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Health Tips: Living with Lupus

separator Part of the art of living successfully with a chronic condition is learning how to control your illness rather than allowing your illness to control you. This isn’t always easy. Take lupus, for example. It can make you feel exhausted, weak and in pain. It can be overwhelming.

But many people are able to have a sense of control, even over a disease like lupus, by making certain lifestyle decisions in several areas. Here are a few suggestions:

Learn to set limits. With your children, your friends, your spouse, your co-workers. This is hard, especially if you enjoy parties, dinners out and other types of gatherings. If you have lupus, you usually have to pick and choose your activities carefully, and learn to say no when you know something’s going to tire you out. The upside of this approach is that it allows you to conserve more energy for things you really need to do for yourself, such as getting regular exercise.

Control your weight. This can help alleviate some of your joint pain, and that, in turn, can help you to get regular exercise, since it’s difficult to feel motivated to exercise when you’re in pain.

Analyze your job situation. It’s not easy to change jobs, but if the work you do is especially difficult physically or mentally, it’s not a bad idea to see whether there are other positions, maybe within your company, that might be easier on you.

Manage stress: Whether it’s prayer, meditation, a hot bath or listening to music, be sure to take time for yourself to relax.

Cultivate your spiritual or religious side. Focusing on your fundamental beliefs and things that have special meaning to you enables you to put your life in perspective and appreciate the good things.

Lupus Foundation of America.
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