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Loving with Lupus (and RA) ...

Today is all about hearts, love, affection and celebrating relationships (and also candy and chocolate!). So many of my clients tell me that their loved ones want to help but don’t know how, if you have Lupus and have loved ones that ask what they can do — share this post far and wide!

Do you love someone with Lupus? Advice on how to help your loved one with Lupus (or RA)!!

1. Listen carefully:

Oftentimes when people with Lupus or RA are having a flare, they may be trying to conserve energy and make it through the day. It takes energy to think about how to ask for help and sometimes your loved one may just suffer in silence. Look and listen for signs they’re having a bad day - are they more quiet than usual? Moving more slowly? Have a certain facial expression? Those may be signs they are feeling extra fatigued or more pain or discomfort than usual.

2. Talk about it on a good day:

Take advantage of good days to talk through the sorts of tasks that take up a lot of their energy - is it laundry? Is it vacuuming? What can you help with that is very hard for them on a bad day?

3. Pick up the extra tasks:

Whatever you can do to help will likely be greatly appreciated! Maybe it’s just bringing them an extra blanket, a cup of water or tea or making a meal - it’s all thoughtful and may be more helpful than you imagine! While not everyone’s natural love language is acts of service or kindness, when your loved one is in a flare, they will definitely feel the love with your help!

4. Support their healthy choices (even if it’s not your choice):

If your loved one wants to start eating healthier, it may mean that you have to replace take out, alcohol or fast food sometimes too. Brainstorm together foods that you both like that are better choices for your loved one. Additionally, if you are having a craving, perhaps order the less healthy foods on a day that you aren’t together to avoid tempting them.

5. Move together:

Physical activity and exercise can be a relationship builder! Go on walks together, to the gym or to explore a new place on a leisurely walk. Exercise doesn’t have to look a certain way (sweating for hours at a gym) to be helpful. Including more movement on a consistent basis can also help your loved one with Lupus or RA feel their best!

6. Don’t take it personally:

It can be really hard to give up some of the habits you enjoyed together previously, or weather the changes in your relationship without feelings of disappointment or frustration. If your loved one is having a hard time just making it through their day, they may have to cancel plans or may ask to stay at home to watch TV instead of going out. It’s not about you, and likely not that the person doesn’t want to miss out on the fun times with you either. Try not to say things like, “You’re always tired,” or, “Why don’t you ever want to do …..?” Your loved one would love to have the energy to do all of the things with you!

Comment below how you help your loved one with a chronic illness, or if you have the illness how you would love to be helped ….

If you're ready to get started on working with me, The Lupus Dietitian, on feeling your best, email me today ... or reach out on Instagram @TheLupusDietitian

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