by Robert S. Dinsmoor
90. Try to do your holiday shopping months in advance. That way, you don’t have to navigate the mall when it’s most crowded.
91. Whenever you’re traveling by car, give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination. This will give you time to stop, walk around, and stretch every hour or so.
92. Spread out your housework so you won’t overdo it and become fatigued. Consider keeping a calendar that helps you plan out which chores to do on which days of the week.
93. To make mowing the lawn easier, consider buying a riding or self-propelled mower. This will ease stress on the joints and minimize fatigue.
94. Consider getting a pet. Researchers believe that pets offer people a “stress buffer” as well as companionship.
95. Reach out and touch someone. Make a point of calling an old friend once a week, even if it’s just to “check in.” Social support is important to good mental health, and sometimes you need to take the first step.
96. Plan pleasurable activities each day. Make sure there is at least one activity every day that you can look forward to.
97. Take a siesta. A short, regular afternoon nap can increase alertness and improve your mood.
98. Dance your troubles away. Dancing can improve your mood. Those who don’t want to commit to the rigors of formal dance classes may benefit from “dance therapy” classes, in which the goal is simply to move and feel good.
99. Treat yourself to a massage. Massages can ease both pain and stress. Let your massage therapist know you have arthritis — or, better yet, find one with experience working with individuals with arthritis.
100. Laugh out loud. Buy a funny book or rent a funny videotape or DVD. Some studies suggest that laughing can relieve stress and pain.
The list above may seem a little overwhelming, but keep in mind that you have a lifetime to change your habits. Perhaps only a few of these suggestions will really inspire you, but each step you take is a step in the right direction. Once you have incorporated some of these changes into your life, you may decide to try some more. Carpe diem!
Last Reviewed on November 10, 2010
Robert S. Dinsmoor is a medical writer and editor based in Massachusetts.
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