01 January 2021
Arthritis Action’s Resolutions: Start the New Year with a Smile
Leaving a year of uncertainty behind, we have put together five New Year’s Resolutions to make 2021 a year of positivity and vivacity, giving you the hope and emotional strength to manage your arthritis and lead a healthier, happier life.
Each goal is realistic and achievable, helping you to bring about a noticeable improvement in your health and happiness.
- Embrace positive thinking
Starting with your outlook, this year look to rid yourself of negative thinking, appreciating that there are always limitations in life which should not define what and who you are. In a bid to reframe the way we look at our day-to-day lives, a major hindrance in people feeling able to cope is the view that they are somehow less able. This coming year we’d like you to improve your positive wellbeing by challenging this way of thinking and reversing it; try to consider what you can do instead of what you may not. Remember what you have achieved instead of what you yet have to complete, and question any negative thoughts as they come.
- Cook more meals
Find your creativity in the kitchen, and challenge yourself to eat a more varied diet containing a broader range of nutrients, and limit processed or ready-made meals. Instead of focusing on a weight-loss goal, aim to cook more of your own meals. Learn new arthritis-friendly recipes, share culinary tips, get inspired, and rekindle your relationship with food.
- Practise pacing
Begin the year with a very helpful tool in your self-management toolkit. Practise flare-up management by learning about ‘pacing’. During an age where people move and operate so quickly, we may have forgotten to value rest and recuperation. A question we get asked a lot is ‘How do you know when to slow down?’ Pacing is recognising your limitations, looking at your lifestyle and developing a goal action plan, to change the way you think about your daily activities, your condition and your rest time. As we advise our Members, pacing is becoming aware of your activity and being conscious not to overdo it on good days. Be considerate of your long-term wellbeing, and appreciate that you can confidently prioritise your tasks to suit how you may feel on a particular day.
- Get active
Start the year following a golden piece of advice – to get more active! Keeping moving is one of the most important things a person can do to help their symptoms and progression of their condition. Depending on your current lifestyle, this could be anything from going for a short walk each day, or just taking part in chair-based exercises to keep active while you’re at home. Slotting in some form of activity to our everyday lives makes for a sustainable long-term plan to become more active individuals, today and for the future.
- Join a group
Finally, we know that living with chronic pain can be an isolating experience. The final resolution is to connect with others, reach out and join a community, share experiences with, and learn from others. The nature of our relationships with our family and friends mean we cannot be vulnerable, or ask for advice to help us through a difficult flare-up. Joining a group for people with arthritis and meeting people in the same boat allows you to share that unique experience of arthritis and address any questions, building on your confidence as well as developing a social circle. Even as we continue to self-isolate due to COVID-19, there are many online groups or phone calls that you may be able to join.