Author Topic: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease  (Read 475 times)


  • Stubble
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I would like to know some coping strategies that working Mustachians use to keep stress low in order to maintain control over autoimmune diseases (or similar health issues that donít agree with stress).  I just spent 3 long and stressful days on a work project, which also came with sleeping poorly and a longer commute for 5 days.  I have 9 more years to work and most days I like my job.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 09:18:51 PM »
I can share a bit about my situation, if useful. I have well managed lupus. I work for a global team (read; different time zones, international travel, & am a people manager of a large group). I am married with two kids. I maintain control of my disease through a few things:

-LOTS of sleep. I have a vigilante evening routine & attempt 8+ hours, every night
-General self maintenance, like working out & eating well
-Whenever I start to feel sick, I take a day off. This happens 3-4x/year. It's so much easier to rest up vs getting truly sick & needing an extended period off
-I work from home on Fridays. this works for my particular situation, as the rest of my international teams are offline

That said, I'm planning to either go part time, or quit my full time job. I run out of energy most days, despite all of my efforts.


  • Stubble
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Re: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2018, 05:34:51 AM »
I do meditation. I find it easier to meditate with a group so I go to clsees when I can. If you keep it up every day for six weeks you will feel a benifit. Also I try not to Obcess over saving money for retirement.  Good luck


  • Stubble
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Re: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2018, 06:15:37 AM »
I would run out of energy 4-6 hours into my day, so I focused on challenging tasks (development, problem solving) early in the day and kept routine easier tasks (data runs, routine reports) for later.

I used a park and ride bus to avoid the stress of driving in commuter traffic.   This was surprisingly effective.  I tried it initially due to parking issues, but was shocked at how much better I felt when I got home.


  • Stubble
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Re: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2018, 07:03:05 AM »
Admitting my limitations has become a big help, but it's a slow and painful process. I have a jumble of these stupid diseases impacting everything from my intestines to my joints and skin and even my inner ear.

The thing that was the hardest to let go of was mowing my own yard. But it's a big yard and had become an arduous task due to my photosensitivity and (IBD-related) struggles to remain hydrated. At the urging of one of my doctors, and my wife, I finally gave that up. I miss it, and hope to resume it once we have a smaller yard, but don't miss feeling sick for days afterward.

Like DaMa, I try to get challenging tasks done early in the day. We do a lot of the obvious things often mentioned in these discussions: cook in batches, eat a lot of leftovers, and the freezer is always well-stocked. (So are household supplies, to cut down on unplanned trips to the store.) All my prescriptions are set to automatic refills so I never miss a dose of medication.

Realizing how much better I felt physically after giving up on mowing made me reassess other household tasks. I ended up buying a cheap, older model Deebot, and now on days when I'm exhausted or my arthritis is terrible I let that clean up the pet fur on our hardwood floors.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 07:04:53 AM by hops »


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Re: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 08:18:37 AM »
I have several symptoms and test results that strongly suggest an autoimmune disease, but a diagnosis hasnít yet been concerned. The episodes have been relapsing/remitting for about a year, so Iím still getting a handle on things. During the worst of it, I need an afternoon nap no matter how much sleep I got the night before. At first I considered myself lazy, but now Iíve come to accept that this is my normal during a flare.

Iím also learning to say no to many things. Itís hard as in my social circle, people will push themselves to do all the social things even if their health is poor (thinking of my friend with cancer and another friend with a degenerative spinal disc who overschedule themselves and complain of pain/exhaustion). Iíve let myself become overtaxed this month and am starting to pay for it with stiff, tingling/burning hands and feet (not much swelling this time; that was a big problem a few months ago). I need to get more rest and accept fewer time commitments.

Iíve also come to accept that I would not be able to handle the high-powered 6-figure ďbadassĒ jobs that almost seem to be a prerequisite around here. Iím lucky enough to make a moderate income via self-employment and to be able to deal with clients remotely. If Iím having a bad day and need to work while on the sofa and in my pajamas, thatís fine. Husband also makes a moderate income but has access to health insurance for both of us, so we feel lucky.For us, Mustachianism is about living frugally and well within our means, funding our HSA, and saving everything else we can. All of these practices have hugely reduced my stress level and thus my symptom severity.


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Re: Coping strategies of working Mustachians with autoimmune disease
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2018, 08:41:22 AM »
I stepped down from most optional positions at work (I kept one that I would have done even without pay because it's fun and low-stress. I don't know if money for that is still available this school year).

I hired a housekeeper that does the heavy cleaning I can't do (monthly).

I prioritized adequate rest, gentle exercise, and self-care (including the endless doctor appointments).

I got ADA accommodations at work so I can sit more and lift less.

I took up new hobbies to replace the old, physically challenging ones I used to do (goodbye dancing and long-distance running, hello sketching and painting!).

I try not to fill my calendar. This is still challenging.

I use a wheelchair or scooter on days walking just isn't going to happen so I can still leave my house.

I take an absurd amount of medication. This is not fun, but I'd be on disability without it.

Feel free to read the journal linked below as I've probably done more. I have 15 more years to work to get my pension. I don't know if I'll make it, but I hope so since I really do love teaching. Meanwhile, I'm trying to balance saving like I won't get my pension with spending as needed for a comfortable life now (the housekeeper, mobility devices, etc.).