7 / 10 Use Assistive Devices
Research examining both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis found that having assistive devices was associated with improved psychological well-being. A variety of clever devices are available to help you get dressed, cook, write, garden, bathe, drive a vehicle, and do other tasks more easily. Occupational therapists can recommend “wonderful gadgets” for your personal needs that you might find helpful, Ziminski says.
8 / 10 Stay Positive
Researchers have found that people with RA are approximately twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to people who don’t have RA. Ziminski regularly sees patients who are feeling down or depressed, often because they’re tired and sore and they can’t easily do the activities they’d like to do. Taking control of your life can be helpful, she says. Start saying no to tasks that are a low priority to you, and learn how to parcel out your energy throughout the day on the remaining tasks.
Good treatments are available. Ask your primary care doctor to treat or screen you for depression if a low mood lasts for more than a few weeks.