Depending on how severe your Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is, it can sometimes be a challenge to live with. A trusted RA doctor in Temecula understands how chronic pain and fatigue can impact everything from your work and hobbies to capably bend over and pick a napkin off the floor. Arthritis can also make your anxiety skyrocket and with COVID19 in the mix, it can be downright overwhelming.
It’s hard to know what the future holds when you struggle to open a jar of pickles, right?
This is why it’s vital to take care of yourself, physically and mentally, now more than ever. Although self-care can feel like one more thing on a To-Do list, it will rise to the top of that list once you begin to feel the positive effects of making it a priority.
To minimize stress and give you some fresh ideas for self-care, here are some fun ways to help you boost your mood and feel more in control of how you manage your RA.
Steak is delicious and if you get top quality, it may actually help your arthritis. Grass-fed or pastured meat has been shown in research studies to be significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids and creatine, both of which can help reduce inflammation.
Get a massage
Massaging your muscles increases blood flow, reduces pain, and can help loosen up stiff joints. Not to mention it relieves stress and feels amazing. When you can move with less pain, you will continue to move more, thus more relief from pain follows.
Gentle stretching programs like some types of yoga and tai chi can help keep your joints moving and stimulate blood flow around cartilage. Stretching, especially in the hands, also prevents aggravation. Both massage and stretching activities may help reduce perception of pain and manage stress.
Let go of being a super-human
Super-powers come and go for anyone who has been diagnosed with RA. One day you are up and going with ease and the next day just getting out bed can be a challenge. Don’t be hesitant to tell your family and friends when you’re having a flare so they can help with some of the chores that you might ordinarily handle.
Lower your expectations of yourself and focus on what really matters most; relationships. Rather than cook dinner for friends, invite them over for the best-in-town pizza. Getting together and enjoying life is the point, not the food. If stuff doesn’t get done, it’s not a big deal. Dishes. Laundry. Vacuuming. Whatever.
Use the good days to prepare for the not-so-good days
Preparing easy-to-eat and healthy snacks is a good way to spend time during the days you feel good. Wash and cut up fruits and veggies, move food from jars or cans into easy-to-open plastic containers with large tabs, and portion out snack food into baggies.
Freezing meals you cook yourself is also a smart way to prepare. Home cooked meals are so much healthier than most frozen food options that you buy in the grocery store. Store bought meals tend to be full of salt, preservatives, and even sugar, that can only agitate a flare up and cause more inflammation.
Try a hot wax treatment
Why not? Heat treatments, like warm compresses or hot paraffin wax like the kind typically used in deluxe manicures, are a simple way to reduce stiffness and pain, and make you feel pampered. And of course the bonus is, you will have incredibly soft hands!