A woman walks as strategies for managing her chronic pain float around her

Habits That Support My Psoriatic Arthritis Lifestyle

Last updated: January 2023

As someone who has been living with psoriatic arthritis for decades, my lifestyle changes have made a significant impact on how I manage this disease. Sometimes, it's been the only thing that seemed to help.

When I talk about psoriatic arthritis and pain management, lifestyle improvements are too far behind. I'm honored to share some of the habits that have worked for me. "Worked for me" is the key call-out here. Maybe they'll work for you or encourage you to implement some changes that could.

How my eating habits impact my PsA lifestyle

Eating habits are one change you can make to your lifestyle to improve your condition management. It won't be easy but neither is living with PsA. This might be one of the most important things you can take care of. Healthy food is a healthy body, right?

To start, keep your current diet but add more veggies, fish, chicken, and dried nuts, then slowly drop the junk. Reward yourself when you can. Add fruits and juices to your regimen. Keep your favorite foods nearby so that when your body is asking for them, you can honor that.

I keep a jar of nuts on my work table. It helps me rather than snacking on junk. I try to eat vegetables once a day in any form, like a raw carrot or cucumber. These habits also help keep my weight in check, a win-win for me. Just like that, you can manage your diet accordingly, but make it healthy.

Try different ways to keep an active lifestyle

Moving our bodies helps, I promise. Honestly, it's what helped me the most. It's not possible to have a walking trip every day, so I turn to the internet. I'll find yoga, gentle exercises, and meditation online.

I have a personal yoga trainer virtually, and she's helped me relieve my stiffness, especially in my knees. I meditate and enjoy this mindful movement 3 days a week to keep my body moving.

I also am mindful of my usual default movements. I try not to put too much extra pressure on my knees by going up and down stairs frequently. I keep my work set up on the same floor, and I avoid putting extra pressure on my body. It's a type of self-care.

Is a stess-free lifestyle possible?

It's not, but eliminating moments of stress is possible - I can't stress this enough. Stress can make our muscles stiffer, which makes our bodies work harder.

Meditation can help. Finding discipline in your routines can also help. Find new ways to keep your life, appointments, and work-life organized and balanced. This avoids unnecessary pressures.

Of course, there are days when the work and stress can feel extra tough. Find a way to take care of yourself in those moments. Build up your toolbox. I give myself a nice walk alone in a park. It helps declutter my mind and puts my body at peace.

The role sleep plays in PsA management

Sleeping comfortably is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Make sure you create a space that relaxes your mind and helps you sleep well. Keep the room dark and cozy, and have no mobile phones before sleeping. Create a routine that works for your nighttime regimen.

Consider your mattress's comfort level as well. I use a medicated mattress specially designed for people like us, and it is so comfortable to dive in and sleep. Also, consider a heating pad, a diffuser, or lavender spray. Mindful movement before bed can also loosen your joints.

A minimalist lifestyle may be considered

I keep my home clear of big furniture, bookshelves, and larger tables. It helps me avoid bumping into anything and keeps me out of tight corners. It's also easy to clean and maintain. I prefer to keep furniture with round corners to protect those knees and toes.

If you like the setup of your house, consider taking a look at your furniture placement and have someone help you move it or make some tweaks. It could be an easy change that could make your daily life easier.

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