Relaxation is one of the most important and effective self-help activities for people with lupus. It can be a very useful measure to prevent the development of stress and anxiety, and at the end of the day to help you sleep. Stress is well known to worsen the symptoms of lupus and can result in a flare, so by controlling your exposure, you are likely to feel better in mind and body.
At the start of this month there was a small feature on BBC breakfast looking at the positive effects mindfulness could have on somebody living with lupus. You can watch them here:
Part 1 - bbc.in/zve6OU
Part 2 - bbc.in/y5b47C
There are many different methods of relaxing, with different results in everybody. Ultimately, the best method for you is down to personal preference – it doesn’t hurt to compile a list of methods used by others however, after all, there may be a method you hadn’t considered yourself, which turns out to be really helpful.
We asked people via HealthUnlocked, Facebook and Twitter to submit their relaxation tips – the following is a list of all the methods we received:
•Listening to music
•Getting out in the fresh air
•Adult colouring books
•Playing a game of cards on the computer
•Have someone brush/wash your hair
•Walking the dog/Spending time with pets
We received some really helpful comments and a couple of really innovative ideas. Here are some of our favourites:
“I’ve attended the pain clinic at St Thomas’ 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 your head. Then you picture putting that cloud into a big box and you lock that box up so tight the cloud can’t escape. Then (the Indiana Jones bit from the film) you picture a massive warehouse with loads of boxes stacked up as far as the eye can see and you put your box up high hidden away never to be found again....”
“…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. I get home feeling de-stressed. (As opposed to distressed after a bus journey!)”
“…a friend bought me a colouring book and pens for Christmas. I never could believe it was so much fun. I now take it to clinic with me and it stops me getting stressed out….Adult style colouring books are available from amazon or W.H. Smith. Mine have geometric designs in them and I use colouring pens. It’s not just for kids you know.”
“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.”
A big thank you to everybody that contributed! Apologies to those whose comments didn’t appear in this post, but we had an overwhelming response and couldn’t include all of them.
We conducted a poll our Facebook page and it seems that the most popular method of relaxing is socialising, with listening to music coming second. If you can recommend some relaxing music then please pop a link to a song from Youtube in the comments below. You can see the full results of the poll (and vote yourself) here - on.fb.me/xl9Whr
Here are a couple of links to online resources about relaxation. If you’ve got a good link, then please let us know and we’ll add it below.
If you try something mentioned in this blog for the first time, please leave a comment to let us know if you find it useful. Also let us know if you have any further tips or questions on this topic.
***Keep an eye on the blog, next months topic will be coming tomorrow***