How can I cope with lupus?

Start by building a strong health care team. Your rheumatologist or primary care physician will help you find the health care professionals you need. Your lupus health care team may include a psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, dermatologist, and dietitian. It is important to follow up with your healthcare team on a regular basis, even when your lupus is quiet and all seems well. Ask your healthcare team about ways to cope with fatigue. If you’re depressed, medicine and counseling can help.

Build a solid support network of close family and friends. Consider support groups and counseling. Dealing with a long-lasting disease like lupus can be hard on your emotions. Getting enough rest and taking care of yourself is important. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Practice setting limits and saying “no” when demands of others put your health in jeopardy.

Take care of yourself. Eat well. Get plenty of rest. Take your medications as prescribed. Pay attention to your body and slow down or stop before you’re too tired. Learn to pace yourself and spread out your work and other activities. Remember that fatigue is one aspect of the disease, and don’t blame yourself for it.

Stay active. Exercise is important for health and stress relief. Talk with your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. Stay involved in hobbies and social activities that you enjoy. Some people find meditation and yoga helpful in managing stress.

Learn about lupus. People who are well informed and take part in planning their own care report less pain. They also may make fewer visits to the doctor, have more self-confidence, and remain more active. Use the resources here at The Lupus Initiative as a starting point.