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Pets Help Cope with Arthritis Flares

Even for days and weeks before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially told high-risk people last week to “stay home as much as possible” to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, the immunosuppressed and chronic illness patients in the Global Healthy Living Foundation and CreakyJoints patient communities have been spending more time at home, away from others.

While for some, this is a huge change in routine and mentality, others are unphased because they’re used to being homebound. “I’m an experienced introvert; not going out doesn’t phase me,” Christina A. shared on Facebook. “Ummm, this is my normal routine,” according to @shawntymony12 on Instagram.

“Cooking and freezing meals, reading my ‘must read’ books, creating pastel drawings, cleaning out drawers and wardrobes, gardening. Nanny nap in the afternoon. Living it! Loving it!” shared Kate R.

However, when you feel more forced to stay in for precautionary health reasons — and when doing something as mundane as grocery shopping or running to the drug store can feel risky or onerous — staying home more than you may be used to can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and social isolation. It can be important to home in on specific hobbies and activities to add some structure, productivity, and pleasure to your days.

“I work from home normally, so this isn’t too different than my normal routine,” shared Ranay C. “If I eat out, drive-thru is my preference and I’m ordering groceries online and using pick up service. This way I’m still getting out of the house. Walks outside when weather permits and trying to get projects that I don’t normally make time for out of the way. At least then I have a sense of accomplishment when this social distancing is over.”

To that end, we asked CreakyJoints members on social media how they’re spending their time. Feel free to add to this list with your own ideas here and here, and get inspiration from others’ activities below.

Get Outdoors (Safely)

Get a little fresh air if possible. Move. — Debra H.

Took the dog for a long walk in the woods where no viruses can catch us. Will probably watch tv the rest of the day. Honestly, it’s kind of nice to be able to slow down a little. — Denie W.

I make sure I walk in the sunshine every day for an hour. — Kate R.

My spring flowers were popping out so I’m going to work in the yard. That and Netflixing it. —Gretchen D.

Attend a Virtual Museum

This is something I just came across. [It’s a guide to museums around the world that offer virtual tours.] — Kris K.

Do Around-the-House Projects

I’ll be reducing my outside social stuff as much as possible but my husband and I are going to paint the back fence and I have plenty of leaves to remove, during which time I will not be in contact with anyone except birds, lizards, and the occasional mosquito. — Martha C.

Read, Read, Read

I read a lot of books, play games on my Kindle and watch a little tv. I usually go buy groceries once a week, but I am going to start ordering online until all this is over. — Stephanie A.

E-books from the library. Best deal in town for hours of entertainment and learning. Also includes audiobook and Kindle delivery options. — Carole W. 

Libby is free app offered from your local library. Download both books and audio books. — @frharmony


Catching up on blogposts! Writing away. Well, typing, haha. — @Elisa_Comer

Let Your Body Guide You

Trying to relax!!! I feel like I have to be “productive” like clean out a closet or something but my body isn’t having that. Time to read that book!! — Katherine C.

Watch New Shows

I’ve been watching the first five seasons of ‘When Calls the Heart.’ It’s a very calming series and keeps my mind off the news. — @livingmyspalife

Started watching ‘Shameless’ on Netflix … nine seasons should keep me entertained for at least a few days! — @life_a.s_erin

Work on Hobbies

Painting this peaceful visual to relax, from a photo I took recently off my back porch. Really enjoying doing it. Titled “I AM” Still in Control. — Cathy E.

Playing the piano. Learning the piano has been fantastic for my hand joints and keeping them loose and flexible. — Candance L.

I’m working on scrapbooks for my grandsons. It’s been fun to look through the memories. My husband bought me s used architectural drawing table. The slanted surface really helps – I don’t have to lean over a table to work. — De Light M.

I’m learning faux calligraphy and keeping track of TV/movie recos on the Sofa app, reading [Game of Thrones], and bothering my cat. — Brittany W.

Plant a garden — the fresh food will taste good in a couple of months. — Heather B.

Knitting and working in my home-based business. — Susan T.

Cross stitch projects. — Karen H.

Games and Entertainment

Puzzles, books, board games, coffee and chocolate.  — Janean B.

Working from home for the next few weeks. Bought a couple of PS4 games to help spend time. — Vincent G.

I love the Astra Jigsaw iPad app! It lets me do all kinds of puzzles with various levels of difficulty without straining my hands to pick up little pieces. A very simple app thing to stay busy while binging on great podcasts! — @meredith444

I read, watch a little TV, play board games with the grandkids, cross stitch some, adult coloring pages are fun to do. And build with LEGO, it’s addicting. Do puzzles, word searches, etc. —Michelle R.

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