May 28, 2020

ART is Moving!

ART—short for A Rheumful of Tips—is moving. I’m glad that something is moving during these days of limited mobility. (Speaking of mobility, which is an oft-used phrase when you live with a chronic illness such as rheumatoid arthritis. I’m happy to report that I’m moving fine – well, as fine as can be expected with joint replacements, fusions and wonky joints.)

Back to the topic of moving. The globe-trotting Jana Meerman has done an excellent job of updating and reorganizing my Auntie Stress website. Check out Jana’s wonderful travels here. She is now in the process of moving ART to its new home on Auntie Stress. It looks so much better. Hmmm…how are you at haircuts, Jana? 😉

If your blog needs a new look, or if you need help getting your website up and running, contact Jana for a quote. She has that invaluable artisitc eye and the ability to intuitively organize and develop a site that suits you and your message.

I also plan to do some creative writing, which will be found under this heading: In My Nature.

You’ll eventually find all my ART posts there, as well as tips on how you can address and undress your stress. Remember, it’s not just stress. There is nothing just about it. Stress transformation is an on-going process; one that gives you the ability to cope during tough times (like a pandemic). It also helps to reset your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

Don’t wait for a condition to change in order to feel better. Learn to feel better and change your conditions. Contact me for coaching (one-on-one or group), workshops and DIY programs.

My new series, created in response to COVID19, can be seen here:

Thanks for your visits here on ART. I look forward to seeing you on Auntie Stress.

April 28, 2020

Budget Tip – Bidet to Save on that Precious Commodity

By now, the toilet paper hoarding is old news. However, for the sake of using less to save more, I have a budget suggestion so you can save on that precious commodity. Install a bidet!

Prior to my hemorrhoidectomy in the fall, I decided that it would be an easier and more gentle way to let water do the cleaning. (Yes, I am somewhat embarrassed to even say that I had that surgery, which is why I haven’t yet blogged about it.)

I ordered the Luxe Bidet Neo 185 from Amazon, which is a non-electrical self-cleaning model that attaches to the cold water supply valve. But don’t worry about literally freezing your butt off – you won’t need to operate the bidet for that long a period of time to get the job done.

There are now a number of different types that are easy to install with a little know-how and good hands. If I were a little more agile and had better hand mobility, even I could install it. “It’s just that easy!” as Shel Busey, a local home improvement radio and television personality used to say.

This particular model has a male and female spray, although either works fine; it depends how you perch on your throne. There is also a self-cleaning function.

A word of caution: when I was showing a friend the features, I almost soaked her. You need to be seated in order to prevent a fountain of water from spraying across the room.

As far as the toilet paper budget goes; it is a savings. I’ve noticed I’m using far less toilet paper and that’s money that you won’t be flushing down the toilet!

April 13, 2020

#580 Budget Tips in the Time of COVID-19

Image by Pixabay.

Not only has Covid-19 presented us with a new vocabulary (social distancing, covidiot, self-isolation, etc.), it has also strained the budgets of governments, businesses and individuals. Many people have to make their dollars stretch further in this unprecedented time. Howver, for this is not a new concept for those who live with a chronic illness.

Life with a chronic illness is not cheap, even with healthcare coverage. Inability to work, or reduced working hours; healthcare premiums; medications; user fees for occupational therapy, physio-therapy; support services such as massage therapy, acupuncture, therapy, etc.; assitive devices; orthotics…the list goes on.

I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for 43 years, so I understand the budget wrestling that a chronic illness requires. Not only does rheumatoid arthritis impact your physical health, but it can have a huge impact on your financial health, as well.

Just as stretching is good for you, it is also good for your budget. I look for small (and sometimes big) ways to save. In this short series, I’ll share some budget tips that can help you do more with less and to make the things you do have go further. When you implement this practice, you’ll find that there’s an environmental benefit, as well.

The 3 Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle); the slogan that encourages environmental sustainability, can also enhance the health of your budget. Two for the price of one – see, you’re already ahead!


If you’re struggling during Covid-19, you may like to adapt or adopt some of the things I’m doing to stay emotionally well, which in turns helps to keep you mentally, physically and spiritually well: COVID-19 Stress Strategies.

January 1, 2020

Your 2020 “Givens”

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Annie Spratt

Happy New Year! 2020 – a round year to round out your list of “givens.” 

In order to manage my disease, I’ve developed a list of “givens,” – the things that allow me to live “companionably” with RA. This list has evolved over the years to include more self-care. I have also given myself time to incorporate it into my lifestyle. Suffice to say that I was not quite ready for some habits. Or perhaps the habits weren’t ready for me!

Here are some examples of the things on my list of givens:

  • Getting some form of exercise/movement each day. This could be as simple as putting on some tunes and dancing around the living room, going for a swim, doing Essentrics or venturing out for a walk. Cleaning also counts.
  • Choosing foods that are nutritionally sound, even if I slip up with some of those things on my “naughty, but nice list.” Ice-cream, chocolate….
  • Listening to my body and learning its language.
  • Making sure I get enough rest and sleep.
  • Transforming my stress.
  • With stress transformation, comes the realization that sometimes life, and RA, can get in the way of bowing down to my givens. If that’s the case, I pick up the list the next hour or the next day. The important thing is that I get back to it as soon as possible.

Driving in a New Direction in 2020

A new year and a new decade may just the catalyst you need to expand your list of givens that will drive you in a new direction. If your resolution list is as lengthy as your “Dear Santa List” once was, you may wish to pare it down to make it more manageable. You want to be successful at each step along the way.

Start small. Another option is to do this Start, Stop, Continue exercise that is reflective of where you’ve been, whether you wish to stay there and what needs fixing/adding/augmenting. 

For me, it is a better “vehicle” than that (often broken down) resolution list. This is the destination for 2020: New Year Renewal

What things are on your “given” list for 2020?

 

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