Cool weather has arrived, and that means we’re all getting a chance to enjoy pumpkin spice and fresh apples. But, if you’re like me and millions of other Americans, the changing season might also mean you’re feeling a few aches and pains from arthritis.
As the months get cooler and the days get shorter, it’s not uncommon to feel a little down. Add in aches and pains from arthritis and you’ll likely find yourself longing for spring and warmer weather before we’ve even enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found continuing to pursue passions despite challenges caused by a physical condition is key to living a happy and positive life That’s why this fall, I’m partnering with the TYLENOL® 8-Hour Arthritis Pain and their #WhatMovesMe campaign to celebrate the drive arthritis sufferers have in continuing to pursue their passions, despite the pain they face.
The campaign highlights that we’re happiest when our minds are focused on the present, which is why engaging in creative projects and passions are rewarding on many levels. I’ve found that often focusing on something engaging that we love means we find the aches and pains easier to overcome.
For me, that focus comes from running. Despite mild arthritis in my hip, running gives me a renewed sense of self-worth and a focus that allows me to feel happier and more at ease. Once I get into the rhythm of a run, it’s almost like a form of meditation for me. It’s that presence of mind that inspired me to begin training for my first marathon shortly before I turned 50. And in a few weeks, I’ll run in my 3rd marathon to celebrate my 60th birthday!
Running doesn’t have to be your passion! But, moving your body every day, even if there’s a bit of discomfort, should be on everyone’s list. Here are some of my tips to discovering your own passions and managing the pain:
1) Find a passion that makes you feel good.
Pursue whatever invigorates your mind and body to possibly achieve a better sense of self-worth, overall health and well-being.
2) Take care of you.
Get more sleep, eat healthy foods, and work towards managing and reducing your stress.
3) Get creative.
If you don’t already have something that drives you, find a creative endeavor like learning an instrument, which has been shown to positively impact brain health. In fact, learning or playing an instrument not only can positively impact brain health by altering its anatomy and physiology, but also helps us focus on what we’re currently doing and taking our minds off things we might find stressful. When you need a little more to help manage arthritis pain, doctors recommend TYLENOL® 8-Hour Arthritis Pain.
4) Never give up.
Don’t stop doing what you love no matter what obstacles are thrown your way. Despite having mild arthritis in my hip and thumb, I still run every other day, enjoy knitting, and even recently went back to playing the piano, starting with learning to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise.
As part of the #WhatMovesMe campaign, several dedicated musicians who suffer from arthritis continue to play music with a burning passion despite their pain. These talented artists find so much joy in playing music that it would hurt more not to play. Watch their music video and get ready to be as inspired as I was by their perseverance and passion:
As we transition into a new season full of possibilities, ask yourself: “What Moves Me?”