When you’re sad, stressed or your joints are aching, it might seem like digging into a pint (or half-gallon) of ice cream and not stopping till you reach the bottom will make you feel better. But that’s going to undermine your efforts to avoid inflammatory foods and weight gain. Breaking this kind of pattern may take physical or mental interventions – or both. We asked a registered dietitian and a psychologist how to break the cycle of emotional eating. Continue reading Emotional Eating Can Sabotage Your Arthritis Diet
If short days have you feeling blue, getting more sunshine and exercise can help, says Mark Rapaport, MD, chairman of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. These strategies also might help.
- Look ahead. Plan and focus on something positive in your future, Dr. Rapaport suggests, like a vacation or a night out with friends.
- Get crafty. Knitting yourself a scarf could do more than protect you from the cold. A study of 3,545 knitters worldwide found a link between knitting and happiness. The greatest impact was among those who knitted in a group.
- Say “om.” Easy on painful joints, yoga is also tough on the blues, according to a review article in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Yoga appears to influence brain chemicals and inflammation in the body similarly to antidepressants and psychotherapy.
- Get enough zzz’s. It’s hard to feel good when you are sleep-deprived. Research shows that increasing sleep time by treating insomnia may improve mood. If your blues don’t go away and you feel helpless, hopeless, guilty or despairing, see a professional.
An arthritis flare, unexpected changes at home or work, even the start of a new year can create stress and anxiety. These emotions lead to depression in some people –including many who have arthritis. A 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one-third of people with arthritis also have depression or anxiety.
For some people, the New Year isn’t a fresh start as much as it is a time of sadness.
“The holidays are such a wonderful time with so much to do, and in the New Year that all abruptly comes to an end,” says Margaret Wehrenberg, a psychologist in Naperville, Illinois. “It can have a profound impact on your mood.”
People prone to depression – including many with arthritis – may need a doctor’s help. But if you just feel post-holiday gloom, try these strategies.