Topic of the Month: January - Relaxation Tips

Topic of the Month: January - Relaxation Tips

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

•Yoga/Tai Chi/Pilates

•Meditation

•Getting out in the fresh air

•Swimming

•Breathing exercises

•Candles

•A bath

•Reading

•Sewing

•Adult colouring books

•Hypnotherapy tapes

•Mild exercise

•Playing a game of cards on the computer

•Beading

•Laughing

•Playing music

•Cooking

•Have someone brush/wash your hair

•Walking the dog/Spending time with pets

•Reiki

•Massage

•Reflexology

•Socialising

•Scrapbooking

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.

bbc.co.uk/health/emotional_...

your-wellbeing.net/

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***

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9 Replies

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  • Thanks Paul I will be trying the colouring books will let you know x

  • Really like the Indiana Jones idea! x

  • Thanknl too will try the colouring book, will give it a try.let you know how l get on. x

  • I had forgotten how relaxing it is to have someone else brush your hair!Thanks for the reminder!Hey Paul what a great idea these "Theme topic months " are . :)

  • Have tried a few of them,I will stick to card making.But i found having a Indian Head Massage wonderful,I would not have done this if you had not posed the question?? So thanks all,and to you Paul.

  • I had no idea you could buy adult colouring books. I've been to Amazon and ordered a wild flower one. Thank you so much for sharing your information.

    Just to add - my son bought me a DS Lite about 3 xmases ago that has one game tucked in at the end of the brain games, its designed for relaxation and I use it when I cant sleep. It really helps, much to my surprise. Its a regular at the side of my bed : )

  • I'm glad you bought some colouring books. Let us know if you find them useful.

    Thank you for the tip on the DS Lite game.

  • The book and colouring pencils arrived..took the book a while to get here but I'm very happy with them both....am sure they will help with things..thank you

  • Some really good ideas! I am lucky to live on the coast and if I get stressed often find myself heading down to the sea front, in all weathers, even if I don't walk (which sometimes I'm just not able to) just sitting in the car in this quiet, beautiful, open space helps me to calm down and get things in perspective.

    I also write... It may sound lame, but it really does help to put things on paper, even if you just throw it away afterwards.. as it is I have a book full of poems and stuff that I very often go back to, not to mention a number of journals (including a diary app on my phone which goes everywhere with me!).

    Thanks for this, its great :)

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