How About a *FRESH* Valentine?
I was thinking about Valentine’s Day and how to celebrate the occasion. It didn’t take long to ask myself “how about a *FRESH* valentine, a gift that will keep on giving?”
What on earth is a *FRESH* valentine? It is purposefully implementing one of five lifestyle areas I pinpointed once I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to help my medications to better manage my systemic inflammation. The five areas are F for the food I eat, R for rest and relaxation, E for exercise, S for sleep and H for hydration.
Let’s look closer at each of these areas:
- F for food. I was too sick to follow a strict diet at the time. I didn’t have the energy to find recipes to make the restrictive diet edible. I defaulted to keeping it simple by limiting processed foods, added sugar and added salt. I learned to read labels, and was shocked at times learning what I thought was something healthy was actually not so.
- R for rest and relaxation. In other words, managing stress in my life. I have found meditating and using visualization to be very helpful.
- E for exercise. Keep moving! One Pilates session a week made a big difference in stamina, flexibility and better posture. I also walk the dog every day.
- S for sleep. I aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night. I start winding my day down right after dinner so I’m ready to turn in sometimes by 8:30!
- H for hydration. A rule of thumb I was taught was to take your body weight in pounds, divide that number in half and that is how many ounces of fluid to aim to consume each day. It is helpful to have a goal.
So take your pick. Try one thing in one of the areas to make your lifestyle healthier in one small way. I have found making small adjustments to my lifestyle have added up to make a big difference.
My pick for this Valentine’s Day is to have a big-dark-chocolate-covered strawberry instead of indulging in a gooey chocolate desert. It may seem like a small thing, but when I eat sugary deserts I crave more. And sometimes I’m not so good at resisting the craving.
Let me know how you are celebrating with a *FRESH* Valentine this year. I’d love to hear from you!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.
And that is using Arthritis Wisdom!
photo credit: Jamie Street at Unsplash