It’s easy to romanticize the cold. There is something about the purity of snow, snuggling by a warm fire, or staying indoors to listen to the rain that can elevate the spirit even during the darkest of days. However, for some of those living with lupus, cold weather can mean stiffness, painful joints, rashes and added discomfort to an already difficult diagnosis.

Here are a few simple tips from members of our community to help those with lupus during this time of year:

  1. Stay inside.

“I love running a warm bath or just chilling on the couch with the dog. I always use a company like to make sure my hot water is working. It’s so important to keep warm when you are sick. If I find I can’t get out of bed that day I have a good book handy to keep me preoccupied and drink warm cups of tea. If I’m totally wiped out I listen to my body and just sleep with my eye pillow on and burn some lavender oil to relax. Gratitude works wonders for low mood days too, so writing lists of things I’m grateful for helps shift perspective.” – Laura

  1. Use heating pads, blankets, and hand warmers.

“I try to keep my hands, legs, and toes as warm as possible because I have neuropathy in those areas. My nose burns if I’m outside too long. Before winter knocks my door, I usually check whether my heating appliances are in good condition or not. This time around they were not! So, I had to ask for recommendations for finding a technician who can repair them at the earliest. Those in the know therefore, suggested me to check out websites like Who knows, I might just consider this option before winter takes a toll on my health.” – Alita

“Blankets! Blankets! Blankets (preferably the fuzzy, comfy ones!)” – Anonymous

  1. Dress for the occasion.

“It helps to keep warm with lots of layers, woolen socks, beanies, and boots. I like to have a bit of fun putting my outfits together and put on some make up to cover a rash and just to give myself a confidence boost (maybe when I’m not feeling so good inside)!” – Laura

  1. Drink something warm (preferably with friends).

“I am prone to depression and I do withdraw socially like a lot of people when it gets super cold. I find it helps to make weekly cuppa dates at friends’ houses.” – Laura

  1. Catharsis works.

“I journal to let my emotions out while letting tears stream. Not holding it in. This also allows me to look back afterwards when things are okay again and reflect.” – Jessica

“Celebrate the good days and find your inner strength in the bad days.” – Laura

  1. Keep your community close

“Make sure that you go and participate in events, even though you’d rather be in bed, at home. When you become connected with people and your world, you’ll be so much happier and maybe even feel a bit better.” – Laura

  1. Be patient.

“At the end of the day, no matter what you’re going through, try to be gentle with yourself. You are going through so much physically and emotionally. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, and realize that no one should have to be this brave or this strong. No matter how you cope, know that you are making it through your day as best you can and that will always be admirable and more than enough.” – Alyssa

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