Female astronaut is floating in the sky among purple, yellow, and blue stars and clouds. Her body is pink, and her bones are highlighted light yellow with pangs of pain surrounding the bones.

Stiff and Tired: Surviving the Evenings with RA

Although being treated with Plaquenil has made a huge impact on my quality of life, I realize that evenings are still difficult for me in terms of managing my rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

More joint stiffness in the evenings

Is it my role as a mom to a preschooler that pushes me over the edge to soreness and fatigue? The extra strain I'm currently putting on my joints as I grow my second baby? The other chronic illness I deal with on a daily basis: cystic fibrosis?

Or, is it a combination of everything that allows a low, exasperated groan to escape as I climb into bed each evening. I’m tired, I’m sore, I’m stiff, and I’m over it.

3 tips for making the evenings more bearable

Evenings are so incredibly hard when living with RA. However, there have been some tips and tricks I have learned along the way that make the evenings more bearable that I would like to share.

Keep the evenings cozy 

Once I am snuggled up in bed for the night, the only thing on my mind is getting warm and cozy to ease my achy body. One of the easiest ways to achieve ultimate cozy status is a heated blanket or mattress cover. It really relaxes your body and provides a lot of relief after a long and exhausting day.

I received a heated mattress cover from my husband as a gift last year and it’s been a game-changer! I highly recommend it to anyone that feels heat as a comfort for their aches and pains.

Other ways I like to keep the evenings cozy is by taking a long hot shower or bath or enjoying a hot drink before tucking into bed for the night.

Be proactive with pain relief

I am the type of person who is reluctant to take pain relief until it’s about an hour too late. It’s a horrible habit that I have been trying to break for myself.

It’s better to be proactive with pain relief and take it early on in order to save yourself wasted time and unnecessary suffering. At the same time, I am not advocating taking serious medications that aren’t warranted at the drop of a hat. You know your body best and which types of pain relief are necessary for which situations.

Front-load if necessary

The end of the day is always a mad dash to fix dinner, get our son to bed, and finish all the necessary treatments I do at the end of the day for my cystic fibrosis. Even with my husband’s help, the evenings are a busy time and can really weigh on me when I'm already tired and achy.

Front-loading my day, or doing usual prep for the evening when I have the most energy earlier on, has been a helpful way to ease the burden of the evenings. Front-loading can be as simple as laying out PJs or more intense like meal prepping dinner for the week - whatever helps you help yourself!

A learning experience

Attempting to make the evenings easier for myself doesn’t always work 100 percent of the time, but sometimes it does!

It’s important to recognize that this isn’t a good time of the day for me and to do my best to make it a learning experience.

Do you have a particular part of the day that is a struggle? Share your tips and tricks below!

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