Gardening is a favorite hobby.  Actually, it is a favorite therapy!

3 Gardening Tips RA Style

The bright rays of sunshine definitely make me want to utilize 3 gardening tips RA style!  There is something very therapeutic about the feel of my hands buried in rich black dirt.  

I’m not sure what appeals to me most about gardening.  The kaleidoscope of colors I put together, the fragrance of the blooms, or all the textures and plant shapes I arrange as an experiment in all sorts of new and unusual combinations.  It’s as though I’m in a world of my own as I hang out in my yard.  That is a good thing because my methods are quite unconventional.  Atypical is the way to go for a  person with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  So when I garden I go by my own rules using my 3 gardening tips RA style.

Here are my 3 Gardening Tips

  1. Don’t worry about efficiency.  People with RA like inefficiency when gardening.  I’ll explain.  When preparing my planters and pots, I purposely do not gather all my plants, soil and tools together near where I am planting to save steps.  I need to get up and walk around so my body doesn’t become stiff and sore.  It certainly takes longer, but my body feels better if I can walk around a stretch a bit!  This also goes for raking leaves or grass.  Once again, on purpose, my refuse bag is across the yard so I need to get up a stretch between loading armfuls of yard waste. This unorthodox process is what I call RA style!  There is no such thing as quick gardening.  I take advantage of the RA style to enjoy the fresh air and linger amongst my creation!  No doubt I get more exercise this way, and that is always a good thing.
  2. Plan smaller segments.  For planting, I do my front-of-the-house pots one day and the backyard pots another.  I may even do the pots by the front door one day and the pots by the front of the garage on another.  The point is that I plan the job will just take longer than it did before I was diagnosed with RA.  In the end, it doesn’t matter if the planting takes three days instead of one.   We still have the entire summer to enjoy the flowers.  Then in the fall, I do the yard cleanup in segments.  I listen very carefully to what my body is telling me, and that takes getting to know what you can and cannot do.  We are all unique.  I can do more today than I could five years ago.  I’ve worked hard with my pilates trainer to build muscles and my core to be able to even do yard work.
  3. Stay flexible.  Do not become so attached to your gardening plans that you foolishly overwork your body.  You may need to ask for help or change your plans.  I am changing my plans this year for fall decorating.  I normally remove my summer flowers and replace them with kale, mums, and asters.  This year I am not.  I will just enjoy my summer plants longer.  I have made other important commitments so the autumn planting won’t happen.

Gardening is indeed a favorite hobby but in order to fully enjoy it, I have to approach the job with the voice of reason.  That is employing my 3 gardening tips RA style!  And that is using Arthritis Wisdom!

I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend.    C.Z. Guest

Tell us about your favorite hobby.  We want to hear all about it.  Don’t forget to share any helpful tips!

XXOO Cathy


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Arthritis should have the smallest footprint possible on your day-to-day living.  Small things added together make a huge impact.  Here’s to living your best life, even with arthritis!  Cheers!


Cathy from Arthritis Wisdom


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