My Morning Routine for Managing Lupus

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It took many years to get it right, but I've perfected a morning routine that allows me to prepare for the day while preventing my lupus from getting the best of me. For me, it's all about taking it slow and resting as much as possible, and I make sure that everything I need is exactly where I need it to be.

I try to stay in bed as much as possible before I start my day, so my curling iron, mirror, brush and makeup are all in a drawer next to my bed. After my alarm goes off in the morning, I'll get out of bed slowly, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and wash my face. My shower is built for me: there's a bench in it and everything I need is at arm's length. While I'm standing, I do whatever I can think of that requires me to move around.  Then, I lie down again as soon as possible.

One Day at a Time With Lupus

After I'm back in bed, I'll fix my hair and apply my makeup. If I feel like curling my hair, I prop up my arm with a pillow and slowly use my curling iron. It's hard, but I see it as therapeutic, to work hard for something with such a pretty and satisfying outcome. It takes a lot to raise my arms, especially when I'm in the middle of a flare, so curling my hair is reserved for special occasions. I get so many compliments when my hair looks nice, but I can't help but think, "if you only knew how much it takes!"

After I've finished with my makeup and hair, I'll sit on the bed and put on my clothes. I don't buy any clothes that need to be ironed, or that have buttons, zippers, or buckles, in an effort to lessen my morning struggle with lupus. My husband usually brings me breakfast in bed, and I stay in bed or in a chair until I have to leave the house. In order to stay in control of my lupus, I must rest and prepare for the day as much as possible.

Heather Glantz has been living with lupus for more than 20 years. She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband, Julian.

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