Keeping Well at Home
Arthritis Action’s experts have put together a guide to help you look after your wellbeing if you find yourself at home for long periods at a time. Even while we’re staying indoors, there are a lot of things that we can do ourselves to lift our spirits and improve our mood.
Move every day
It is important to keep your joints mobile whilst using your muscles, to retain health and strength. Movement is great for helping with pain, flushing your joints through and improving stiffness. Take a look at our chair-based exercises page, developed to improve the range of motion and joint function for people with arthritis.
Get fresh air
Getting fresh air, even if we are finding ourselves staying inside for long periods of time, is good for our minds and our bodies. Be mindful of getting too cold however, especially on chilly or windy days. Try slowly raising your internal temperature with some gentle exercise, whilst cracking a window open to get some fresh air through your home for a few minutes each day.
Being inside more, or working from home when we are not used to it, means having unlimited access to the kitchen and the snack cupboard! Understanding the standard portion size could help to avoid larger-than-usual portions of food (see our portion size guide).
Be snack wise
Boredom is one of the main reasons we snack. Make sure you hydrate with enough water in the day, and replace unhealthy snacks with nutrient-rich, lower calorie options. Chopped veggies with reduced fat hummus, or a few tropical fruits make perfect healthy snacks.
If you feel safe doing so, find ways of doing resistance training 2-3 times a week. Ask your GP if you are unsure. Use your own body weight, exercise bands or household objects, such as tins of food or water-filled containers to offer some resistance. You can have a look at our online exercise page for some ideas. You can also have a look at our project partners, 10today, for a daily dose of 10-minute exercises to keep you moving.
Create a Wellbeing Plan
It is important to focus on your mental wellbeing during these constantly changing times. Anxiety and stress may develop when you feel a lack of autonomy and perhaps feel everything is out of your control. Try coming up with your own ‘Wellbeing Plan’, to bring a sense of balance to your life:
Write down 3 to 10 words that represent how you are currently feeling – be honest! Take a Look at those words, these reflect your emotions and can show how you are currently feeling. We may be in lockdown but we each have autonomy in how we feel and how we can change negative feelings to positive ones. Set out a few key ideas of how to overcome the feelings you have written down, and build your own plan of action.
- Connect with others: For example, you might have written down the word ‘lonely’. Take control and look through your contact list or address book, and call, Zoom or FaceTime your friends and family. Before the end of the call make a date for another one. Ensure you have some communication with others and find out what they are doing and how they are feeling. They may be so happy that you asked them.
- Make your day tastier: You may have written ‘eating too much food’ or ‘not eating enough’. This may be because you are feeling bored or too fearful of going out shopping, so as part of your wellbeing plan add how to get your food, what you will eat and when. Try something different, to make the experience of cooking and eating an adventure.
- Get creative: You may have written ‘bored’. Perhaps there is something that you have always wanted to do but never tried. Now is the time to write that book, take up drawing and painting, try a new form of exercise, jot down your new recipes into a book. You could always put your new ventures to good use and make them into handmade Christmas or Birthday presents for your family and friends.