31 WAYS TO LIVE WELL WITH LUPUS: TIPS FROM THE S.L.E. FOUNDATION
Welcome back blog friends!!! I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July holiday. I sure did! My brother and his family came to town to visit and it was such a joy to see them. It’s always a good time when we get together. But back to business…
This past week, I attended the “Coping with Lupus” webinar that the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation provided. Can you “attend” a webinar? I didn’t go anywhere but to my couch, but that’s neither here nor there.
As someone who wants to know as much about lupus as possible, I am always signing up for emails and newsletters to stay updated on my disease. I am glad that I attended this webinar. They had some great information to remind us #lupuswarriors that we need to enjoy life, and not worry about the struggles we face day in and day out. Easier said than done.
I came up with a list of 31 do-able ways to cope with lupus. In the words of Roxie Hart from Chicago (Oh, how I love that movie!), “You can like the life you’re living, and you can live the life you like…” Just choose to make your life worth living!
- Find a good rheumatologist. This speaks for itself.
- Once you’ve done that, actually go to your rheumatology appointments.
- Look at the big picture. Know that coping with lupus affects all parts of your life. Finances, emotions, physical and mental health, everything!
- Create an action plan. Write down your goals for your new lifestyle and how you will achieve them. (I created this goal planning sheet, and it’s worked wonders!! You can download it here for free.)
- Know your limits. You can’t do it all, even though you may think you can.
- Follow a nutritious diet. Keep a food journal. I like the MyFitnessPal app. It’ll show you the calorie content and nutrient breakdown of the foods you eat. You’ll be amazed at how much you consume on a daily basis! Great for helping with weight loss too!
- Manage stress. Do like I did, and blog! Or if that’s not best for you, find out what is and do that!
- Make changes at your own pace. It has been said that it takes 30 days to create a habit. Slow down and make your lifestyle changes matter.
- Find the best medicine for you. Talk to your rheumatologist (and any other physicians you may have) and choose the medications, and dosages, that work best with your lifestyle.
- And again, no use doing that if you don’t actually take your medications.
- Find ‘Pinspiration’. Follow lupus boards on Pinterest, like this one.
- Donate to lupus research. You can do that by supporting Mommie for a Cure!
- Be honest. Don’t be ashamed to tell your doctor what you are going through.
- Write everything down. Keep a journal listing the symptoms you deal with on a daily basis. That way, when you see your rheumatologist, you won’t forget to bring them up. (This happens to me ALL the time!)
- Find support groups. It’ll only be good for you if you express yourself to people who understand and can relate.
- Get informed of what you are dealing with. Know the facts about lupus and any other lupus-related conditions you may have.
- Don’t smoke. That’s a no-brainer.
- Don’t drink alcohol. That much.
- Know the possible side effects of your medications. If they are too scary for you (because they definitely can be eye-opening) or they do not work well with your lifestyle, see item #9.
- Express yourself. Share your story. If you’re feeling tired, say it. If your body hurts, share it. If you can’t remember where you placed your coupons after you spent hours cutting them out, finding sales, and finally getting to the grocery store (obviously this is a personal rant) then call your best friend and tell them! And, that’s exactly what I did And, I saved 50% on my groceries that day (once I found my coupons)!! Just saying.
- Call the Lupus line. I didn’t know about this until I saw it in the webinar. Google it and see if there is one for your area.
- Get involved in local chapters. I’m involved in my local Lupus Foundation of America and Alliance for Lupus Research chapters and I love it!
- Don’t exclude yourself. Just because you have lupus doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself with friends. Get out and have fun! After you take your meds, of course. Attend lupus walks. Get a team together, decorate some cute t-shirts, and feel the burn! I actually helped to plan a local lupus walk. So exciting! You can find out more about that here.
- Eat the rainbow!!! Here’s 7 reasons why.
- Exercise. I’m not one to love the gym, but there are plenty of other fun ways to burn some calories.
- Be realistic with what you can and cannot do. This goes hand in hand with exercise. If you can’t run (maybe you have bad knees due to lupus, that’s my
excusereason), then you can do yoga, or tai chi, or even walk in your neighborhood!
- Tell your coworkers. The more they know about what you are coping with, the more they will be willing to understand when you are dealing with flare ups and side effects.
- Manage your symptoms. Be proactive and take control of your condition. I like to take Aleve, along with my prescriptions. Some days, the medications don’t help with everything, so I know the Aleve will help with the aches and pains.
- Get your rest. Count those sheep and get those Z’s.
- Live life as you did pre-diagnosis! This is so important. Keep your head up and stay motivated!
“Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift. ” -Maya Angelou
Living with lupus can definitely be a life worth living. You just have to make the choice to live well. I hope you may have found at least 1 way, if not 31 ways, to live your lupie life to the fullest! Shoot me an email and share your lupus story with me at email@example.com! It really makes my day to get emails from you guys saying how you’ve overcome your battles with Lupus! xo Chels
While you’re at it, check out these other Lupus posts!