You: Pretty, Sexy and Happy With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dealing with the pain and fatigue of RA can wear on your confidence. Don’t despair! These tips will help boost your self-esteem.

Health Monitor Staff
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Think of the sexiest man or woman you know. What makes that person appealing? It’s probably not flawless beauty. Rather, it’s something more elusive—an air of confidence and high self-esteem.

How can you grab hold of that attitude? Start with just a few small changes, like these—they can help you feel utterly feminine, totally pretty and prepared for anything!

Dress for style and comfort. Fluid cuts are right on trend as we head into spring, so pick loose cuts in soft fabrics, such as brushed cotton and sheer chiffons. Not only will they feel great against your skin, they’ll help create a nice flowing silhouette. Choose slip-on tops (no buttons) and elastic waistbands (no zippers). And opt for V-necks, which flatter just about everyone. Amp the impact by looking for attention-getting details—lace sleeves, say, or beaded embellishments.

And highlight your assets. Slim waist? Cinch it with a wide sash! Great legs? Try a skirt with an asymmetrical hemline. And no need to wear stilettos—sequined ballet flats and low-heeled boots are the hottest footwear this season.

Give your hands and feet TLC! A good mani-pedi will net you pretty nails and a soothing hand-foot massage—a real treat for anyone with arthritis. Don’t want to spend at the salon? Exchange the favor with a friend. Take turns giving each other a mani, complete with soothing hand soaks.
Tip! For a chip-proof finish, apply polish as usual, then end with a horizontal swipe of color across the tip.

Treat yourself to fresh flowers. A pretty bouquet will perk up any room—and you right along with it. In fact, a Rutgers University study found that just looking at flowers makes you feel happier and raises feelings of enjoyment and satisfaction.

Get a “free” no-guilt makeover. Out of your favorite mascara or moisturizer? Give yourself a little extra time at the cosmetics counter to take advantage of those free makeovers the pros are just dying to give you! Since you know you’re already planning a purchase, you won’t have to worry about dodging the pressure to buy items you don’t need.    

Select satin pajamas and sheets. In addition to feeling fabulous, satin will help you slide out of bed on mornings when your joints are especially stiff, taking the grunts and groans out of your first steps of the day.
Tip! Enjoy dark chocolate daily. Women who consume several squares of dark chocolate each day have better sex lives than non-chocolate eaters, according to a recent study in Italy. That’s because chocolate triggers the release of feel-good brain chemicals. 

Be the star of your own life. Have a friend or professional photographer take some gorgeous photos of you, perhaps posing in your most flattering clothes. Frame your favorites and hang them on your bedroom walls.
Tip! To look your best in pics, pose this way: Turn partially sideways to the camera, planting one foot in front of the other. Point your toe to the camera, and place your weight on your back foot. Pull your head forward slightly to minimize any appearance of a double chin. 

April 2013