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Managing stress with lupus

Living with a chronic disease such as lupus can be very stressful. Too much stress can interfere with your daily life and have a knock on effect with a flare up.

Some patients who suffer from lupus have found the following items helpful in reducing the stress in their lives. Share your ideas with your healthcare provider as they might be able to help you implement these steps to make managing stress with lupus a little bit easier.

  • Connect with others. Build new friendships and reach out to old friends. Don’t try to cope alone. It is important to talk to friends and family for support and guidance.

  • Get physically active. A lot patients with lupus can take part in some form of physical activity. Exercise may help reduce your stress levels. Talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise plan as there maybe some things you can and cannot do.

  • Eat well. There is no special diet for patients with lupus. Eating healthy foods and regular meals may help reduce the stress you feel. In general, people with lupus should aim for a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It should also include moderate amounts of meats, poultry, and oily fish.

  • Get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep may help you manage stress better. Lupus patients experience fatigue that negatively affects their life many patients report not feeling recharged after their sleep so trying to get some good quality sleep is crucial.

  • Take up a new hobby. Try and make some time for yourself. Set aside some 'you' time, this could be anything such as gardening, painting, or reading. Do something you enjoy.

  • Meditate. If you are having a stressful day, sit in a quiet room and meditate. If medicating is not for you then why not pop on some headphone, listen to your favourite album and go for a quick walk to clear your mind.

  • Do one thing at a time. Never take on more than you can handle. If you are stressed out at home or at work, learn to say “no!” and always ask for help when you need it.

  • See a therapist. Speaking to a therapist may help you feel better. A type of psychotherapy known as acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, shows promise as an effective tool for people with lupus struggling with anxiety or depression. ACT teaches mindfulness skills to help people change the way they respond to negative thoughts and feelings.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.


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