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6. Watch Your Mood Closely

It may be helpful to create an internal barometer of how you’re feeling, using the numbers 1 through 10. “If you notice you’re starting to head down the scale, don’t wait until you’re at a 3 or 4 to do something about it,” says Grusd. “Instead, try to notice small changes right away and do something to pick yourself up if you start slipping a little bit.”

7. Keep a List of Ways to Feel Better

Create a list of things that make you feel good. Some examples may include taking a bubble bath, calling a friend, watching a show or movie that you enjoy, reading, taking a short walk, sitting in your garden, or petting your dog. Keep this list handy and do one of these things if you start to feel down. “Keep in mind that the same activity may not always work, so if one thing doesn’t work, try another,” says Grusd.

8. Connect With Your Spirituality

If you are religious, this is a great time to reach out to your religious community for support. Depending on your beliefs, it may be helpful to go to your church or temple or simply pray on your own. If getting out is difficult, you can request a home visit from those in your congregation. Or simply ask them to pray for you. “Asking other people to pray for you can be very powerful,” says Grusd. “Even if they are people you don’t know.”

9. Be as Active as You Can With Lupus

Staying active can also help your mood. “When you’re in pain you may not want to move, but doing just a little bit can really lift your spirits,” says Grusd. “It can also be very empowering to feel like you have some control over your illness.” Do whatever you can, whether it’s a walk around the block, or just into the other room.

Some people with lupus also benefit from taking up an activity such as tai chi, very light yoga, guided imagery, or meditation. “Many people find these types of activities help with depression and may even help improve their physical health,” says Borys.

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