My Beauty Regimen Is a Part of My RA Self-Care – Healthline

My Beauty Regimen Is a Part of My RA Self-Care – Healthline

I stopped thinking about how my hands might look in 20 years and made a conscious decision to feel good about them now.

There’s a particular shade of yellow that I absolutely adore. It’s easier on the eye than the fluorescent markings you’d find in tattered old college textbooks. It’s warm toned and a little mustard-y, reminiscent of the squiggly lines drawn on hot dogs at the fair.

The color reminds me of sunflowers in summer and the wildflowers that return every spring. It’s somewhere between that of the midday sun and the golden spillage from the windowsill on a toasty August evening. I like to call it “happy face yellow.” It makes me smile.

One evening, I scrolled across the hue while perusing the web. At the tips of a young woman’s fingers were varying colors of nail polish. She wore a playful and bright manicure whereby shades of pink, blue, purple, and the yellow graced her fingernails. Just like that, I knew I needed to get my nails done.

I stopped scrolling to inspect my own hands. I hadn’t been to the nail salon in ages. My cuticles were overgrown and hangnails crept out from my nail beds.

There was some mild swelling in the joints of my hands. I recalled my last trip to the rheumatologist, when the doctor examined my knuckles and wrists for damage secondary to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a common manifestation for those diagnosed with RA.

I caught myself going down the rabbit hole of RA symptoms and complications.

How long before my X-rays show permanent, irreversible damage? How long do I have before I experience reduced functionality of my hands?

My mood shifted somewhat dramatically. Luckily, I had the self-awareness to stop and adjust my focus.

I stopped thinking about how my hands might look in 20 years and made a conscious decision to feel good about them now.

As a woman in today’s world, I feel a nagging pressure to balance my love for all things pink and frilly with the notion of the strong and independent woman.

In some scenarios, girls and women are told to focus less on our appearance and more on being intelligent and hardworking. In contrast, we also receive messages that we need to soften our hard edges to be acceptable and proper women.

It’s a sensitive subject and a Catch-22. Women have fought for centuries to be regarded for more than their appearance, so it can read as vain to want to focus on the appearance of nails and hair.

With the diagnosis of a chronic illness, the topics of body image and appearance become even more nuanced. A lot happens when an autoimmune disease flares, and keeping up appearances can be the last thing on one’s mind.

When I feel my worst, I crave comfort. Loose-fitting clothing, supportive shoes, and a low maintenance hairstyle complete my ensemble. Certainly anyone who experienced COVID-19 quarantine can relate.

However, this is the long-term reality for some individuals experiencing disabling conditions. So sometimes — when the sweatpants, orthotics, …….

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/my-beauty-regimen-is-a-part-of-my-ra-self-care

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