Perfect Time To Start Practicing *FRESH* Finesse
Deciding the New Year would be a perfect time to take practicing my *FRESH* acronym to a new level came naturally this year. It just felt right, which was a surprise as I’m not one for New Years resolutions.
I was feeling weighted down on many levels and looking toward 2020 was a bright, happy thought. Let’s break it down.
Merriam-Webster defines finesse: skillful handling of a situation : adroit maneuvering
My *FRESH* acronym is my way of skillfully handling my rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is changing my lifestyle habits and behaviors in order to give my body the best opportunity to help the biologic I take to manage, or handle my RA.
F is for the Food
Diets frustrate me, so I keep it simple by reading food labels and limit processed foods, added sugar, and added salt. I was shocked when I first started to discover how many foods marketed as “healthy”, really weren’t! They may have been low fat, but they were loaded with sugar! Food allergies and sensitivities further customize food choices, if need be.
Perfect Time for R is for Relaxation
Relaxation means stress reduction. Stress causes problems all over the place. But for a person with an autoimmune, it is really a problem. Our body is designed to kick into gear when we encounter a threat, but it is not designed to function in this mode as a status quo. We need to resolve the threatening situation and give ourselves a rest. Some things just need to be let go of. Do like Elsa from the Frozen movie and “let it go”!
Perfect Time for E is for Exercise
Keep moving! Build those muscles to support the joints. One Pilates session a week makes a huge difference for me. If I miss, my body screams! I walk my pup and take the long way around the grocery store. Strengthening my core has helped so I don’t compensate my movement in unhealthy ways creating all sorts of issues. I’ve also gained an inch in height, seriously, by standing tall!
Perfect Time for S is for Sleep
Sleep provides restoration for our bodies. At least 7 hours is recommended, but I do best with 8. I use lots of pillows, as suggested by my physical therapist. One for my head, one between my knees, and one to rest my arm on while sleeping on my side. This position keeps me aligned the best. I have found if I go to bed around 10 pm, I sleep through the night. If I go to bed at midnight, I often have a restless night. Perhaps I get overtired, just like a baby! I have a routine, which is called sleep hygiene in my pharmacist world.
Perfect Time for H is for Hydration
Keeping your body hydrated helps lubricate the joints and allows your body to function better by getting nutrients where they need to be and removing toxins and waste. I aim for about a gallon a day. Water is best, but any liquid counts. I use the easy formula of taking your weight in pounds, dividing that number in half, and that gives you the number of ounces of fluid to consume in one day.
Back to the New Year Resolution. I’m using my *FRESH* acronym to finesse the management of my RA, hence dubbing it *FRESH* Finesse !
What are your resolutions? It is about a reset, something we can all use from time to time. Now is a perfect time to do so!
Photo Credit: Morgan Sessions from Unsplash