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Taking stock

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Lawrence 'rick' Phillips
    2 years ago

    I found a few years back that stress was killing me slowly but surely. I simply could not kee up with RA and the stress in my life. Something had to give. It was going to be me or the source of my stress.

    iI gave up the stress. I regarded the loss of my stress as the worst thing ever. It was not. I gave up the stress and I am healthier because of it.

    Yes, I still regret giving up the stress.

  • Nan Hart author
    2 years ago

    Rick you are so right that stress kills. It does every day in our world so finding ways to counter that is essential to managing RA. Happy to hear you have “given up strees”. Take care. Nan

  • dayslikethese
    2 years ago

    Awesome! Nan, thank you so much!
    Everything you said rings true to me.
    Becoming a member on this site and joining Twitter were some of my New Years improvements. I realized that I could expand my knowledge base and comfort level.

    From Twitter, I realized that I could enjoy reading about things that are pleasant and activities that I used to be able to do–crocheting, crafts, cooking and things I can still do like yoga. I like the freshness and immediacy of Twitter. I feel good now–I might not later! lol lol And it’s easy to use.

    Most of all , your suggestions mean independence . It feels good to help ourselves.

    Happy New Year, Nan!

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi dayslikethese. Glad that Nan’s words resonated with you. Thought you might also like this article from one of our other contributors on self-care:

    In addition, if you haven’t already, you may want to check out our Facebook page at for additional community support and information.

    Best, Richard ( Team)

  • Nan Hart author
    2 years ago

    You are so right! Independence is so crucial to both our physical and mental well-being! thanks for the feedback and Happy New Year to you as well. Nan

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