Jan 3, 2020

8 Resolutions Arthritis Patients Need to Make for 2020

The start of a new year is always such an exciting time. After binging on cookies and cocoa for two months, everyone feels a sense of fresh hope and a renewed perspective for the new year. And fortunately, the new year is a great time to think about making positive changes, including those that can help you better manage your arthritis. If you can make these simple steps a part of your lifestyle, they can be very effective in reducing joint pain and boosting your overall health. Keep reading for eight realistic resolutions for the new year that will have you ready to tackle 2020.

Move mindfully.

As the ball drops every December, millions of Americans resolve to finally get healthy. It’s the same resolutions every year, and people usually give up on them by February. The important thing is to be realistic and start small. To prevent pain in your joints when adopting a more active lifestyle, it’s important to start increasing your activity levels mindfully and use a good baseline, to begin with so you can measure your progress. Don’t start out the new year planning to run a 5K by the end of January. Start by walking for 20 minutes every other day. Work up to 20 minutes every day, then tack on 10 extra minutes a day if you are feeling strong and healthy.

Improve diet.

It’s the most cliché and boring of all new year resolutions, but we all know how important a quality diet is for someone who’s suffering from arthritis.  An ideal body weight lowers the amount of pressure your joints are dealing with, which reduces arthritis pain. And adding more fruits, vegetables, and Omega 3 does not only contribute to weight loss but also add vitamins and minerals that can decrease joint inflammation and pain.

Try alternative medicines.

With so many side effects from long-term medications, many people look to alternative therapies for arthritis pain. Use the new year as an excuse to begin a new and well-balanced medication regime mixed with medicines, therapy, and alternatives. If it works, that’s great, and if not, no harm is done.

Sleep more.

Plenty of sleep is good for the body and mind. Adequate sleep also aids in making consistent and positive lifestyle choices. Things, like eating healthy and staying active, go out the window if you are feeling run down and have no energy. To set your new sleep cycle up for success, start by selecting a specific bedtime and sticking to it. Start getting ready well before your designated time and when it is time for lights out, make sure your room is very dark, tidy, and the temperature is set slightly chilly for optimal rest.

Make self-care a priority.

We live in a fast-paced world and multi-tasking is a must, so it’s essential that we all dedicate time to relax and unplug. For arthritis sufferers, self-indulging isn’t just an occasional feel-good extravagance, it can be a form of physical and mental treatment. Allowing yourself to recharge and renew can be extremely beneficial. Schedule massages, take mental health days, do something you love regularly, or soak in a warm bath once a week. Whatever you do, make yourself and your health a priority.

Say no.

Saying no should be easy right? Unfortunately, it’s not easy for everyone, but it is imperative that arthritis sufferers learn how and do so effectively. It’s important that you just say it firmly without weak excuses. Be assertive yet courteous and be sure to set boundaries when doing so.  While it seems like saying no may not be that beneficial, remember that saying no to someone’s small favor can allow you at least 30 minutes for a brisk walk or some time alone with a good book.

Less screen time.

It’s a new year, and a new you so make time to focus on the people and memories around you instead of a screen. Studies have shown that screen time has many negative side effects such as impaired dopamine function, diminished white matter in the brain, damaged relationships, obesity, and sleep issues. Become as regimented about your screen time as you would your diet or medications.

Better care.

If you’re concerned about your arthritis symptoms and aren’t getting the support you need from your current physician, the turn of a new year might be the time to seek a more sympathetic team of medical professionals. Not all rheumatologists are the same. If you haven’t been satisfied with the care you’re getting from your current practitioner, make a resolution to look for a new one who fits your style better.

It’s a new year, which doesn’t have to mean a complete makeover. However, if you can make these simple steps a part of your everyday lifestyle, they can be very effective in reducing joint pain and boosting your overall health. Complete our online form today and make Carolina Arthritis a part of your journey in 2020.