Topic of the Month

Happy New Year everybody. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and your 2012 is off to a good start.

We’ve decided that we’d really like this blog to be a more useful resource for all our readers, so we’re going to start ‘Topic of the Month’. Ideally each blog post would be a more collaborative effort, so each month we’re going to be asking you to provide us with your top bits of advice for the relevant topic. We’ll compile all the ideas and at the end of the month with LUPUS UK publications to produce a blog.

The topic for January is, ‘Relaxation’

We’d really love to know what helps you to relax. We know that stress can trigger lupus flares so it is important to know how to cope with it. We’d like as many useful and innovative relaxation ideas as possible please.

Please leave your ideas in the comments section below, send us a tweet at @LUPUSUK, post a message on our Facebook page or send me an email at

32 Replies

Hi Paul ... great idea! Relaxation .... ahhhh ... blisss. However, it does take practice and determination to get there.

I relax using several methods that I have learned over the years, but these are my faviorites.

Yoga. Full relaxation for body, mind and spirit. The first part is learning to allow yourself the one hour of class time for YOU. I leave all my stresses outside the door to my class - assured they will be waiting when I come out. The hour of honouring myself gives me a better perspective on what waits outside. I also find that joining a class is good as it is sociable and keeps me motivated.

Exercise. Even just a little. Seems to get the grrrrs out! A little walk or swim (actually walking in the water).

Don't sweat the little stuff. Us Lupies have enough on our plates trying to manage our ever surprising bodies!

A mindless game of cards on the computer comes in handy as well.

Dont know if this is what you are after but these are some of the things I do.

and breathe ............... ahhh

Fruitloop x


That's all smashing stuff. That's exactly the type of thing we're looking for. Thank you very much.


Hi ive attended the pain clinic at st thomses and i could not meditate for toffee but i found this sort of works and we call it the indiana jones....

ok you lay on something comfortable and warm and you picture every part of your body part by part and you take away the pain and put it in a black cloud above my head then you picture putting that cloud into a big box and you lock/tye that box up so tight the cloud cant escape, then the (indiana jones bit form the film) you picture a massive warehouse with loads of boxs stacked up as far as the eye can see and you put your box up high hidden away never to be found again.....

i find it works dont know if that helps anyone else but a tip of the month is a great idea...


Thank you NiksB, that's a very detailed and innovative technique. Thank you for sharing that, hopefully a few people will find that useful.


I agree, what a great resource this could be.

Mine are :

Walking; I try to walk home from work as often as I possibly can; it helps that it is a really pleasant stroll along the river and it helps to clear my mind a little and I get home feeling destressed. (As opposed to distressed after a bus journey!)

Swimming; doing some lengths then a sit in the warmer baby pool wich is like a big bath!

Of course sometimes walking/swimming out of the question and a lay down with a blanket makes more sense!

A bath; with lovely oils, or as a special treat a bath bomb from lush. If feeling particularly decadent a candle or two. Always helps with joints and muscles and helps me sleep a bit better.

Hobbies; I like to bead and I can do that watching the TV whilst sat on the sofa, sewing and clay, being creative makes me happy!

Laughing; I try to find something to laugh about everyday, although some days can be short on laughs it always seems to help when there is a bit of joy to be had.

Will be really interested to read others relaxation tips.


Thank you for your tips. Can I ask, what is beading? I'm not sure I've heard of it before.


Men lol!!!!!




like flutterby i like being creative a little bit of sewing,

a friend bought be a colouring book and pens for christmas never could believe it was so much fun i now take it to clinic with me and it stops me getting stressed out.


Hi Tatty, a colouring book is a rather different suggestion. I like that. What type of pictures do you have? Do you use pens or colouring pencils?


My idea of relaxing depends how well i am on the day. It can be playing the piano on a good day to colouring in pictures of fairies or complex patterns on an ok day or playing mind games if i am bedridden. Mind games that i like are using the alphabet and naming a composer from A-Z or boys names A-Z etc.



Hi Holly, thank you for your tips. It seems that colouring is something a few people do to relax. Your mind games sound interesting. Do you ever get frustrated if you can't think of one of the letters though?


I've been known to skip the odd letter!


Fair enough :)


Hi Lovely People,,My favorite way to relax is to be able to get out in "Proper fresh air".

I feel it always lifts my mood(if having a bad day)even for people at work maybe feeling stressed,,a ten minute walk in the fresh air with deep breathing helps to relax us.I also like to sit it a quiet room and listen to nothing but the ticking of an old clock we have!:)Brings back memories ofwarm fireside chairs and my old grannys kitchen with smell of fresh made bread!This never fails to relax me!

If not always up to a walk or very low on spoons,,a relaxing drive in our country side(especially in spring and summer)with the windows down .and.andbbreeze


Thank you for your tips Dawn.There is something for every type of weather there, which is very useful.


Thank you and apologys for my terrible typing. :(



One of the most relaxing things for me would be somebody brushing my hair. Best bit about going to hairdressers is having my hair washed( FAB), feeling sleepy thinking about it.Walking when poss is good, all I can think of at the moment, must be thinking about the hairdresser that made me dopey:)


Thank you for your suggestions bettie. Brushing hair is one I haven't been told yet.


I like to walk my dog in the woods then have a lovely bath on return. I would also recommend reiki and a neck and shoulder massage. Bliss!


Hi Linda,

Thanks for your tips. Where or how did you learn about reiki?


I was a nurse in a hospice and we had volunteers that gave different types of therapies to the patients and staff. I had reiki and found it really helped me.x


hi paul adult style colouring books availbe from amazon or wh smith mine have gamertic designs in them and i use colouring pens. its not just for kids you know.


They sound great. Thank you for sharing that.


Just after I was first diagnosed I took up Tai Chi, it was fantastic for relaxing and provided me with some exercise. It was gentle enough for my depleted strength and it was possible to do it at home. I got completely into it and even went on a tour to China! Now that I have more strength, I've taken up Yoga, which is also very relaxing.


Hi emmalemon,

I tried Tai Chi for the first time last summer and found it very relaxing. A good suggestion. I hope you had a wonderful time in China.


Hi there!

I enjoy the following for relaxation;

Swimming - I swim with a triathlon club, so whilst it can be quite hard work, we are given a 'set' and I just switch off and concentrate on whatever I'm told to do. I just have to be careful that I don't do too much or I end up with costochondritis - ouch! But the coach knows and hauls me out of the water before I overdo it.

Pilates - this is similar to yoga but I find it a little more gentle. It focuses on the breath and core stability, and I'm able to work to my own ability and around any aches and pains I have on any given day. My friend once was so relaxed she fell asleep during the class!

Dog walking - like others, I so enjoy dog walking and try to do this twice a day, pain permitting. Even a short walk if I'm sore can help my mood and relaxation.

Reflexology - I used to have this every month until I recently gave up my job, and it it extremely relaxing. People think that it will be horrid having their feet touched, but it is a very 'firm' touch and, despite my own skepticism at how it works, I do think it can help with some disorders, such as headaches. When the practitioner touched areas in my big toe it correlated with a sensation on my scalp, for example!

Laughter - there is nothing like sharing a bottle of wine and having a good old chat and laugh with friends to lift my mood and aid relaxation. Where would we be without friends and fun?


That's great. Thank you very much for your tips.


I know this may sound silly, but I find my greatest source of relaxation are my pets. Just sitting on the sofa reading, with my little dog curled up on my lap, is wonderful. She is lovely and warm, all content and cute, and just stroking her helps me to wind down. Also, I have two very inquisitive budgies, who love to sing, and sometimes I put the music on, sit by their cage and have a good old singing session with them! I find the actual physical side of relaxation hard - the laying down, focusing on my body bit - so for me, spending time with my pets, cheers me up, which in turn releases tension.


Hi Karen,

I don't think that sounds silly at all. A lot of people just can't use the mindfulness techniques - everybody is different. I'm definitely getting the impression that spending time with animals is something that a lot of people find relaxing.


Hi all

I agree with all the techniques listed.

I have painful finger joints so fine finger work is out of the window for me but I relax by

1. Using "Body scan" CD's (Body Scan: Managing Pain, Illness and Stress with Guided Mindfulness Meditation) at the very least they send you off into a peaceful sleep.

2. Exercise- gentle swimming I imagine the water is washing all my worries away, or a brisk walk through a park getting lungfuls of fresh air and marvelling at the trees and birds.

3, Go to your local buddist center, they normally have guided lunchtime meditation for a small fee.

4. relexology- I am lucky my sister is a reflexologist- I find it is so relaxing I nod off.

5. Long hot shower or a bubbly bath.

6. Getting together with friends having a gossip and a good laugh or sometimes a good old cry!

7. Listening to music, softly or if the mood takes you really really loud while you jump around the kirchen.

8. reading a book


Thank you for sharing those tips.


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