As 2017 begins it seems like the perfect time to take stock of everything RA. By that I mean time to reflect and re-examine. I actually think this is a far more important process to undertake than any new year’s resolutions we attempt to make and to abide by.
When you are dealing with a chronic disease, it makes sense from time to time to consider the various aspects, concerns, potential decisions, etc. that are all part and parcel of managing RA. I like to reflect on questions that should be considered.
Here are some to reflect on:
- How are things with my medical team? Am I happy with the relationship I have with all of them? Are there areas where there could be some improvements? Are appointments scheduled? Have I listed concerns and questions to review with him/her? If I am not happy how do I go about making changes to my medical team?
- How am I doing with exercise? Can I make some changes/improvements? What new or different movement can I do that might make life with RA easier? Tai Chi? Swimming? Even the smallest change can reap significant improvements.
- What about my stress levels? What can I do to counter some of the stress I have? Can I get more sleep? What about trying meditation? So many options for stress reduction from planning your day more efficiently to eating differently to getting exercise. All of these should be reviewed. Stress plays a larger role in our flares than any of us acknowledge.
- How am I doing from a social standpoint? Do I make time to visit friends and family? Can I work in a nice trip this year? Is there an RA Support Group in my community OR could I start one? How might I keep up with social activities without it becoming so demanding that I cannot keep up and then end up miserable and tired?
- What planning can I do in advance to make my day to day life less stressful and demanding? Both on the work and home front, planning can be the difference in living a quality life.
- What new research is out there that I should be checking on? There are new developments happening all the time with regard to RA so taking the time to read up on what is new can be very uplifting and provides us with crucial new information to be used in making the many decisions we all face.
I truly believe that a new year represents a fresh start and offers each of us opportunities to re-evaluate and refresh. It is almost like a clean slate is right in front of us, waiting to be imprinted with our choices for the coming year.
Since having RA, I have made it an annual custom to spend some time over the holidays to really sit and consider the new year ahead and how I might change/improve my life.
Taking the time to do it now means that you can get the New Year off to a great start filled with exciting new ideas, plans, and changes that very well could make the management of RA a little smoother and more efficient.
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