Managing Holiday Breaks and Rheumatoid Arthritis
By Effie Koliopoulos
It can be easy to steer off course during the holidays. Although while there is nothing wrong with kicking back and relaxing from time to time, moderation is key when living with rheumatoid arthritis. By pacing ourselves and not over doing it, we can prevent flare-ups and burnout.
Here is a list of quick reminders before you set off this Labor Day weekend and ones were you can apply for the holidays to come this year and beyond.
1. Don’t forget to take your medication
Have an alarm on your phone, write it down or have a loved and someone you trust remind you if you are out having fun.
2. Stay hydrated
H20 is important. Especially if you’re spending time outside in the sun or heat. Keeping the fluids moving will make you feel better.
3. Eat Well
If you have any dietary restrictions call the restaurant, hotel or inform a family member that you may bring your own dish. This can help prevent any flares from occurring. Another method is to eat at home if possible and bring a small snack with. This way you won't necessarily feel like your missing out and get to enjoy catching up with people.
4. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
Many RA medications don’t mix well with alcohol. If your doctor has cleared you to drink moderately though then go ahead, but be careful not to over-do it.
5. Treat Yourself
Eating well and drinking moderately as stated above doesn’t mean you are restricted from treating yourself. If you want to try a dessert or a new drink, try it! Pampering yourself in other ways such as, having a spa day or reading a book during days off, can help reset your mind and in turn you will feel motivated to begin your daily tasks again. Basically, anything that doesn't take much effort on your part and lets your mind wander will help a lot.
6. Get Some Sleep
Rest is key. Staying up late every night during holiday breaks will eventually catch up to you.
7. Keep Moving
This doesn’t mean on the couch either. While laying down in bed or the sofa is absolutely needed and unavoidable at times, try your best to at least do some stretches or get up to walk around the house. Traveling in cars or on airplanes can be a stressful on the body. So get up to walk down the aisles or stop for a break.
8. Ask for Help and Support
We are around family, friends and loved ones a lot during the holidays. Speak up for help and support for certain tasks if needed.
9. Set Boundaries
If you don’t want to go out that’s fine. Don't feel guilty or pressure to keep explaining or justifying why you can't do certain things. Keep up when you can and be an observer from the outside when needed.
10. Show Gratitude
Holidays are a time to take a break for yourself and spend time with the people you love. Show thanks for those in your life and the opportunity to enjoy new experiences.
11. Be Happy and Laugh
Enjoy whatever your doing and be present. Even if you are in pain or not having a good day in general, try to find the silver lining and don't forget to smile- it can raise your vibration immediately.
Wishing everyone a healthy, fun and relaxing weekend!