Jan 15, 2019

10 Ways to Build your Quality of Life with Arthritis

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People living with arthritis are often discouraged by how much the disease can take from their life. If you have arthritis, physical limitations caused by chronic pain and fatigue can diminish your quality of life. When you suffer from arthritis, so much energy is consumed just trying to accomplish ordinary tasks and usual daily activities that our focus may be limited to just getting through the day. However, those generic goals do not really help you get the most out of life. It is important to gain control of your life, instead of letting arthritis take control. So how can you do that? Keep reading for 10 ways you can build your quality of life with arthritis.

Stay positive.

Arthritis is an unpredictable and chronic disease. Accepting new realities and redefining life within the limitations you now have is important for those with arthritis. It can be very easy to go to a dark place, but it’s helpful to focus instead on the positive things in your life and embrace optimism instead. Arthritis is a challenge, but it’s not the end of the world. Everyone has their own struggles, and focusing on others and being empathetic isn’t just a good distraction—it’s also good for the world. Try volunteering for a cause that is important to you. This is a great way to keep your struggles in perspective and contribute some good to the world.

Practice patience.

From the moment of arthritis diagnosis, when you learn that you have a chronic disease it can be surreal and depressing. It is very important to have patience with yourself, because some things that were easy before will now be a challenge. It’s important to remind yourself that this is ok! Things will get better as long as you have patience and stay positive.

Learn acceptance.

Do not deny that you have arthritis, underestimate its impact, or fight reality. Once you accept that you have a chronic illness the decisions you make will be better for you and will ultimately improve your life. You must internalize the acceptance and really feel it, not just say it.

Know that you will have bad days.

Arthritis patients have earned the right to have some bad days. But it is important to know that just because it’s a bad day doesn’t mean it’s a bad life. Continue to do the things you love and remind yourself of all the great things and people you have in your life. Let yourself wallow in a few bad days here and there, but don’t make it a habit and don’t let arthritis define your life.

Set goals.

Set small and realistic goals for yourself and work on completing them one day at a time. With a specific plan and goals in mind you can evaluate what you are not happy with and work to change those circumstances. With realistic goals and a sensible plan of action you can focus and begin to make necessary changes and adjustments to improve your quality of life.

Educate yourself.

A quality life is easier when you understand your diagnosis and what it means. Take the time to talk to your doctor. Join a group, read arthritis blogs, and subscribe to magazines. Understanding your disease will enable you to manage it more effectively, help you feel in control, and will remind you that you are not alone.

Use arthritis-friendly tools.

Arthritis-friendly tools are essential for an improved quality of life. New, ergonomic gadgets are everywhere so use them. They are easy to use and can solve many common dilemmas for those with arthritis. In the kitchen, use electric can openers, mixers, and one handed cutting boards. In the bathroom, cut down on scrubbing by using automatic toilet bowl cleaners and spray-on mildew remover. At work, use special pen grips, arthritis-friendly scissors, and voice recognition software. There are also many devices for use anywhere that can help you avoid unnecessary bending, stooping, or reaching.

Take a break from arthritis.

It’s important to have friends who understand your disease and to attend a support group meeting now and then. However, it’s just as important to spend time with people whose lives don’t revolve around arthritis. Mental breaks with people or activities that take your mind off of arthritis are crucial to leading a happy life.

Set aside some time for fun.

Binge on Netflix, walk on the beach, go to a family BBQ, or meet some friends for dinner. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it and set aside time in your day for some fun. If you take the time to schedule it in your day you are more likely to follow though.

Trust your doctor.

A good doctor will play an essential role in the treatment of arthritis. Choosing a rheumatologist is one of the most critical decisions you make when it comes to your condition. It is imperative that your needs are being met so be sure to find a compassionate, communicative doctor you can trust.

If you feel like you need to improve your quality of life, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Carolina Arthritis today. Don’t let pain, stress, burnout, and depression hold you back from living your best life. For more monthly tips on reclaiming your life with arthritis, keep following Carolina Arthritis!