Patients & Supporters

Self-Managing Your Mental and Physical Health

Coping Skills


Coping with Chronic Illness
A recorded presentation with PowerPoint slides provided by Lupus Research Alliance and Becky Hashim, PhD (April 11, 2012)

Managing Stress


Managing stress may help people with lupus reduce the occurrence of lupus flares and improve their overall health. Techniques that may help people manage stress include mediation, mindfulness, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. This program uses mindfulness mediation to help people manage their stress and improve their health, including those who live with chronic illnesses. The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness offers 8-week long in-person and online MBSR programs for a fee. Other organizations also offer MBSR programs and resources, and two of these organizations are listed below.
There are also a variety of apps available that can help you incorporate mindfulness mediation into your daily routine as a way to manage stress. If you and your healthcare providers think mediation or MBSR programs may help you manage your stress and your lupus related health problems, we encourage you to learn more about how stress impacts lupus and explore the many resources available online and in your community. The links included here are to help you get started in your research.

Meditation: What? Why? How?
Lupus Research Alliance’s Coping Corner provides information on the benefits of mediation and how to start (September 1, 2015)

Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditation and Mindfulness
An app designed to help you practice meditation and mindfulness

The MBSR Online Course
An 8 week, online mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program taught by Dr. Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo-Meyer

Managing Fatigue


Strategies for Managing Fatigue
Information and strategies to help people with lupus manage fatigue provided by Lupus Foundation of America’s National Resource Center on Lupus

Managing Emotions Including Depression, Anxiety, Anger, and Frustration


Coping with Depression
Video created by WebMD in which people living with lupus share how feelings of depressions have affected them and how they manage them

Does Lupus Cause Depression?
Lupus Research Alliance’s Coping Corner takes a closer look at a study on depression and lupus conducted in 2011. In addition to explaining findings of the study, the article also describes ways you can take control and decrease feelings of depression (April 29, 2011)

Mental Health and Lupus
Lupus Research Alliance provides information on depression, lupus fog, and memory issues caused by lupus and ways to cope. There is also a link to a presentation by Beverly Johnson, MD

Managing Sleep


Lupus and Sleep
Video created by WebMD that provides tips to improve your sleep

Sleep Tight Despite Lupus
Strategies to help people with lupus get a better night’s sleep provided by Lupus Foundation of America’s National Resource Center on Lupus

Managing Memory and Concentration Issues


Dealing with Lupus Fog
Lupus Research Alliance’s Coping Corner describes a symptom that some people with lupus experience which is often referred to as “brain fog” and offers tips on how deal with lupus brain fog (March 23, 2011)

Managing Pain


Easing Joint and Muscle Pain
Information on joint and muscle pain by Lupus Research Alliance

Strategies For Managing Pain
Information and strategies to help people with lupus manage pain caused by lupus or fibromyalgia provided by Lupus Foundation of America’s National Resource Center on Lupus

Nutrition and Healthy Eating


Food, Nutrition and Lupus
Information, including a webinar from the Lupus Research Alliance. Webinar and supporting handout can be found here.

Information on diet considerations for people with lupus from The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center. Also included is a reference to another page, Things to Avoid, also created by The Johns Hopkins Lupus Center

Physical Activity

Arthritis Foundation's Section on Exercise
Section includes workouts and videos. Additionally, visit AF’s page on Exercise and Aquatic Programs to find local fitness related programs that they offer

Your Exercise Solution
This tool, provided by the Arthritis Foundation, helps you find exercises and activities that are right for you based on specific injuries or pain you may have

Most and Least Recommended Types of Yoga When You Have Lupus
Lupus Foundation of America’s National Resource Center on Lupus gives an overview of the types of yoga that might be most beneficial for people living with lupus, as well as the types of yoga to approach with caution

Right Moves for Lupus
Exercise Video created by the North Carolina chapter of Lupus Foundation of America

Walk with Ease (WWE)
A 6 week program created by the Arthritis Foundation. Program may be offered as a community program or you can take it as a self-guided course

Sun Protection

UV Exposure: What You Need To Know
Lupus Foundation of America’s National Resource Center on Lupus provides information on the dangers of UV exposure and suggest ways people with lupus can protect themselves

Medical Adherence

Managing Lupus Meds
Video created by WebMD that provides strategies to help you keep your medicine organized and stick to your treatment plan

The Lupus Companion
App created for iPhone by The Lupus Initiative designed to help you keep track of you medications and dosages, medical providers and appointments. It also helps you track your symptoms so you can keep an accurate record of your lupus

The Lupus App
App for Android users that sends you notifications to take your medications and provides appointment reminders to help you adhere to your treatment plan

Ask Me Three: An Illustrated Story on Adherence
The Lupus Initiative’s illustrated story describing the importance of following your treatment plan as created by you and your providers. Teaches how to “ask me 3” to get the information you need during your appointments

Preventing Lupus Flares

Preventative Care Strategies: Living with Lupus
Six part series providing information on preventative care strategies for Raynaud’s Syndrome, Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular Disease, and more provided by the Lupus Research Alliance and Bella Fradlis, MD

Looking Out for Lupus Flares
Lupus Research Alliance provides things you can do that may help to reduce flares

Visit sections “Managing stress”, “Nutrition and healthy eating”, “Physical activity”, “Sun protection” and “Medical adherence” for more information and resources on things you can do to help prevent flares

Compiled August 2017 by The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Lupus Initiative workgroup on self-management. This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of a medical or health condition. This and the subsequent Self-Management pages contain a compilation of resources that may help people with lupus self-manage their health. It is the decision of each individual and his or her healthcare team whether a specific resource might or might not be useful to self-manage his or her health. The inclusion of these resources was based on recommendations made by a workgroup comprised of healthcare professionals and people living with lupus. This compilation of resources is not meant to be exhaustive. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) does not benefit financially from sharing these resources. Please click here to view our policies regarding privacy, internal and external linking, and copyright and disclaimer issues. This and the subsequent Self-Management pages are, in part, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Cooperative Agreement Number NU58 DP006138. Its contents are solely the responsibility of its developers/authors. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.