6 Arthritis Self-Care Touchstones

Many years ago people tested the authenticity and purity of silver and gold by dragging samples over special stones. The resulting color of the touchstone’s mark verified the metal’s content and value. Here are my 6 touchstones for arthritis self-care.

Cultivate acceptance

The lifelong quest to engage toxic cultural ableism and denial is easier said than done, but I believe that accepting our spondyloarthritis diagnosis and what it can mean amounts to a near superpower. Leaving denial behind and acting on a factual basis lays a foundation of empowerment for all of our subsequent choices.


Boundaries are a fence we draw around ourselves and the things that matter to us. Its state of repair helps emphasize that access to us and our spaces is a privilege, not a right. Setting ourselves up for peaceful harmonious living makes boundaries essential for accomplishing our self-care plan.

What makes you happy?

We all deserve something to look forward to, but fatigue, finances, and crowded schedules  can get in the way. Are you drawn to something but keep waiting for the right time to pursue it? The perfect “right time” might never come. It’s important to work toward fulfillment even if we’re not exactly sure how we’ll get there.

Stay sophisticated about opinions

Don’t you hate it when somebody you really like and admire turns out to be only human? Maybe it’s a cringe-worthy post, a deeply disappointing opinion, or a shocking hot take.

Here’s the thing, everybody is wrong about something.

The increased proximity and immediacy of the current media environment means that we hear more things, from more people, all of the time, Sigh. All of this is still relatively new, and we haven’t found the right balance of attention yet.

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Seek accountability and support

Accountability can sound scary, like punishment, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Joining a small artist group has helped me to implement and revise my annual goals and vision plan. Joining with others on the same path empowers all of us around time, attention, and pursuing new opportunities  through our regular meetings, critique of each other’s work, and reflection on where we’re going.

Reality checking

We need to keep an eye on the facts of our life. Arthritis can make this especially difficult when the days, weeks, and months all bleed together. Pain, fatigue, and the general blah feeling can melt the things we want and need to do together in our minds, making it hard to take action.

Could planners or journaling help?

Maybe. Many folks find planners and journaling helpful tools to stay present in their lives. There’s a planner for every situation, but popular focuses include health and wellness, time and attention, money, holiday planning, and special events. I use my Minimalist Bullet Journal to track work, homemaking, health advocacy, and hobbies.

I use my Minimalist Bullet Journal to track work, homemaking, health advocacy, and hobbies.


  1. Explore your goals and vision.
  2. Make a plan, try it out, and keep revising until you’re satisfied.
  3. Be kind to yourself.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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