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3. Keep Self-Talk Positive, Avoid Negative Self-Talk

Whether we realize it or not, most of us talk to ourselves as we go about our day. And what you say can have a big effect on your mood. “What you tell yourself is more important than what others say about you,” says Grusd. “So try to keep your thoughts as positive as you can and beware of slipping into negative self-talk.”

For example, if you can’t do something because your symptoms are acting up, try not to blame yourself. Instead, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. Or tell yourself that you’ll do the activity another day when you’re feeling better.

4. Surround Yourself With Supportive People

Having a strong support network is important when you have any type of chronic illness. “It’s important to surround yourself with positive people who are willing to be supportive -- even if this means making some new friends,” says Grusd.

You may also consider joining a support group for people with lupus. “It’s important to get empathy and be around others who understand what you’re going through,” says Debra Borys, PhD, a clinical psychologist based in Los Angeles. “A support group can be a great way to find this.” If getting out is too difficult, you can even find support groups online.

Seeing a therapist is another way to get support. “It can be really helpful to talk with a professional about your worries and concerns,” says Borys. “A therapist can also help you improve your relationships with family and friends.”

5. Take One Day at a Time

It can be overwhelming to worry about all the things you need to do. Instead, try to focus on one day at a time. It may help to break up the day into small, manageable pieces. “Every morning, I usually prioritize a few things to get done that day,” says Utterback. “And if I can’t get through everything on my list, I don’t get upset with myself. I just tell myself that I’ll get to it eventually.”

A Body Divided:

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Christine Miserandino Lupus advocate Christine Miserandino offers tips, advice, and coping strategies for living with lupus.
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