The degree to which rheumatoid arthritis affects your daily activities depends in part on how well you cope with the disease. Talk to your doctor or nurse about strategies for coping. With time you'll find what strategies work best for you. In the meantime, try to:
Oct. 29, 2014
- Take control. With your doctor, make a plan for managing your arthritis. This will help you feel in charge of your disease.
- Know your limits. Rest when you're tired. Rheumatoid arthritis can make you prone to fatigue and muscle weakness. A rest or short nap that doesn't interfere with nighttime sleep may help.
- Connect with others. Keep your family aware of how you're feeling. They may be worried about you but might not feel comfortable asking about your pain. Find a family member or friend you can talk to when you're feeling especially overwhelmed. Also connect with other people who have rheumatoid arthritis — whether through a support group in your community or online.
- Take time for yourself. It's easy to get busy and not take time for yourself. Find time for what you like, whether it's time to write in a journal, go for a walk or listen to music. Use this time to relieve stress and reflect on your feelings.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/rheumatoid_arthritis/. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Handout on health: Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis/. Accessed Sept. 2, 2014.
- Living with arthritis. American Occupational Therapy Association. https://www.aota.org/en/About-Occupational-Therapy/Patients-Clients/Adults/Arthritis.aspx. Accessed Sept. 4, 2014.
- Rheumatoid arthritis and complementary health approaches. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/RA/getthefacts.htm?lang=en. Accessed Sept. 4, 2014.