Stress Management

Managing stress especially during the holidays is something that I need to work on. When something happens that really causes me stress, I feel it in my entire body because every affected joint (and there's a lot with me) will swell, have a burning sensation, turn red, feel warm to the touch and I'll start to experience pretty severe range of motion issues within a few hours of the stressor. This leads to more stress and trouble handling whatever problem that is going on. I handled it today by taking a pain med (and I'm not talking about tylenol here) but this is not how I want to handle this long term.

How do you handle stress? Have any of you had a stressful situation happen that had no end in the near future, but you were able to avoid a flare up during the situation by implementing some stress management techniques?

Hope you are all doing well today. :o)


I find when I'm stressed getting extra sleep helps A LOT.

I make an extra effort to get in bed earlier than usual and do something relaxing like read. I make the late evening all about relaxation. If I'm stressed and don't do this, I get in a cycle of staying up later than usual because I just throw myself in bed without much prep and end up not sleeping as well or as much, and then bolt awake in the morning with stress.

I'm going through a period right now of out of control flares, and for two days now I went to bed earlier and slept late, and it is the equivalent for me of taking a bunch of pain meds.

Don't forget sexual activity as stress relief, either by yourself or with a partner.

Hi Angie,

I am starting to finally take on board how much stress plays in the activity of my illness...I always knew it did and yet I refrained from altering anything in my life to address it, but lately I can see the pattern of stress and illness so clearly Id be an idiot not to take action... I agree with Marietta, sleep is all too important... but I have found Tai Chi has helped me with longterm ongoing stress... I still get flare ups at crunch time at work or whenever a big change comes up in my life... but I do feel that attending my Tai Chi class, even when I am not feeling pain free, helps me maintain a bit of a calm focus during tumultuous times... It's such a low impact activity (well, you decide how far to push yourself) and that helps on the days when everything hurts. I can't say I've mastered avoiding flare ups...but I think the Tai Chi helps my brain calm down so my body can stay relaxed and avoid going into flare up mode :)