There is no right way to practice self-care. It looks different for all of us – after all, good self-care consists of anything that helps you feel cared for. This also applies to self-care tips for psoriatic arthritis. For people with psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes psoriatic symptoms and problems like joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, self-care can be of great help in managing the condition.
“For people with arthritis, everyday life has to be a day of self-care because you have to think about yourself before thinking about anything else,” said Tanya G., 42, who was diagnosed 11 years ago but had symptoms of psoriasis Arthritis most of her life tells SELF. Focusing on the little things that can make your life easier ̵
Self-care just boils down to taking care of yourself, says Tanya, sometimes in the most basic of ways and on an ongoing basis: “Self-care is an everyday thing.”
Here, Tanya, Annelyse and Nitika C., 39, founder and CEO of Chronicon, a platform dedicated to improving the lives of people with chronic diseases, share the self-care practices and tips that have helped them live better with psoriatic arthritis.
1. Be prepared for bad days.
“You need to know what self-care means to you,” says Tanya. “For me, that means being prepared for bad days. Bad days will happen; They won’t magically go away. So what will be in my house that will support me on a bad day? “For Tanya, this means having a few things on hand: bath bombs, a good book on her Kindle, and medication to use during a heavy torch. It means thinking ahead and doing laundry on a good day so your compression socks are clean and ready when you need them. And of course, this also means that she has her favorite foods like chocolate on hand.
“When I was really the sickest in my 20s, mindfulness was the biggest thing that helped me,” Nitika tells SELF. “I didn’t grow up with it, but it really changed me. I felt like I could really help myself feel better inside, which helped how I felt outside. “Nitika says she noticed that her stress levels dropped when she learned to stay present instead of letting the pain sink in. Tanya also meditates – she swears by the Calm app, specifically a training program that the app offers for pain therapy. “I probably do it at least once a month to remind myself of the steps in breathing through pain,” she says.
3. Laugh often.
While “laughing is the best medicine” doesn’t necessarily apply when it comes to chronic pain, it can make a difference in how you deal with it. “I’ve always known that friends and laughter are incredibly important,” says Nikita. When she was younger and couldn’t get out of the house easily, she called a friend just to talk. Not about psoriatic arthritis or the pain she was in, just 20 things like a cute boy or a strange dream or something that happened on a TV show. “I remember being so helpful. And even at times when that wasn’t enough, because maybe I was in so much pain or had a really big flare up, I got used to watching funny videos like Carpool Karaoke online, ”she adds. “It’s stupid and fun and makes me so happy and it’s free.”
4. Surround yourself with supportive people.
For Tanya, self-care means surrounding yourself with people who know that she may have to cancel plans and not judge them or get mad at them. On the other hand, it also means distancing yourself from people who just don’t understand – or rather from those who don’t even try to understand. “There are some people who don’t understand, who get it and want to say hurtful things because they just don’t understand, they want to be there for you. And then there are people who just think that you are pretending and those are the people you need to distance yourself from, ”says Tanya.