the feel good effects of socializing can last for days after the interaction, which helps to keep pain minimized. While organizing regular social interactions can be challenging even in normal times, this challenge has increased exponentially during COVID-19, the global pandemic. As we all know by now, these unprecedented times have resulted in many forms of socializing becoming not just discouraged, but illegal. However, thanks to technology and a little creative thinking, you actually can maintain a healthy social life and the “feel good” effects of positive social interactions during this time when efforts to stay healthy and “social distancing” guidelines control nearly every aspect of our society and family life.
Live near us in Maricopa County and need a few suggestions? Consider these…
Sunrise Yoga In The Park
We’re lucky to have warm weather and numerous green spaces for practicing yoga. Socializing while doing sunrise yoga is as simple as finding a grassy area and meeting up with a friend. Just be sure to maintain a safe distance.
Host Online Game Night
Make new friends by participating in online game night. Technology has made it possible for people to play party games together while connecting from anywhere in the world! Your long-distance friends may just become real life friends after the pandemic is over. That would be awesome! To find a platform, Google search “online game night.” HouseParty is one of the most popular platforms!
Take A Hike, Ride Bikes, Or Go Fish
The vast majority of Arizona parks and trails remain open. Get some much-needed fresh air while keeping your distance from others as you enjoy hiking or biking. If your health doesn’t allow for hitting up the trails, fishing in a lake or river may be an option to consider. All of these activities allow for at least some socializing while maintaining a safe distance from others.
Go Retro With Drive-In Movies
Take a trip down memory lane or feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. Drive-in movies have made a MAJOR comeback during Covid-19! Located in a beautiful countryside setting in Queen Creek AZ, Schnepf Farms is currently featuring some of your all-time favorite movies and classics. Bring your own healthy snacks and relax under the stars while in the comfort of your own vehicle. Magnificent memories are sure to be made while enjoying beautiful Arizona nights!
Virtual Tea Time, Happy Hour, or Dinner Parties!
Video conference platforms are making it easier than ever to connect with friends, family, or even strangers. Enjoy coffee, tea and desserts over meaningful conversations. Celebrate during happy hour with your favorite beverage or healthy appetizers. Some groups are also having virtual dinner parties. While you’ll only be preparing meals for those in your home, you’ll be sharing dinner with everyone virtuall – how exciting! Want to use a familiar platform? Facebook Messenger Rooms are sure to be the next big thing, and you can even invite people who are not on Facebook. Up to 50 people can gather virtually in each messenger room!
The pandemic is a tough time for everyone – especially those suffering with neck and back pain. Together, through following the CDC guidelines and maintaining our distance, we will beat the coronavirus and return to life as we have always known it. In the meantime, make the most of this time and try these creative tips for keeping chronic spine-related pain minimized and under control! Stridewell Tipsread article