10 Self-Care Tools for Managing Lupus
I get questions about this a lot so here are my top self-care products, or weapons as I like to call it, to managing Lupus daily and keeping flares from happening.
If you haven't checked it out already and would like to read on how these products play into overall wellness, download my free ebook on self-care and self-healing.
1. SOOTHING TIGER BALM
Let's start with my #1! So some sort of menthol type of ointment can really help with pain and discomfort. My absolute favorite is Tiger Balm!
I discovered it when I went to Thailand and it turns out it’s almost in every drugstore here in the states lol. I preach about Tiger Balm all the time because it has helped me through SO many situations and not just pain but with nausea and headaches too.
When you put it on pressure points like on your temple and behind your ears, it provides so much relief! And when you put it under your nose, the menthol smell can help distract you from a headache and nausea or even sea sickness! I’ve used it for traveling, stinky bathroom situations, hangovers, restless legs, and even mosquito bites! Everything. I just love this stuff.
I have the Ultra strength but either or works!
Burts Bees Foot Cream
Burts Bees Peppermint Foot Cream works really similarly and just because it says 'foot cream' doesn’t mean you can’t use it anywhere else on your body!
I found that this isn’t as strong as Tiger Balm but what I like about it is it's lotion consistency vs Tiger Balm, which is more greasy very similar to Vix. It’s super nice to give yourself a foot massage at the end of the night and slip into bed with your feet feeling all minty and cool especially if you've been on your feet all day.
*Do be warned though if you have aversions to peppermint smells or you skin is sensitive, I do no recommend these products especially Tiger Balm, as it extremely strong. Start small and do test patches first before applying liberally.
2. BEST SUNSCREEN
If sunscreen isn’t a part of your daily routine, let's get on it asap-- at least face sunscreen. My favorite one right now is Japanese brand Biore because I like the smooth, watery essence of it that is VERY different from American brands, which tend to feel more oily and leave a weird texture on the skin.
Biore goes on easy and basically feels like nothing afterwards which is great especially if you’re also going to be wearing make up over it.
Sun Bum and Ocean Potion
I’m also a huge fan of Ocean Potion which smells SUPER YUMMY like so yummy you want to lick it haha, and the cool part is that it’s also ocean reef friendly so if you plan on swimming, I recommend this one! It has the thickest consistency out of the three, but it's still really easy to apply.
Did I mention it smells like sweet sunshine??
ps if you didn't know this, the US is behind in the suncreen game compared to Europe and Asia. Do your research and with the internet, we have access to these other brands. It doesn't hurt to try them!
3. MAXIMUM SUN PROTECTION
I used to have this super cute yellow parasol that I can’t find anymore, but I’d carry it around with me for sun protection. It was like this one and I used to get many compliments on it, but it was inconvenient to carry especially since it wouldn’t fold or collapse like a normal umbrella.
That being said, you could totally use any umbrella of your choice to block out the sun.
Shawls or pashminas
Since umbrellas are kinda inconvenient, I’ve found that shawls work better for sun protection. You can easily cover up and it’s convenient to store in your bag or tie around when you’re on the go.
I’ve done this for traveling and music festivals, and it’s a really great way to give yourself shade especially in hot, crowded areas.
Protip you can also use it as a blanket for you and your friends to sit on like at a park or festival. And when it get's cold at night, it also acts as a cover to keep you warm! Super multi-functional.
Another great sun protection tool I love is my BUFF (pictured above) which I use when I know I'm going to be outside for long time such as the beach, paddleboarding, or hiking. I essentially wear it around my neck and use it to cover my face from the sun.
A good hat, plus a BUFF which provides 50 SPF AND sunscreen = ultimate coverage!
4. AN AWESOME WATER BOTTLE
I don’t need to tell you why drinking plenty of water is important but what I can say for myself is that having a water bottle that I love definitely motivates me in a weird way (can anyone explain this? lol).
I’ve had my beloved Hydroflask since 2014 before they changed the logo and I still use it to this day. I’ve travelled all over the world with this thing and get separation anxiety if I forget it. One time I didn’t even know but I left it on a plane and the person sitting next ran it to me! Let’s just say me and my hydroflask don’t separate okay? haha.
Having had mine for 5 years now, I can say this baby is extremely sturdy and awesome. It keeps your water cold and the handle on it makes it super easy to carry or hook onto your bag. It's safe to say, it's my #1 water bottle.
Last Christmas my cousin gave me this Yeti and I’ve been using it at home. I’ve found that using a straw does also make drinking easier. These black metal straws are great to use at home or carry around if you want to reduce plastic usage.
5. THE ONLY COFFEE/TEA MUG YOU'LL EVER NEED
So rewind, my same darling cousin who gave me the Yeti also gave me this Miir mug two Christmas’s ago and no lie, I’ve used it almost every single day since then.
I use it for hot and cold drinks. It keeps the cold cold and the hot hot (sometimes too hot). It's extremely lightweight and not clunky like Yeti's or Hydroflask's versions. I use it as my personal cup when I head to coffee shops and receive so many compliments every time! I joke that it’s my adult sippy cup but least be honest, that’s basically what it is lol.
A good coffee mug inspires me to make drinks that fill my soul and tummy with yummyness like golden milk, which btw turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory if you didn't know.
One more cool thing about Miir is that they're a certified B-corp and every purchase you make you receive a "give code" where you can give to a social or enviromental project of your choice!
Mine Miir cup is branded with a local San Diego coffee shop Dark Horse and the one on the right is an 8oz I just bought for espresso.
6. A SUPER THICK YOGA MAT
Daily yoga practice is an absolute daily essential to my well-being and Lupus management routine. I follow Yoga with Adriene's FREE monthly calendar.
If you have sensitive joints, I definitely recommend a thick yoga mat so it’s comfy on your body and your knees and wrists especially. I scored this Manduka PRO mat at an REI sale and I know their mats are pricey so I found this one for you for $20.
Whatever mat you go with out there, I recommend at least 6mm thickness.
7. HELPFUL JOURNALS
Journaling deserves it’s own blog on the benefits of keeping a daily journal as I’m sure you’re well aware. I like to advocate that something is better than nothing. Just make bullet points of what you did and some major thoughts surrounding your day— you don’t always have to write an essay.
My favorite is no other than the popular Moleskin. I prefer the soft cover, blank journal because I like the flexibility (both in the cover and in the blank pages to do whatever I want with it).
If you’re into planners, I definitely love Passion Planner because it gives you spaces to collect your thoughts on your goals and passions on a weekly basis which is great for tracking and again, self-awareness. I really enjoyed using this planner in my college days, but now I just stick to my Moleskin and bullet journaling.
8. AWESOME PAPERWEIGHT KINDLE
My beloved kindle has traveled all over with me just like Tiger Balm and my hydroflask. It’s one of THE essentials! If you aren’t a reader you can skip this but if you are and you don’t have a kindle, let me tell you real quick why it's awesome.
- carry many books with you on one device
- paper-like screen makes it easy to ready anywhere in the bright sun and in the dark with its nighttime backlight
- you can browse Amazon and download previews of books
- it’s connected to Goodreads
- there’s a built in dictionary for words you don’t know and you can also highlight phrases
And my favorite: you can lie down and read on your side just using one hand (just imagine it). This is how I fall asleep lol.
Because you can read in the dark with the kindle and because you can lie down with it, it usually always leads to being lulled to sleep in minutes which is super amazing bc for me, I otherwise actually have a really really hard time falling asleep at night.
This is the case I have (pictured with my moleskin above) and they offer are a lot of other cute designs too!
9. LIFECHANGING AIRPODS
AirPods were gifted to me (otherwise I would’ve NEVER bought them myself) and now I can never, ever turn back. It makes working out so much easier without cords dangling all over the place. Sometimes I do yoga with them when I’m need to be quiet in the house instead of blaring Yoga with Adriene on TV.
My favorite thing to do with them is you can play white noise and just drown out whatever is going on around you. This is great for studying, trying to nap on the plane, reading, meditating, and just plain old zoning out.
The tape around my Airpods case is just washi tape. It's decorative tape that you can find at any arts and crafts store. Mine just happens to be teal but you can find all sorts of designs and patterns.
10. THE 'I DONT WANT TO KILL A TREE!" FOREST APP
So this last one is actually a productivity app called Forest App.
How it works is that you “plant a tree” and afterwards you’re unable to go on your phone. If you do go on your phone, you end up killing your tree. The goal is to grow your forest and of course, try to not to kill trees.
This has been surprisingly EXTREMELY effective lol. The urge to not kill a tree is SO strong! I use this to reduce screen time and to make sure I’m focused when I’m doing self-care activities such as journalling, reading, or meditating.
It's also really great for bedtime too! I have a really bad habit of getting stuck scrolling on my phone right before bed but now I plant a tree and I can’t pick up my phone for the rest of the night.
Bonus: they’ve partnered with a foundation and you can even plant real trees! so cool!
HONORARY MENTION: THIS AIN'T YOUR GRANNY'S PILLBOX
It might be time for an upgrade if you don't currently have Port and Polish's classy and stylish af pillbox. Just look at it! It even has a wide mirror inside making it multi-functional. Uhm, yes!
Alright well there's all my self-care tools in my 'kick lupus in the ass' toolbox!
Comment below what your favorite tools or resources are and if you found this article helpful, share it with a friend who might think so too!
Thanks so much for reading if you made it this far!
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