When you're living with a chronic condition like psoriasis or eczema you might find that, although you can control the physical symptoms, the impact on your mental health can be difficult to deal with. Learning how to cope with the day-to-day stresses of an ongoing and fatiguing condition isn't easy, so here are some proven strategies to help you cope if you feel that your condition is getting you down.
Embrace your support network
The age old adage: "a problem shared is a problem halved" has never been more true than when you're suffering in silence with a chronic condition. Who are the people who really matter to you? Who do you trust? Reach out to those people and share the negative thoughts you are experiencing. You'll find that the emotional support and comfort you get from close friends, family and partners will help you to get through the rough patches.
If you find that you're avoiding social situations and contact with close friends - find ways to lean back in. You'll need that support network now more than ever. Fight isolation with social activity - it's proven to help us live a longer, healthier life.
Engage with an online community
Our hyper connected world has brought us all closer together than ever before. Take advantage of that to seek support from people just like you who understand exactly what you are going through. Online communities, such as Flaym, are there to help you get advice and support at the times you need it most.
There is also a growing online community on Instagram and Twitter of people with chronic skin conditions who raise awareness by sharing pictures and life stories, but most importantly by motivating and supporting each other. Search for #eczemalife, #getyourskinout or #psoriasisawareness to join the conversation.
Get some exercise
Yikes, the dreaded 'E' word. Before you skip straight to the next paragraph, hear us out. Exercise doesn't have to involve visits to the gym or spending lots of money on a new bike. Something as simple as walking as far as you feel you can, can help to clear your head and focus on the here and now. Gentle forms of yoga are also a wonderful way to stretch our aching joints, relieve tension, and dedicate time to focus on relaxation.
Create time for yourself
Skin conditions often flare up when you are stressed or under the weather. Remember to make time for yourself to relax and unwind and give your body the relaxation it deserves. Try setting aside one night a week where you indulge in a long bath, or have a pamper night with dry-skin friendly products.
Reach out to a professional
If your skin condition is really getting you down and you find yourself battling depressive or anxious thoughts, reach out and discuss your feelings with a doctor. They'll not only be able to help you with strategies to support your mental health, but will also be able to refer you to a specialist if you need a little extra support.
Don't suffer in silence - there's also a community of people here at HelloSkin ready to help you be your best, most confident self.