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Managing RA in December Tip One The post office

Tip Number One

For those of us with rheumatoid arthritis a month of holidays with all its expectations and activities may seem overwhelming. A big  December 25th deadline. What happens if you are having a severe flare laced with a blanket of fatigue? What if you are using all the resources you have to manage your day to day? How are you going to manage month-long holiday activities?

 Presents to buy and wrap. Cards to write. Xmas decorations to display. Family get togethers to attend. Friends to meet up.  Most times a bustling joyous time. But with rheumatoid arthritis or any of the autoimmune diseases it may be hard to meet expectations including your own.

You want to enjoy the holidays. Maybe it is time to change how you manage your holidays. In this series of articles I am offering some of the things I have learned to do to manage my responsibilities and to enjoy December.

My first suggestion is to stop  making trips to the crowded post office and use the post office’s website store, https://www.usps.com/ship/.

Skip the trips to the post office. You no longer need to stand in line with all the other holiday shoppers. It is clearly a relief to know. The online post office is excellent.

  • You will be able to purchase a full selection of postage stamps. The post office will send them to you for the small fee of $1.35. They will arrive within the week.
  • Then order your Christmas cards on Amazon. Start early. Write a note or two a night to save your hands. Having RA doesn’t mean you need to skip this cherished ritual.

If you are planning to ship packages, you might consider using the priority bags and boxes (flat rate shipping ranges from approximately $9.95 to $22.95). I’m inclined to choose my gifts based on the size of the  priority bags and boxes. The weight doesn’t matter. It is amazing how much you can get into their large, 12x12x5, flat rate box or their padded 9×12 flat rate envelope.

  • You can order the shipping labels for the boxes you want to ship on-line. If you don’t have the boxes, the post office can ship them to you at no expense. However, they are not fast this time of year.
  • You can schedule a pickup. For the envelope  I put it in my oversized mailbox. For a box, I call for a pickup and leave it on my porch. If you don’t have a porch, you can drop it off at the post office without standing in line.

The stamps are easy as they are an inexpensive convenience. The priority mail click and ship system costs more and requires a little planning. It is well worth it to avoid the trip to the post office.

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