Stress and RA do not a good mix make. RA brings enough struggles of its own, we surely don’t need even a little stress added to it. I had a stressful situation that happened over this weekend and it really stirred up my RA into a frenzy. But just how does one avoid stress in our lives when it seems stuff is thrown at us front, middle and side? I don’t think there are easy answers. Probably the best thing we can do is learn how deal with it. Take steps to avoid it whenever possible.
The University of Washington, Department of Orthopedics lists three components to what they consider a successful stress management plan when you have arthritis. They are not specifically written for people with RA, but I think they can apply to someone living with any chronic illness.
1 – Identify the causes of stress in your life.
2 – Share your thoughts and feelings.
3 – Try not to get depressed.
4 – Simplify your life as much as possible.
5 – Manage your time, and conserve your energy.
6 – Set short-term and life goals for yourself.
7 – Do not turn to drugs and alcohol.
8 – Utilize arthritis support and education services.
9 – Become as mentally and physically fit as possible.
10- Develop a sense of humor and have some fun.
11- Get help to cope with hard-to-solve problems.
Accept what you cannot change
1 – Realize that you can change only yourself, not others.
2 – Allow yourself to be imperfect.
Overcoming the harmful effects
1 – Practice relaxation techniques.
2 – Learn to overcome barriers to relaxation.
Stress management is an important part of taking care of ourselves. It is a skill that we must practice on until we perfect it. It will aid us in coping with the stress that comes into our lives in a positive way. I admit I have ways to go in perfecting my stress management skills. At least for me some of the suggestions for reducing stress are more difficult than others to follow, but I am going to keep at it. It’s a good thing I can do for myself. I hope that all RA super heroes and heroines out there have as stress free lives as possible. However, when and if stress to come your way I wish you much success with managing it. Praying for stress free days for all of us.