Archive for ‘Out and About’

August 3, 2017

#530 – What to Do at the Beach When You Have RA #2

Maybe you don’t like to be in the water (gasp!), but you can be on the water. You may want to give kayaking a go. If the sit-in kayaks are too difficult for you, you may wish to try the sit-on type, like I recently did.


Ready for a paddle?

Initially, I had help lowering me down onto the kayak, then being pushed away from the shore. I discovered that I could do it myself by pushing the kayak into thigh-deep water. I then sat on the edge and reached for the far side with one hand, while pivoting onto the seat. Yes, I did get a wet bum, but then, that’s part of the fun.

I noticed a change with a few days of paddling. My shorts were looser in the waist and I felt stronger throughout my trunk. I wan’t doing hours of paddling either. I’d consider buying one if I didn’t have to put it on the rough in order to transport it. That’s beyond my capabilities. I need to win that lottery (I rarely buy tickets for), in order to have beach-front property! *Dreaming*

Which brings me to an important stress addressing tip. Recall the feelings you had while doing experiences you love (like kayaking on a beautiful lake), in order to bring about a change in your stress level. Notice what happens while you relive your joy/excitement/love. (I offer coaching to help you dive deeper into the techniques.)

Chico makes a fine mast-head, don’t you think?


Kayaking doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. My sister and I enjoyed a few “Race you!” times, as well, as just some float-and-chat times. A fine combination, indeed.



As always, stay safe. Know your limits and capabilities. Watch the weather.

July 29, 2017

#529 – The Best Water Shoes


Velcro closure on my left water shoe vs. the “struggle-to-pull-on” right water shoe.

After my last post, I’ve convinced you to go swimming. But what if you are worried about your tender tootsies and rocky or shell-crushed bottoms in the body of water you’re entering? Water shoes, often referred to as aqua socks, come to the rescue. The best ones are those that allow you to put them on and take them off with a minimum of effort and without the help of someone else.

I’ve had various models over the years, but the ones I bought last year (my left foot :)) are by far, the best ones I’ve owned. The velcro closures make all the difference. You can easily put them on and tighten them as much as you need.

Make sure they’re a tight fit, otherwise you’ll lose them once you start swimming. (I usually buy a size smaller than what I wear in regular shoes.)

If you hurry, you might be able to get a pair during the end of summer sales.



July 24, 2017

#528 – What to Do at the Beach When You Have RA #1


You know I’m going to say it, don’t you? The most obvious thing, for me, and hopefully for you, too, is to swim.

If you haven’t started swimming, I enthusiastically encourage you to start. Swimming is an excellent, comprehensive form of exercise, regardless of whether you have RA or not!

When I first began swimming in earnest at the age of 14, by enrolling in a competitive swim club, little did I know that this would be the one exercise that has carried me through the decades of flares, surgeries and pain.

When you are so sore and stiff and feel less than fluid in your movements, the weightless you experience in the water gives you back that all-important sensation of mobility. If your reason for not going in the water is because you are cold, pick up the pace and focus on the exercises and movements, as opposed to how cold you feel. You’ll soon warm up. Dependent upon your degree of comfort and skills in the water, you can work on endurance, flexibility, mobility, range of motion and strength. Don’t forget to simply float at the end and rejoice in that feeling of letting-go.

Related Posts:

December 2, 2016

#510 – Book Giveaway: Chronic Christmas

chronicchristmasChronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness by Lene Andersen is an advent calendar-style book that is brimming with common-sense and humour, and is also infused with personal stories (and family recipes), that make for enchanting reading.

On each day leading up to Christmas, Lene covers a topic that can not only help those who live with chronic illness survive this season of merry-making, but also thrive. She takes each day further by suggesting how family and friends can assist someone with a chronic illness. If you struggle with what to do to help your friend, family member, or neighbour, this section is for you.

Here is an example from December 4th in the chapter entitled Take a Walk:

Find out which kind of limitations your friend, neighbor, or family member has because of their chronic illness and adapt your walking to that. This could mean walking a shorter distance and/ or doing it slowly. You may also need to adjust the time of day that you walk. You may also need to adjust the time of day that you walk. For instance, if your friend is sensitive to heat, bright sunlight, or humidity, walking in the evening after the sun goes down is less likely to make their chronic illness flare (an increase in symptoms). Have a conversation about what you both would like to do and the aspects of your lives that affect how and when you walk.

If the buddy-system means you’ll start moving, walking, swimming, dancing and more, then I’m all for it. At the very least, you want to maintain your strength, flexibility and endurance when you have a chronic illness. It’s a bonus when you improve it.

Here is a suggestion from Lene that is music to the ears of someone who is going through a tough time, whether it be a chronic or acute illness, or a death of a loved one:

Your offer of help can do wonders. Not that elusive some day in the future that never really happens kind of help, but now. This month. Don’t say, ‘Can I help?’ Instead say, ‘I’m setting aside a day to help you before Christmas. When would you like me to come over, and what would you like me to do?’

People in those situations are often overwhelmed. They may feel like it’s too much to ask for all the help they need, so they quietly struggle to do the things that need doing. A definitive offer of help can be like a breath of refreshing winter air.

Bear in mind that it’s empowering to ask for help when you need it. Lene addresses this topic on December 20th. How? You’ll just have to read this book to find out!

Chronic Christmas is the little book that:

  • Gives you practical tips you can put to immediate use.
  • Can help you get through the holidays with a smile on your face.
  • Help you deepen your relationships.
  • Is for sharing and caring.

Enter the giveaway for a copy of Chronic Christmas:

  1. One person will receive a copy of Chronic Christmas: Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness by Lene Andersen.
  2. Contest closes at midnight PT, on Thursday, December 8th, 2016.
  3. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment. (Mandatory.)
  4. Earn another entry by subscribing to my mostly monthly newsletter. (Let me know in the comments section if you’re already a subscriber and you’ll receive two entries.)
  5. For extra entries to the giveaway, get social:
    On Twitter? Share the following: #Giveaway from @AuntieStress for the new book #ChronicChristmas by @TheSeatedView
    On Google+? Be sure to +MariannaPaulson when you share the link, and you’ll earn another entry.
  6. Make your way over to my Pinterest Board called “Giveaways”. Earn one entry by clicking “Comment” on the Chronic Christmas pin, then leave one. Earn another entry by repinning this giveaway announcement.
  7. If you decide to share on one of your other social media sites, be sure to paste in the link in the comment section, below.
  8. Good Luck!

Buy the book here.

%d bloggers like this: