Thursday, September 28, 2017

RA Blog Week: Hobbies

Hobbies: Hobbies are healthy or maybe they are not? What is your hobby and how does it help you with your autoimmune conditions? If you do not have a hobby imagine a great hobby for a person dealing with RA. #RABlog

My hobbies have not really changed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). My personality has always been one that has enjoyed quiet and downtime. I guess I was a natural for RA. :) 

Walks with my border collie: A day doesn't seem complete without a morning walk with my border collie. During flare days, I latch her leash around my waist and ask her to please walk slowly - she  rarely obeys. But, she seems happier going at a slower pace than not walking with me at all. She seems to need that time with me in the morning too. It is a time to reflect on the day before, smile at neighbors, and enjoy the beauty that mornings bring. Plus, while my joints need to rest, they also need to keep moving. Walking is a gentle exercise that is available to me in various forms depending on where my RA is.     

Bike rides: My husband and I rode bikes together long before kids and then added them to the fun. When a time came that biking wasn't going to work for me, my son took over as my husband's partner and while I felt a little left out, I couldn't have asked for a better person to fill in for me. Today, with my RA under control, bike riding is once again a hobby we can enjoy together. It is a time to forget about the rest of life and just enjoy being together in nature. Generally, even when flaring, I can bike ride. It may add to the pain later, but while I am riding, I feel good.   

Reading: To be honest, since Netflix and Hulu entered my life, reading has slid down my list of hobbies but I am going to keep it above TV since it brings greater satisfaction. When life brings stress (and therefore sore joints), I head outside to our backyard where I can hear my windchimes blow and sit in my swing to read. Reading brings knowledge and a peace of mind that nothing else can do for me.

Podcasts: Because I have various teaching jobs and different locations, I am in the car a lot. My joints do not like this at all. To keep my mind focused, I listen to podcasts. I learn so much while driving! Plus, podcasts provide amazing information and conversations to share with my son!
TV: When my body is sore or needs to rest, I love finding a comfy spot on my bed and vegging out for hours on a TV series. Plus, when I am flaring, TV is a great escape as I often don't have the energy to discuss what is going on immediately.   

Writing: This is a time for me to organize my thoughts and feelings. As an introvert, there are oten multiple conversations going on at once in my head and writing gives me a chance to organize all that I learned from those conversations.