` ; Arthritis Advocate | BrightLife Direct

Arthritis Advocate

Join us in welcoming our guest blogger, Mariam. She shares her journey with arthritis, health, wellness and compression garments. 

 

MINDSET

I had to face it! "I've let Rheumatoid Arthritis take over my life!" From my career, love life, and parenting. Since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I lost the will to thrive in my life. I was so focused on the daily pain that I forgot to look towards the future. I spent many days in pain with no hope of relief until I couldn't take it anymore and realized my life was wasting away. I've refocused my priorities by addressing my mental health these past couple of years. I questioned myself, what do I want to accomplish in my life? The first couple of things that came up for me were to thrive with my current health conditions and spread more awareness about this invisible disease that is only felt by us and unseen by others. It all began with addressing my mental health! I had to have the right mindset to take control of my RA and live a more wholesome life. Through extensive therapy, I discovered I have ADHD, Depression, Chronic Anxiety, and Insomnia. I am to this day seeing my therapist and taking medication to address these issues, and continuously making improvements in my life. I believe it all begins from addressing your mental health. Keeping up with my mental health has helped me improve my care for myself. True healing begins when you accept yourself for who you indeed are. I've got that I have a debilitating disease. I accepted that the daily stressors from my disease are taking a toll on my mental health and decided to move on to better parts of my life by acknowledging that these issues exist. I chose to go towards a healthier route by introducing healthy habits into my daily routine!


PHYSICAL HEALTH


Maintaining your physical health can be a tough one to get right, and I probably don't have it all down. I want to begin by saying that there is no one method to address your physical health. We are all unique in our own ways. There are many components that you have to consider. I began with my diet, reducing inflammatory foods such as sugar (I have a major sweet tooth and still struggle with this one), caffeine, oily, starchy foods. Introducing more wholesome foods into my diet, such as swapping that delicious steak and cheese for a juicy cajun salad; as a bonus, I have included that recipe below. I've been obsessed with avocados lately, high in fiber, and are helping with my digestive issues. I've begun addressing my pain points instead of just putting up with the pain. For example, I have to type a lot at work and find my wrist aching almost every day. I've had a wrist fusion on my right hand and found that wearing compression gloves gave my wrists the extra support they need. I've also had a total shoulder replacement on my left shoulder and saw that wearing shoulder support and daily stretches can also be very helpful. Physical activity has been the biggest struggle for me, and I was always terrified to move, thinking it would worsen the pain. But surprisingly, moving has been a saving grace for me; I start my day with some simple stretches and get in a 30-minute walk or jog if my joints are up for it.

I LOVE COMPRESSION PRODUCTS


Did you know that there are many health benefits to wearing compression products?
Some of the many benefits are:

  • Boosting circulation
  • Reducing swelling
  • Improving lymphatic drainage
  • Preventing blood from pooling in leg veins
  • Decreasing pain and achiness
  • Reversing venous hypertension
  • Preventing venous ulcers

BrightLife Direct has a wide variety of products, from compression gloves to leggings, with an easy-to-use site. I never leave the house without my compression gloves. Whether it's going to work, the gym, or dinner. It's the first thing I reach for when the throbbing pain/swelling begins in my wrists, fingers, ankles, and knees. BrightLife Direct has made it very simple to help you figure out what compression levels will work best for you with an easy-to-read compression guide. I've also discovered some stunning designs they offer for us ladies, a much better alternative to wearing basic black or tan gloves, as a bonus to elevate your look. I was fascinated by this beautiful Yogi glove they offer, perfect for wearing over the holidays! I've stopped wearing henna for many years because it got covered by my gloves. This Yogi glove allows me to show off some henna designs and many other beautiful prints and designs fit for any occasion.

Sigvaris Soft Opaque knee high in navy


Another product that has been very helpful to me are compression socks. Sometimes a workout or walk can put a lot of strain on my achy legs and feet. The Sigvaris knee-high compression socks are a great option to give your feet improved blood circulation and increased oxygen delivery to muscle tissues to get the most out of your workout, with less cramping and achiness post-workout. I particularly like the Allegro Essential Unisex Cotton Socks, which are great for daily wear and are available in various colors.
Try this great and simple solution for individuals with inflammation or blood flow issues in the legs and feet like me.
If you've been putting off taking care of your health because it seems too complicated, this is your reminder that it's not impossible. Begin by taking baby steps, and don't forget to visit the experts in compression stockings and support hosiery at www.BrightLifeDirect.com, where they make compression comfortable.

Added Bonus Recipe


Cajun Chicken Salad
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • spinach
  • raddichio
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • avocado
  • croutons
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • two chicken breasts

For Chicken Marinade

  • 1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon pepper
  • sea salt (as required)
  • extra virgin olive oil (as needed)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


How to cook:

  • Pound the chicken breast into an even thickness using a mallet.
  • Season the chicken with salt, cayenne, cajun, lemon pepper, sea salt, olive oil, and garlic powder on both sides.
  • Heat a pan with olive oil on medium heat. Place the chicken breast smooth side down and cook for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
  • Bring the heat to a low, flip the chicken and cook on the other side with a closed lid for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and allow chicken to rest in the pan for 10 minutes before slicing. Toss greens, sliced chicken, veggies, avocado, croutons, and dressing in a bowl.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!
Mariam, Arthritis Advocate  Mariam is a passionate young adult that loves to cook a fusion of cuisines. She has been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for a little over ten years. She has an 8-year-old daughter who is a true force of energy, her purpose, pride, and joy that has pushed her to overcome all the difficulties she has faced with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She recently joined the Arthritis Foundation with a mission to spread Arthritis Awareness and give others hope to move forward with healthy resources for living with Arthritis, like BrightLife Direct, the compression experts.
Previous article Compression socks and sleeves - what's the difference?
Next article Packing the perfect carry-on