Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints – places where bones connect – and tissues around them. This pain usually targets wrists, knees, hips, fingers etc. Arthritis comes in many different forms. It can be chronic, i.e. one may live with it for a long time. With that in mind, it is important for people diagnosed with arthritis to develop coping skills.
8 Positive Ways to Dealing with Arthritis
Dealing with chronic arthritis means there will be a lot of changes in your life. There are things that you will not be able to do freely as they may worsen the pain. Some may not be doable at all. Do not despair; there are ways that you can cope with the changes both mentally and physically. The 8 steps below will help you accept what you no longer can do, adjust to life with arthritis and cope with the changes you will experience.
These days there is nothing you cannot find on the Internet. Do a search online to find out all you can about chronic arthritis.Find out things like where you can go in your community for exercise classes, treatment options, identifying your symptoms, natural therapies, how you can relive the pain and so forth. The Internet has a wealth of information on these issues as long as you get reliable sources. Your education should, however, not be limited to online searches.
Offline sources also exist, ask people around you to share their own experiences. The Internet also has virtual communities of people dealing with many conditions. They use the online space to share information such as new therapies, new medications, how they are coping with the condition etc. this will help you feel that you belong to a certain group and that there are people out there who understand exactly what you are going through.
Arthritis may make you feel down and depressed. It is important to be aware of your emotions. Warning signs that you may be depressed include lack of appetite, being tired all the time, finding it difficult to make decisions, feeling worthless etc. Talk to friends and family about how you feel and they can suggest ways keep you positive and motivated.
Instead of focusing on what you can no longer do, focus on what you can do. Keep yourself active and try to be as independent as you can. Set yourself goals and strategies that will help you towards leading a positive life.
Arthritis may make you feel like you can no longer do the things that you love. There are ways to keep your hobbies and passions even when you have arthritis. Instead of playing tennis as your hobby, gather a group of friends for game night. There are games such as tennis that can keep your mind on tennis even though you are not playing it the usual way.
A big part of treating arthritis involves taking medication. Many drugs and medications are available and are categorized according to what you need to treat. Before you medicate yourself, talk to your doctor. You will need to formulate a medication plan according to your symptoms of arthritis. Avoid over treatment, under treatment and focusing only on pain as you may also be dealing with depression.
When you start experiencing changes and limitations you may feel depressed and overwhelmed. It is good to communicate your feelings. If this is your style, write them down in a journal or blog a few times a week. Talk to friends and family and let them know about the new limitations you are facing and how not being able to do them makes you feel.
There is no disadvantage to relaxation, so do it as much as you can. Listen to music, go out and take nature walks, do yoga, deep breathing, meditation etc. Meditating will help clear your mind as it may always be cluttered with thoughts of how you can cope with this condition, things you need to do to adjust your life etc. These thoughts are good but you need time to stop thinking about them and focus on positive things.
Stress is one of the things we cannot escape from. It is a way we react to things happening around or to us. Dealing with chronic arthritis pain may be very stressful as it introduces a lot of change. Find ways of managing – but ultimately eliminating stress in your life. Keep yourself happy; go on a vacation just to get your mind off things.
The quality of life is very important in dealing with arthritis. Concentrate on how you can live a good life with arthritis and surround yourself with positivity. Negative thoughts only become worse and you end up believing them. Get rid of these and rather focus on the good things in your life.
Accepting that you have arthritis does not equate to giving in to it. Your life can still continue with some adjustments that will be good for your physical and mental wellness. Prioritize, plan and perform. This simply means you give yourself goals and depending on importance, you tackle one at a time. Plan how you will go about doing it and when you have the means, do it. This will help you feel accomplished and satisfied.