The Month Ahead: Finding Peace of Mind and RA

  • I was in a mall last week to pick up a quick something for my home. It felt as if I had entered a time warp, being immediately yanked forward two months to just before Christmas. The entire place had been made up for the festive season with Christmas trees, holiday decorations, red and gold and carols thrown cheek by jowl with orange and black, cats, pumpkins and ghosts. Could we get through Halloween first before we start on Christmas?


    And then I started thinking about buffer zones and starting early. They say that the holiday season starts around Thanksgiving, but for those of us who live with RA and other chronic illnesses, a bit of extra preparation is key to surviving this busy time. Building a buffer zone to allow for a miscellany of disasters, flares, bad days and for the rest of life can be an essential component to getting through every day, nevermind the insanity that is December in the Western world. Creating buffer zones by starting early and planning ahead can help your body get there in one piece. So can taking good care of yourself and making sure your RA is being monitored by a good rheumatologist. Later this month, Leslie will share her experience with finding a new rheumatologist after her move to New York City.

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    The best way to health is to not just take care of your body, but your mind, as well. There, too, you can build in buffer zones that can help you manage the stress of getting through life with a chronic illness. But how do you build an mental buffer zone? This month, several of the RAHealthCentral team will share techniques to help you find peace of mind. Lisa is going to dive into this topic with a post about being a musician and how it affects her mental health.


    Doing gratitude work is a technique that many people with health challenges find helpful to decrease stress. But how do you get there when you’re in pain and feeling sick? Later this month, I will write about my own experience recovering from being very sick with RA and how I found a way to incorporate gratitude in that process. Vanessa is also going to be tackling this topic and include the perspective of others who live with RA.


    This month also sees a celebration of World Kindness Day and the International Day for Tolerance. Lisa and I are going to use these two international celebrations as a springboard for talking about other strategies that can be helpful for people with chronic illness, both from the individual point of view, as well as the larger community.


    A few months ago, I wrote a post about the new CreakyJoints memoir course, designed to help people living with arthritis to tell their stories and heal. Leslie enrolled and will share more about the experience this month. Telling our stories can also help heal others in the community. Brad is very involved in raising awareness and funds for The Arthritis Foundation. This month, he’s doing something really exciting: he and his rheumatologist are being interviewed on the local NBC affiliate, talking about RA from both the medical end and the experience of living with it. He’ll tell us all about his trip in front of the cameras.


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    How do you find peace of mind at ease the stress of living with RA? Please tell us in the comments, as SharePost or join us on our Facebook page to continue the conversation!

Published On: November 01, 2013