Practicing self-care doesn’t have to be time consuming, it just needs to be meaningful and purposeful to you.
Self-care is a necessity when it comes to managing stress and preventing burnout — especially when living with a chronic condition like psoriasis.
Practicing self-care doesn’t always just mean beauty masks and bubble baths. It often means taking a step back to care for yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, or socially.
Self-care can take many forms, from spending time alone to grabbing coffee with a friend. It might look like meditating, going hiking, or just being out in nature.
The Oxford English Dictionary now defines the term “self-care” as “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
Being healthy — be it mentally, emotionally, or physically — can help you better manage your psoriasis symptoms and improve aspects of your life beyond psoriasis.
However, if you’re like me, then you know that at times when you’re beyond busy, self-care can just feel like another thing to add to the to-do list.
Managing psoriasis is already time-consuming, with skin care routines, treatment, and medications, so it makes sense that it can seem overwhelming or challenging to find time for self-care.
Here are five tips that I’ve found helpful in building self-care into my daily routine when navigating life with psoriasis.
Set up an appointment with yourself, just as you would for a meeting or a doctor’s appointment. Be respectful of your own time by blocking off time, writing it down, and sticking to your personal appointment.
Of course, things come up — but as you would for any other meeting or appointment, you can always reschedule with yourself.
When planning your “appointment,” consider where you’ll spend your time and what you will need to do to prepare.
Can you truly relax for a meditation session if you’re sitting at your desk at work? Or if your plan is to go out for a walk, do you have the right shoes or need an umbrella? Find a space where you can take your self-care time and focus on yourself without feeling guilty or unprepared.
Better yet, don’t just put self-care on your calendar once. Make it a recurring event with yourself. Self-care is not just a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing practice to help make sure you don’t burn out from the stresses of everyday life.
Getting in some movement is a great way to practice self-care. While we all know that exercise is important to our health, not finding the time is often a big reason we don’t do it enough.
If you have a goal to exercise for 30 minutes a day, consider breaking up that goal into three 10-minute blocks of movement so it feels more manageable.
If exercise isn’t possible on a given day, you can try supplementing with meditation or mindfulness practices throughout the day. There are even some really helpful apps and websites that can guide you through different meditations based on the time you have available.
This breakup technique can be applied to a lot of self-care activities like reading a book, listening to a podcast, or scrolling through positive content on social media.
When it comes to social media, try to create a positive space that brings you joy or connects you to people who inspire you. There are many other people living with psoriasis who post about their journeys on social media.
Connecting with, and talking with, others who understand what you’re going through can be a very productive form of self-care.
If the idea of setting aside an hour for yourself makes you feel guilty or stressed, then consider starting with one activity for just a few moments a day.
Practicing self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming, it just needs to be meaningful and purposeful to you.
Plus, once you start noticing the results of doing even small activities for yourself, you feel motivated to make more time to practice self-care.
Here are a few simple ideas to help get you started:
Sometimes self-care is not even about doing something new.
Self-care can mean saying no to something or de-prioritizing something that you don’t have time for. It can also be setting boundaries based on the time and energy that you do have.
Sometimes self-care is simply releasing the feelings that have been building up. For me, this sometimes includes a good cry or nice, long vent session with a loved one.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, self-care could also just be taking some time to be alone. The symptoms of psoriasis can impact us mentally and physically, so it’s essential to check in with yourself and emotions.
Sometimes people feel like they need to wake up earlier to fit self-care into their routine.
If you’re not a morning person or already have a jam-packed morning, consider setting an alarm to start your bedtime routine earlier. In addition to the things you regularly do, like washing your face and brushing your teeth, try adding time to journal about your day or to read a few pages from a book.
There are so many ways to practice self-care that can fit within your lifestyle and won’t add any stress to your life.
When you live with psoriasis, it’s important to remember that self-care extends beyond physically treating psoriasis symptoms. The main focus of self-care should be finding activities that bring you happiness and moments of relaxation.
Fact checked on May 16, 2022
Have thoughts or suggestions about this article? Email us at email@example.com.
About the author