Lupus and Self-care: A Day at the Spa
Prioritizing routine self-care is a must for both women and men living with lupus. Enjoying a day at the spa – or creating a spa-like experience at home – can feed the body and soul!
Introduction to Lupus and Self-Care: A Day at the Spa
Self-care is more than taking medicine to treat lupus symptoms or keeping healthcare appointments. It includes doing something special that brings joy. For example, a day at the spa may be just the thing to rejuvenate the spirit while providing some symptom relief as a bonus. In addition, men and women who take the time to practice self-care may find it easier to cope with lupus and build the emotional resilience needed to manage their chronic disease.
Building the Perfect Spa Day
A spa day is best spent unplugged from smartphones, social media, and the daily news. This “me time” can be enjoyed alone or with a friend or partner. The important thing is to set a leisurely pace that provides the most enjoyable experience possible!
A spa day may include:
Massage: Massage therapy has been proven to promote the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote happiness and positivity while alleviating pain. A couple’s massage can be a great way to spend relaxing time together! However, those with active cutaneous lupus should talk with a healthcare practitioner first – some massage options may be better than others.
Saunas and Hot Tubs: A steamy sauna or hot tub can be just the thing for relaxation. Even if enjoyed for only a few minutes, these treatments can also reduce pain and joint stiffness. However, those with blood pressure or cardiovascular issues should use caution and only at the recommendation of a healthcare practitioner.
Manicures and Pedicures: Pampering the hands and getting a manicure can relax both men and women with lupus. Looking down at moisturized hands and tidy nails can feel good even when fingers feel stiff and sore from inflammation.
Facials: Pampering the face can feel decadent, but facials can also treat the effects of acne, aging, or sun damage. Facials are an excellent way for both men and women with lupus to keep their skin clear and healthy – it can be a huge confidence boost! Always talk with the esthetician first when dealing with an active rash to determine if there is a gentle and safe way to treat the skin.
Even if going to the spa is not an option, creating an at-home, spa-like experience can feel just as indulgent:
- Diffuse fragrant essential oils to ease stress and boost relaxation.
- Play calming music (there are great spa channels on Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon music).
- Light candles and relax in the tub or at the table over dinner with a partner.
- Do an at-home manicure or pedicure – or give one to a loved one!
- Apply a facial mask or a deep conditioning hair treatment and relax as it works.
- Read a favorite book or magazine in a comfortable chair, sipping a favorite beverage.
- Try meditation or a yoga Click here for some instruction on seated yoga techniques that are great for those with stiff or painful joints!
Whether at home or the spa, self-care is a must for both women and men with lupus. Pampering the body can alleviate both the physical and emotional discomforts of lupus. In addition, practicing self-care can build the resilience needed for the day-to-day management of living with chronic disease.
Why pampering yourself is important with chronic illness. (2016, May 16). Being Fibro Mom. https://www.beingfibromom.com/pampering-yourself-with-chronic-illness/
Johns, R. (2018, March 24). The benefits of a spa day for those with chronic illness. Brain Lesion and Me. https://www.brainlesionandme.com/the-benefits-of-a-spa-day-for-those-with-chronic-illness/
Hill, R. (2017, October 22). 25 simple ways to practice self-care on tough health days. The Mighty. https://themighty.com/2017/10/self-care-ideas-chronic-illness-mental-health/
Author: Liz Heintz
Liz Heintz is a technical and creative writer who received her BA in Communications, Advocacy, and Relational Communications from Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She most recently worked for several years in the healthcare industry. A native of San Francisco, California, Liz now calls the beautiful Pacific Northwest home.
All images unless otherwise noted are property of and were created by Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus. To use one of these images, please contact us at [email protected] for written permission; image credit and link-back must be given to Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus.
All resources provided by us are for informational purposes only and should be used as a guide or for supplemental information, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. The personal views expressed here do not necessarily encompass the views of the organization, but the information has been vetted as a relevant resource. We encourage you to be your strongest advocate and always contact your healthcare practitioner with any specific questions or concerns.