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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Back-to-School Stress

Parents with rheumatoid arthritis might benefit from some back-to-school tips.

Doesn’t it feel like the lazy days of summer rush right by? In late August and early September, the back-to-school mood is inescapable.

Back-to-school mode may not be as stressful for children as you might think, according to the American Psychological Association. In fact, children are very well equipped to cope with change as they enter new schools and make new friends, provided their parents and other supportive adults “provide a setting that fosters resilience and encourages them to share and express their feelings about returning to school.”

Fall Is Back to School for Parents, Too

Therefore, it may be that parents, particularly those living with a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), are the ones in need of extra support this time of year. Many people living with arthritis are already juggling their healthcare needs with their job, family life, and other demands. School-year activities, such as sourcing and budgeting for school supplies, volunteering with the PTA, managing after-school activity schedules, ensuring homework gets done, and worrying about their children’s happiness and school readiness, can add a lot of stress to people already coping with more than their share of it.

Stress Management Matters for Parents With Chronic Illness

“One of the things I really recommend to my patients is that they try to keep their pattern of sleep stable over vacation time,” said Vinicius Domingues, MD,a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida. “Disruption of sleep leads to poor-quality sleep time, and this has been shown over and over to decrease overall functional capacity and increase pain levels in patients with RA. Being better rested also helps you to cope better with stress,” adds Dr. Domingues, who serves as a medical advisor to CreakyJoints.

The RA Parent’s Back-to-School Checklist

CreakyJoints recently asked some of our members, as well as leaders of the Facebook group #ChronicParents, for their best tips on how to manage back-to-school stress.

Read on: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Back-to-School Stress

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

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