Living with Arthritis: Working and Living Efficiently
Learning to live with arthritis is something that is a big part of treatment, because there is typically no way to reverse the effects of arthritis on the body. Instead, treatment helps prevent it from spreading further and learning how your body works, so you can preform your daily tasks without causing arthritis pain. Learning to work and live efficiently is one of the most important steps in living with arthritis.
Forming a Plan
First, it is always important to have a plan, rather than simply jumping into a task. Start by determining if the task is necessary in the first place. Next, break the task down into steps and try to eliminate any steps that are unnecessary. Once you have an idea of the required steps, determine what would be the most efficient way to preform the steps, as well as when during the day they should be preformed. It is also important to consider whether or not you need to rest while preforming the tasks and if so, set measurable goals. For some tasks, starting several days early and spreading them out may be a good choice.
For example, if your family is coming over for dinner on the weekend, spend some time each day getting ready. Determine what you need to do to the house, as well as what you are going to eat and prepare as much as possible ahead of time.
If the lawn needs to be mowed, wait till it is not as hot outside, such as in the evening and break the lawn down into sections, taking a break after each section.
Organize Your Living Area
Having your living area and the items in it efficiently organized can make your work much easier. Determine where you most often use an item and place it close by. If you find that you are often carrying something throughout the house, consider buying a few extra.
Spend some time cleaning and removing clutter, if you only use something once a year, place it out of the way, to save room for things you use on an everyday basis, but make sure they are easy to find and clearly labeled.
Don’t Over Work Yourself
One of the quickest ways to cause fatigue and joint pain is to overwork yourself. It is important to space out work with relaxation and stretching. Relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing, but simply preforming other tasks using different joints.
Don’t be afraid to stop for ten or fifteen minutes each hour or alternating between cleaning the kitchen and working on the computer. It is very important to pay attention to your body and learn to work within your own limits.
Living with arthritis may not always be easy, but by working smartly, listening to your body, and organizing your living area, it can be much simpler.