9 Tips for Better Mornings with Arthritis

Rise and shine using these 9 tips to manage your morning arthritis pain.

1. 9 Tips for Better Mornings with Arthritis
If morning chaos and pain make you want to throw your hands up in defeat and crawl back in bed, get proactive. A successful morning requires not only streamlining tasks in the a.m., but also plenty of planning the night before. These nine tips will help you get up and at ’em and out the door.
2. Heat Things Up
Heat works wonders for soothing stiff and painful joints. Set your electric blanket or heating pad to come on shortly before wake-up time, take a warm shower or toss your clothes in the dryer before getting dressed.
3. Stretch a Little

Alittle gentle stretching can make a big difference in how you feel the rest of the day. And you don’t even have to get out of bed to do it! Reach your arms above your head, point and flex your toes, roll your ankles and gently move your head side to side. Rock your hips left to right; bend and straighten one knee at a time. Repeat until you feel less stiff.

4. Grab and Go Breakfast
You don’t need to choose between having a nutritious breakfast and being on time. Stock your fridge with “grab and go” arthritis-friendly foods like hard-boiled eggs, pre-made steel cut oats and fresh fruit. Get your caffeine (and antioxidant) fix by timing the coffeemaker to have coffee ready when you are.
5. Prep the Night Before
You might move a little slower in the mornings, so gather everything you need the night before. Lay out your outfit, accessories and dressing aids. Pre-tie your necktie or scarf so you can slip it over your head. Make sure homework is checked, lunches are made, papers are signed and backpacks and briefcases are pack and by the door.
6. Morning Moves
Exercise is great for keeping pain at bay, but studies also show that morning workouts can boost mental acuity and burn more fat throughout the day. Join a nearby gym or walk around the neighborhood – working out close to home makes it more likely you’ll stick with the morning routine.
7. Take OTC Meds First Thing in the Morning
Lay your morning dose of anti-inflammatory or pain-relief medicine next to your bed with crackers and water. Set your alarm a little earlier to take it before hitting the snooze button. That will give it time to start working before you get up.
8. Let There Be Light
Natural sunlight sends signals to your brain and body to wake up. It can also raise levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain, which is linked to better moods. Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you wake up to help focused and refreshed.
9. Pace Yourself
If you’re feeling particularly run-down one morning, avoid the hustle. Make plans with your supervisor for tough days. if you get to work later, you may need to stay later or finish up a project at home. Got kids? Have a back-up plan for school pick-up and dinner. Extra time in the morning can make a big difference in how you feel the rest of the day.
10. Keeping Your Life on Track
Managing the ups and downs of living with arthritis is challenging. Learn more about Coping with Change to find out how to make daily life a little easier.

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