How to Get Through Christmas Shopping With RA
‘Tis the season for Christmas shopping for everyone you know. And while this can be a great way to hang out with friends and family as you casually browse for Christmas gifts and sip gingerbread lattes, it can also end up being stressful and exhausting. Here are a few tips to help you survive the holiday shopping experience when you’re a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferer.
Plan ahead for long bouts of Christmas shopping. Of course, short visits to the mall here and there can happen whenever you like, but if you’re going to make a day of it with someone special, plan in advance.
This can mean taking painkillers or any of your medication that can help ease the pain a couple of hours before you go out so you’ll be at your best. You may even want to take something with you like an icy hot pack you can apply on your joints as needed, but dispose of when you are finished. Be sure to bring any medication you might need so that you can take it if and when it is necessary.
Make a List and Check It Twice
Before you go out on your shopping excursion, make a list of everything you wish to buy for everyone, noting a few alternatives if necessary. This will help cut down on the stress and running around the mall looking for something you aren’t sure of. Instead, you’ll be able to fairly easily check your list and plan a mode of action without going all over the place without direction.
Bring a bottle of water to refill at a water fountain or buy water when you’re shopping. This will keep you in tiptop condition and ready to keep shopping without feeling dizzy or faint.
Staying hydrated will also keep your circulatory system going and can actually decrease pain. This is especially important if you are somewhere with lots of indoor heating, which can make you feel weaker or dehydrated a lot quicker.
Dress for the Weather
If you’re going to an outdoor shopping center, be sure to dress appropriately. Because RA can affect circulation, especially if you are in a cold climate, you’ll need to wear a hat, gloves and extra socks to keep your head and extremities warm.
With RA, being cold is not just uncomfortable; if you have Raynaud’s, it can be downright painful. Dressing warmly is really about keeping your system regulated and keeping your body on track.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re on a high from Christmas shopping, you may not want to sit down and rest. However, it is important you do so to give your joints a bit of a break. Instead of running around non-stop, try and make it a goal to sit down once every hour or hour and a half to ensure things go much more smoothly.
Next page: more clever methods to get through Christmas shopping with RA.