Stress can have a negative impact upon arthritis symptoms. Here are some ways to take control of stress:
* Make a list of your priorities. What must you do right away? What can you postpone? What can be eliminated? You may need to buy groceries today, but you can wash the clothes tomorrow.
* Take time to pamper yourself and do things you enjoy. Learn to ask yourself when you’re making a decision, “Does this take care of, or work for, me?”
* Set goals and develop a plan of action for reaching them. Remember to include hobbies and friends in your planning. Be flexible about the time you need to complete a goal.
* Learn to communicate more effectively. First listen to be sure you understand, and take the time to clarify if you don’t. Communicate clearly, assertively and directly to be sure others understand you.
* Seek solutions to conflicts that will benefit both sides. If you want to go for a walk and your spouse has chores to do, help finish the work so you can take a walk together.
(Source: Arthritis Foundation)