When you have a flare-up, psoriasis drives almost every decision. Can you play with your kids on the floor if your elbows and knees hurt? Can you focus on your date and not worry about flakes on your shoulders? Do you have the energy to tackle even part of your to-do list?
Even if you’re proactive about treatment, the condition can take a toll on your day-to-day life. Maybe you find it annoying. Maybe it goes much deeper. In a recent study of more than 12,000 people with psoriasis, about 17% met the definition of major depression.
With a little patience, planning, and serious dose of self-care, you can take the focus off psoriasis and put it back on everyone you love -- starting with yourself.
Take time out. Personal time isn’t selfish. When you take a few minutes, you’re a better version of yourself for everyone around you. Go for a walk. Create and listen to a playlist you love. Read a book. Meditate. Take a nap. Do whatever makes you happy.
Take a bath. It’s a mix of "me time" and good skin care. Instead of bubbles, use Epsom or Dead Sea salts. They’re good for fighting flakes and calming itchy areas. Remember to moisturize afterward.
Be up front. When you’re dealing with pain and frustration during a flare, you may be a little less patient with your loved ones or quicker to snap. But communication is key. Tell your family when you’re dealing with a flare up. Explain that you might feel stressed or a little less focused.
Share with your partner as well. If psoriasis affects your genital area, you may not be interested in intimacy. You can work together on finding other ways to be affectionate while your symptoms improve.
Work in a workout. Exercise is good for your body and mood. It also gives you more energy and is a great stress-buster. So it’s important even when flare-ups slow down your daily routine. Plus, physical activity is key to maintaining a healthy weight, which may mean fewer flare-ups. Pick an exercise you enjoy that also works with your skin.
Stay on top of treatment. When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of others. Find a treatment that works well and stick to it. It’s worth it to work toward clearer skin so you can improve your quality of life.
Take care on the go. Stash a travel-size bottle of lotion in your purse and car. That way you’re always prepared to moisturize and offset flakes if you flare up while you’re out and about.
Forgive yourself. Psoriasis makes it hard to be your best self all the time. Be patient with yourself throughout the process. It may take a long time to accept this disease and love your body no matter what.