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Stress and RA at Work: 6 Relaxation Techniques to Ease Workday Pressure

3. Take Productive and Frequent Breaks continued...

If your job involves working on your feet all day long, try to take shorter, more frequent breaks that get you off your feet.

If you drive long distances during the workday, use cruise control if you have it whenever possible to reduce stress on your leg. That way, you can rotate your ankles and may feel less stiff once at your destination.

If you spend all day typing, even taking a break of a few seconds will make a difference. When you hit the end of a page, for instance, sit for a couple seconds and rest.

If you're on the phone a lot, stand up and talk sometimes; it may lessen stiffness.

4. Pamper Your Hands

Finger and thumb joints can scream from all day typing or using a mouse. If your hands are achy, hold them under warm water for a few minutes before patting them dry.

Wear splints for typing if you're feeling pain.

5. Squeeze in Activity Whenever Possible

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every little bit adds up.

At the end of a busy day, you may have accumulated 10 minutes or more of activity just from climbing stairs -- and that counts toward your daily exercise goal.

Exercise can improve overall health and fitness and symptoms of arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Some experts suggest yoga and tai chi as ways to improve flexibility and help you relax. Check out your workplace lunchtime exercise offerings, or those at nearby health clubs. Tell your instructor that you have RA and ask her to help you modify any painful poses, or skip ones that put pressure on painful joints.

6. Use a Journal

If the stress overload on the job gets to a maddening level, don't give in to the urge to complain.  Instead, keep a notebook handy and use it as a journal to release those stressful thoughts on paper.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that people with RA who wrote about stressful experiences saw a reduction in symptoms and had better health status.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 24, 2014
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