What's In My AxSpa Toolbox?
Ever since I learned of my axial spondyloarthritis diagnosis, I began to gather tools to add to my coping toolbox! AxSpa can really take a toll on our mental and physical health and I thought that being prepared seemed like the most helpful thing to do for myself!
Oftentimes, I will forget some of my best tools until I am in a conversation with someone, and then I'm reminded of ones that have worked well for me before. Sometimes hearing how our friends cope can be HUGE in developing and maintaining those friendships. I love my friendships that are built on empathy and love, all the while learning something new! So here are my coping tools!
I take long, hot baths
Baths have become a baseline in my daily life. I must have at least one to feel sane. I think the water grounds me. Hot water always helps relieve any stiffness and soothes my achy joints but also, the bath gives me a place to meditate and find some peace in my body.
I use cannabis
This is something that’s helped me in so many areas of my life, especially managing pain. That being said, using cannabis for recreational purposes is just as important for me. My pain is well managed with cannabis, but my calmed mind is equally important in keeping stress levels down, which in turn helps to manage pain. Our bodies are an endless cycle and each action affects the next.
Finding a project
Yup, I don’t really care what it is, as long as the outcome means life will be more functional or at the very least, pretty! Getting lost in organizing the Tupperware can sometimes be a good way to focus on something other than the pain.
Going to therapy
Here are some of my different types of therapies: talk therapy with a professional (sometimes this is my family doctor for 15 minutes, or the pharmacist who’s willing to see me as a whole story not just a patient, or seeking support for certain specific issues like loss.) My therapy can also include talking with friends who have shared my life’s experiences or diagnoses.
What are some tools you have in your toolbox to help with physical or mental lows?
Can you tell when a flare is coming?