A Change in Routine: Update

A little while ago I wrote about changing my daily routine. I had a full topic for an article because I had to consider my condition. An able-bodied person would say “I want to make a change” and just do it. I can’t because RA affects every aspect of my life, which is a topic for another day.

Reasons for changing my morning routine

Anyways, it’s been a couple of months since I made the change and honestly, it’s going really well! If you haven’t seen my previous article, I wrote about changing my morning routine by walking my dog first thing in the morning. And, by first thing, I didn’t mean waking up, drinking coffee, eating breakfast then going out but truly first thing after I made my bed. I had gotten into a bad habit of waking up, taking my girls out for first pee then crawling back into bed. It set me up for a less productive and more difficult day.

My concerns about switching up my routine

Engaging in physical activity before taking RA medication

But, I had some concerns and the biggest one was exercising before medicating. I don’t need to tell you what life feels like before our morning steroids and pain medications. And now, Affie likes to run half a mile on our way back home (I am not sure where she gets this unlimited energy since she is older than the pyramids and has severe heart disease. I need to take a page out of her book because whatever she’s doing works).

Physical activity in cold temperatures

The second concern was the temperature. As you know, I’ve been very vocal about my distaste for cold weather and me being the smart person that I am decided to change my routine smack dab in the middle of winter.

This change was so beneficial to my rheumatoid arthritis

Well, something had to change because the current routine was not working. And, surprisingly the change did. I wasn’t as painful as I thought without my meds. Moving my joints first thing actually decreased the pain and stiffness I felt at the end of the day. Maybe I didn’t give them a chance to revolt? The cold didn’t bother me as much as long as I bundled up. By, “bundled up” as in three layers everywhere. Maybe this helped my joints because they were wrapped similar to a sports injury But, this change was great for a few other reasons.

How was the change helpful?

First, I love being outside. I often get cabin fever from staying indoors on my computer all the time. Getting out first thing in the morning, breathing the fresh air just put me in a good mood (even when it was raining!)

Second, I crossed off something from my daily to-do list within thirty minutes of waking up. Productive, much? Psychologically, I felt like if I were that productive that early on, I could tackle my day.

Third, my day was less disrupted. Once I was outside, felt the chill on my face, and exercised, I was less likely to go back to sleep. Before, taking my dogs out just to pee, acted as a snooze button. I’d come back inside and go back to bed. No bueno.

Now, I stay up, work and prepare for the rest of my day. I do take a nap but much later in the morning which means I have more productive hours before it.

Changing my routine for the better

Stability was key in managing my rheumatoid arthritis, but I felt like I was in a bad rut and the new routine provided a much-needed change. Maybe there are other ways I can change my routine for the better. Or, maybe I should leave well enough alone and revel in my success.


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