The best thing you can do is plan ahead if you decide to go to a social event. Figure out the location of the event, how far of a drive it is, and if there is parking nearby.
Try to bring along the proper medication or other pain-alleviating methods just in case. Don’t be afraid to ask if there are chairs available, how many intermissions there are, or a place to stretch and relax briefly in case the pain gets bad.
There is no harm in letting your peers know some accommodations may be needed for you to happily attend the event. Keeping open communication with your friends and family can help make planning for social events even easier. Use your problem-solving skills to create solutions and avoid excuses.
Although it may be hard to focus on enjoying socialization, you can try numerous methods during an event to help bring back the focus on socializing. Relaxation and positive visualization can all be helpful methods of allowing one to ease the pain and retool their thinking.
Each of these techniques can help train your body to relax muscles and reduce chemical stress responses that are harmful to your body. You might not be able to break out into full meditation during a social event, but a bathroom break or deepening of one’s breathing to relax is realistic.
Add Structure to Social Events
Social events need to be more structured for an arthritic sufferer to have a good time through the pain. Although socialization is encouraged and important, you should plan to attend social events that are within reason of your limitations.
You will also need to be careful regarding how you spend your time in social situations, in order to avoid fatigue and save energy. Some types of social events and activities are going to be more conducive than others; dinner and date nights are probably more reasonable to a chronic arthritic sufferer than long and cumbersome rock concerts.
Socializing is instrumental to humans for development and a sense of general well-being. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis can make enjoying important social events difficult.
The pain can make it hard to focus on having a good time, increase anxiety towards the unknown, or sap your energy. Missing social events due to the pain of OA can magnify the pain, make living with the pain seem that much harder, or give you the feeling of isolation.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to combat the pain that could hamper your ability to attend social events; planning ahead, adding structure to social events, and intense focus methods can all help one to improve the experience of attending an event despite the pain.
Even though OA can make socializing more difficult, you can still enjoy socializing with enough creativity and persistence.