When the going gets tough, use the following techniques to help make life easier.
- Maintain an early-warning system. If your arthritis flare-ups change in frequency or severity, or if your medication does not work as well, it is time to move into action. This is the time to track your symptoms and speak with your doctor. Keeping on top of your symptoms and treatments rather than postponing your response makes it easier to stick with your treatment.
- Think positively. Avoid negative self-talk Feeling ashamed or embarrassed or blaming yourself for your pain won't help you manage it. A positive attitude will. Ask your doctor to recommend a therapist if you think it would help.
- Accept where you are now, in this moment. Tell yourself that you are doing the best you can at the moment with the tools you have. Accept where you are in your treatment right now. Acknowledging where you are today can help you take positive action tomorrow.
- Build a supportive environment. You may want to join a group of people who are working on managing their arthritis. You may want to ask the people you are close to for the exact type of support you need.
- Learn to talk about your condition. Be able to name the skills you need to manage your arthritis most effectively. Be able to explain which situations or triggers you avoid and why. Doing so keeps you on track, focused, and in control.
- Maintain a high level of desire. You must want to keep your arthritis under control more than you want to take part in situations that you know might trigger or aggravate your symptoms.
These are life skills for anything you want to do well. These skills help you to avoid relapsing into unhealthy behaviors and attitudes.