Keep warm and pain-free this winter

“Winter is coming!” if you’re a GoT fan, this may mean a little more to you, but even if you’re not, I’m quite serious – winter is coming and if you’re like me, your joints are already letting you know it’s starting to get colder. Having an autoimmune disease winter is usually an interesting time, to say the least. In this post, I want to share some tips on how to keep warm and pain-free this winter.

Warm Bath

Ok, so it doesn’t get too cold, snow is probably the last thing that could happen when it’s winter here in Brisbane, but it does get cold, especially for a person with an autoimmune disease like polyarteritis nodosa. One of the best things ever invented to help warm up cold muscles, aching joints and overall exhausted bodies is a warm bath! If you don’t have a bathtub, don’t despair, you can still warm up with a hot foot spa (fill your foot spa and basic basin and stick your feet in!). This can help you raise your core temperature and signal to your body to relax.

      • Make a Muscle Relaxing Detox Bath. Add some Epsom salts (about a small handful); some pure essential oils like peppermint or lavender (25-35 drops); 2 teabags of your favourite tea (open up and sprinkle contents in the bath; you can rinse after); and a small capful of Olive Oil (this makes the tub slippery so be cautious, the oil acts as a skin cleanser and moisturizer). Then mix it all together until you’re ready to get in. Try to let your body soak for 15-30 minutes.
      • Apple Cider Vinegar Bath. Bathing in apple cider vinegar can help reduce the symptoms of pain and arthritis. It also aids the mobility of the joints greatly as it reduces the excess uric acid build up in the body. Just add 1 to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm or hot bath and soak for up to 30 minutes. Make sure to drink lots of water before and after your bath.

Avoid alcohol and drink more water instead

Alcohol causes blood to rush towards your skin, lowering your core temperature. It also keeps your body from shivering, which is a key part of how you stay warm. Drink as much water as possible because if you’re dehydrated, your body will send the fluids you do have to essential organs like your heart and brain, instead of your fingers and toes. For people with poor circulation from conditions like diabetes and Raynaud’s Disease, that lack of blood flow can worsen hand and foot pain.

Keep Moving

Arthritis can affect people at any time throughout the year, but the winter and wet weather months can make it even harder to manage symptoms. The cold and damp weather affects those living with arthritis as climate can create increased pain to joints whilst changes also occur to exercise routines. We have an instinct during winter to hibernate; however, a lack of physical activity will cause joints to become stiff.  Exercise eases arthritis pain. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. To manage arthritic conditions during the cooler months, individuals need to plan physical activities that are easy to do during winter, such as:

  • Walking indoors, such as around shopping centres
  • Household chores, like vacuuming
  • Playing with children
  • Swimming indoors, such as Hydrotherapy 
  • Taking an aerobics or yoga class
  • Listening to music and dancing
  • Using the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Stretching or doing light exercises while watching TV

P.S How cool would it be to have a heated, indoor infinity pool?


Have you got some more tips to keep warm and pain-free this winter? Share them below.


Theme Days

Having an autoimmune disease makes it hard to stay focused. A way to practice the goodness inside of us and remember why we do what we do is theme days. Days where we consciously have an intention. Go about each day as usual with the added theme. Not sure what I’m talking about? Have a read below for some ideas:


Motivational Monday

Keyword: INSPIRE

  • Quotes to set the tone for the week start this day off.
  • Meditate for 5-10mins today, if not everyday!
  • Create a music playlist for the week to get you pumping
  • Set out business goals and schedule for the week
  • Find and watch a video of an inspirational person

Transformation Tuesday


  • What are images to inspire you to do and be better yourself?
  • If you were asked what’s a lesson you need to learn in this lifetime, what would it be? Could you do something today towards learning this lesson?
  • This day will take a bit of time for introspection. Look at yourself from the outside, what’s something you know as a weakness and how can you make it your power?
  • Select a workout to follow for the rest of the week til next time
  • Post workout selfies; wacky work out gear

Working Wednesday

Keyword: FOCUS

  • What can you do right now for your career? So it’s not just about a new exercise activity, but literal work activity – and in my case, what can I do to further my writing career? Use this day as a reflection about your work.
  • What are things I need to do in my business to get to that next step forward, and if I don’t know what that is, what are my business/career goals?
  • Do at least 3 small things or 1 major thing on your business to-do list

Throwback Thursday


  • Reminisce on the past things to learn from and also bring back e.g music videos, pics etc.
  • list down at least 5 things you are grateful for and write down why
  • What is something meaningful that happened to you in the past 24 hours?

Food for Thought Friday


  • This day is all about reflecting on food choices of the week as you can eat out on Fridays
  • Find and share favorite healthy recipes
  • Take a pic of your cheat meal
  • Try and share a new smoothie recipe
  • What are your favorite snacks and what are some healthy ones you can add?

Saturday Solutions


  • Get things done that were missed during the week – e.g tidy & clean up
  • Today is project day – small fixes and DIY at home (e.g balcony garden) Check out Pinterest for must try projects

Soulmate Sunday

Keyword: PASSION

  • On this day, share a workout you could do together with your partner.
  • Think #Sundates – going out with the your soulmate!
  • Think of future plans – daydream together and my favourite, Sunday is the perfect day to make a #FelizDay (happy day) here you or your partner takes the reins for a full day where you eat, what you do, suprises galore!
  • If you’re single, don’t worry Soulmate Sunday is for you too. It’s a day to love yourself too, because if you can’t love yourself how can you love someone else? Do something for yourself, go out and get a manicure or a massage, go for a nice walk, practice being YOU, I know sounds weird but think, what makes you unique? Your sense of humor? Your sense of style? Whatever it may be, don’t keep all that goodness to yourself, get out there! Join a new meetup group, step outside your comfort zone to meet new people – you may discover something about yourself too.


How do you feel beautiful when you have a chronic illness

I look in the mirror and first see the blotches on my skin. They’re red, raised, they look horrible. Putting on powder doesn’t help. Now they just look dusty, that’s the best word I can think of now. I look closer, my knees are bulging. Little blue veins and white lines surround my knees. It’s a sign of all the ravaging this condition has caused on my body. The weight gain around that area, or should I say ‘liquid retention’ as the doctor tries to make me feel better about it, causes the stretching of the skin, thus the white marks. How do you feel beautiful when you have a chronic illness? Continue reading “How do you feel beautiful when you have a chronic illness”