Flare Makeup

My annual arthritis flare is upon us. Every year between the end of February and beginning of April, my arthritis decides to remind me that it’s present. We have a fun game going called, “How Swollen Can One Joint Get?” So far, my knuckles are winning.

During my flare ups, my hands are very swollen and sore. It makes doing simple tasks like buttoning pants or fixing my hair incredibly painful. I’ve worked out some simple hairstyles and plan clothing accordingly but makeup is something that I refuse to stop using.

I love makeup! I love watching makeup videos. I love looking at beauty blogs. I love shopping for makeup. I’m a little obsessed. Instead of giving up on makeup all together, because let’s face it, I would never be able to, I’ve adapted my morning makeup routine to be simple, quick but still pretty.

  Painterly Paint Pot | Urban Decay Blackout | Maybelline Fit Me Concealer | Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier | NYX Eyebrow Pencil | Benefit Roller Lash

I can easily do my complete face with this simple makeup.  I love the end result and gives me some confidence when I’m feeling my worst. Here is the finished product from a few days ago. 

  
What are your favorite products for a quick makeup look to feel more confident when you don’t have enough time or are struggling with a flare up? Leave a comment below.

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Sleeping with Chronic Pain

Sleep is such a wonderful thing. I mean really, who doesn’t love sleep? Unfortunately, sleep is something that we take for granted…until it eludes us. Having lived with arthritis for 15 years, I’ve had my fair share, and my sister’s share, of sleepless nights for various reasons.


Usually, my insomnia comes from not being to turn my brain off or shooting pains from my arthritis or simply not being able to get comfortable. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few things really help me to relax, mentally and physically.

Warm shower (or bath).

There is something relaxing about standing in a warm shower while the water and steam relieve all the aches and pains from a long day.  I also like to do some stretches in the shower to work out the kinks from a busy day.

Heat.

Nothing sooths my sore joints like sitting in bed with my heating pad or electric blanket. For me, heat works better than ice on my swollen joints. If I’ve had a particularly rough day, I spend about 30 minutes snuggled up, relaxing. I especially love this one during the cold, winter nights.

Warm drink.

I love having some hot cocoa before bed. I’m learning to like tea and just starting to get into it but something about a warm drink and a good book that is very relaxing. Mint cocoa is my favorite, for those of you wondering.

Medication.

If I’ve had a rough day physically, I will take an Aleve, or a prescription medication if needed, before going to bed, even if I’m not hurting at that moment. I know that as soon as I stop moving, my joints will start to seize up and stiffen. I try to be proactive with my pain management as much as possible. By taking an Aleve before bed, it allows the medication to work while I’m sleeping, making me less stiff in the mornings.

No electronics.

I try to stop using my phone or watching TV about an hour before I want to go to sleep. I used to be obsessed with checking social media right up until I went to bed. I was the queen of “one more scroll”. By putting my phone away an hour before bed, I’m able to relax more and let my body have some quiet time.

Read a book.

Reading is very calming for me. Getting lost in another world, in character’s problems, allows me to shut my brain off and forget about my own crazy life for a little while. I’m currently reading “The Fault in Our Stars”. I’m a little late on the bandwagon but so far I’m really liking it.

Make the bed.

For years, I never made my bed. I always felt like it was a waste of time when I was just going to mess it up again. However, making the bed before I get into makes a world of difference. I love a freshly made bed. I mean really, is there anything more relaxing and comforting that freshly tucked sheets?

These are my tips to getting a good nights sleep with chronic pain. Let me know your tips for relaxing and falling asleep at night in the comments. Sleep tight!

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Workout Frustrations

One of my goals this year is to be more consistent working out. I started this journey last year, lost some weight and then kind of hit a plateau. After I stopped losing weight, I kind of gave up pushing myself and just accepted it was the best I could do. My weight fluctuated around 5 pounds, nothing serious, all things considered.

Since deciding to get back to my workouts, I’ve been incredibly frustrated by my limitations. I’m constantly on Pinterest, scrolling the Health & Fitness board, for workouts, stretches, or inspiration in general. It always makes me incredibly motivated and ready to eat healthy and hit the gym. My frustration comes in the form of lack of mobility.


Obviously, because of my arthritis, my range of motion is incredibly poor; especially in my elbows, shoulders and ankle. This means that I’m limited to what stretches and workouts I can do correctly. I recently decided to get in touch with my physical therapist from my shoulder surgery and get some help regarding my ankle.

To say I was unsuccessful is an understatement. I wasn’t expecting to miraculously get a ton of range of motion back but I was hoping to strengthen my ankle and make it more stable in general. After three sessions, the physical therapist told me that we were wasting time and money. My ankle was what it was and while he didn’t think that surgery is the answer either, he didn’t believe that physical therapy would help because my ankle was just…stuck.

I’m grateful that he was honest without wasting my time and money because let’s face it, physical therapy can be incredibly expensive! However, now I’m left with an ankle that has 14 degrees of mobility. I have to be very careful not to do too much walking or sitting, both of which can cause swelling and pain.

This last month I decided to go back to the gym and work on cardio and some strength training that I can do correctly given my lack of mobility throughout my body. I mainly stick to the elliptical and some light free weights. It’s nothing crazy but I’m excited to be back at the gym.

I also have a workout buddy this time! My sister had a baby 9 weeks ago and has cleared to return to the gym so we are working out together. We set a schedule that works for both of us and are motivated to make a change. I also got some new shoes and a few new pairs of yoga pants and a couple tops. New workout clothing always makes me motivated to look good and show off my new gear.

I’m hoping that my lack of mobility won’t hold me back too much. I would love to know how you stay active and motivated with physical limitations. Leave a comment below!

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