Posts tagged ‘self-care’

June 6, 2012

Children, Self-Care and Vacuuming

I’m delighted to introduce you to Harmony Wilderson, who has blog entitled Laughing Through the Pain of RA. She graciously and good-naturedly accepted my request to do a guest post. This practical post is all about setting priorities.

RA symptoms can sap your strength and leech the fun right out of you. But if you’re the parent of young children, you need to maintain the highest level of wellness possible. Nap time for the kids is a great chance to catch up on a little TLC.

Years ago, my children’s nap time meant two hours of frantic cleaning. My house looked great, but by evening, I didn’t care. The pain and stiffness in my joints overwhelmed my feelings of accomplishment.

Now I keep my Dr. Scholl’s Paraffin Spa out-of-reach but handy. While the grandchild sleeps, I coat my hands with several thick layers of hot wax, wrap them in a soft towel, and let the heat restore me. Better than vacuuming, any day.

Image courtesy of Armin Hanisch.

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January 12, 2012

Self-Care Tools

Regardless of whether they’re made of plastic, wire or metal, they all help to ease tight muscles, which allow joints to move a little more freely.

January 6, 2012

Going My Way?

The dentist has one. Your hair salon has a few. It’s likely your chiropractor and massage therapist each have one, too.

I’m talking about adjustable chairs and tables.

When your treatment or service is over, and you’re back on your way down, simply ask whoever is operating the chair or table to stop at the height that is appropriate for you.

My preference is to get off the chair or table when it is at a higher point.

Image courtesy of Stef.

December 15, 2011

Somewhat Out of Tune

Photographers: Ralph and Jenny

Since the weekend, I’ve been feeling like the musicians in this Picasso image. Somewhat out of tune and definitely disjointed. In addition to joint pain, my trapezius and SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscles were tight enough to play music!

I think part of it had to do with the unsettled weather we’ve been experiencing. (I need to get one of those weather stations that registers barometric pressure!)

It wasn’t a full-blown flare-up, but it was enough to slow me down and restrict movement.

A big part of my self-care is to watch and change the way I think. I know that if I soak in negative thoughts and emotions, I set off the stress response – that’s a cascade of fourteen-hundred chemicals that includes cortisol, which affects the inflammatory response.

Here are some of the things I did:

  • Ice and rest for my left wrist.
  • Rest for me.
  • A massage for my neck.
  • Slow, easy dog walk.
  • A sanding down of my temporary crown, which is what I think precipitated the series of unfortunate events in my neck. (Why my neck is so high maintenance: My Logo and Come Fly with Me.)
  • Another massage.

I’m happy to report that as I write this, I am feeling considerably better.

Your turn: What do you do when you are out of tune and feeling disjointed? How do you manage your pain? Do you have tools and techniques that you use to help you transform your fear?

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