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Living Your Best Life with Osteoarthritis

Mental health and general wellness

Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all related. Improving your wellness in one area can help with the others.

Good well-being

Mental health is a positive sense of well-being or feeling like you can enjoy life and manage challenges. Good well-being doesn’t mean you won’t face challenges or feel upset at times—it means you can cope with those feelings or situations.

Here are some ways to help with your well-being:

  • Connect: Spend time with the people you care about. Develop these relationships or new ones too. Join a group if one interests you.
  • Be active: Staying active is not only good for your body, but also helps your mind stay well.
  • Keep learning: Take time to learn a new skill—it might be something that’s good for your health or helps you feel better about yourself.
  • Give back: Small gestures can have a big effect: give someone a smile or volunteer.
  • Be mindful: Pay attention to the right now—your thoughts, feelings, or how your body feels. This mindfulness can change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more about mindfulness to help manage stress.
  • Live your balance: Figure out what’s most important to you and make it a priority. You can’t and won’t be able to do everything, all the time, for everyone.

Mental health

Some people with chronic health problems like OA may face more serious mental health problems, such as:

  • Stress: Stress is a normal part of life. But having a chronic condition like OA can cause more stress. You can try these tips for managing stress.
  • Depression: Everyone feels low or sad from time to time. This doesn’t mean that you’re depressed. Depression may be a problem if you feel sad, unhappy, or miserable most of the time for longer than 2 weeks. Talk to your healthcare provider, and learn more about depression and the treatments that can help you.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety is worrying a lot about what may happen in the future. Counselling, medicine, or both can help. Learn more about anxiety and talk to your healthcare provider if you need help.

General wellness

You know it’s important to take care of yourself overall. Even things that you don’t think are related to your OA can help you cope with your symptoms.

Sleep
Sleep is an important part of your physical and mental wellness. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood and how you feel overall. Sleep is important because it:

  • helps your body heal
  • helps you better cope with stress and anxiety
  • gives you the energy you need for daily activity
  • boosts overall health
  • Try these tips for getting better sleep.

    Dental health
    A healthy mouth affects your overall health. Learn about basic dental care and why it’s important.

    Quitting smoking
    Smoking affects more than your lungs. Smoking affects the blood flow in your whole body, including to your bones and joints. If you smoke and you’re thinking about quitting, now is the time. Bringing your body back to its best health will help you manage your OA even better.

    Learn more about deciding if you’re ready to quit smoking and find resources to help you quit smoking.

    Current as of: October 2, 2020

    Author: Bone & Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network, AHS