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Practicing Self-Love with Psoriatic Arthritis

Last updated: November 2022

I recently attended a conference with presenter, Dr. Christina Hibbert. This lovely woman presented the art of "Self-Love Practices."

I know what you're probably thinking. Self-love and self-care are topics you may likely see thrown at you all the time. While the concept and theory are great on paper, and we agree need to be incorporated into our lives, simply put, it's just not that easy.

The concept of self-love while living with psoriatic arthritis

I think this is a particular concept that needs to be adopted more by those with psoriatic arthritis specifically. I believe we have so much pain we forget to love ourselves through it. We are all so hard on ourselves - when our body is hard enough on us as it is! It's hard to practice when we don't feel validated in our experience.

Dr. Hibbert outlined the 4 pillars of self-Love and how we can incorporate them in small ways and weave them throughout our painful lives.

Self-care

I can admit that this self-care is difficult for me. I tend to push and push until my body hurts so bad that I cannot move. It is only then that I will stop pushing and let my body rest for the length of time it needs to recover. How about you?

I know I shouldn't push that much, but it is something I have always done long before psoriatic arthritis set in. Why does it take being in so much pain before a lightbulb goes off, forcing us to stop? Self-care can look like slowing down, warm showers, or slow drives and simply taking a break and a breath from the hustle.

Self-compassion

Again, another hard one for me. I can have compassion for almost everyone else in the world except myself. I guarantee that if I were to meet you, I would show you the ultimate compassion in recognizing your PsA journey. Show me the same compassion? Not so much.

On days that the pain is terrible, I start getting depressed because I can think of 30 things I should be doing. That is not showing self-compassion in the least. The sad truth is that I know that, but it is still difficult for me. Deep breaths, gentle self-reminders, and sitting and surviving the discomfort may be able to help.

Self-kindness

Ouch. That one stings. I am very hard on myself mentally. I get frustrated easily when I don't accomplish everything I want to do in a day. It feels like I let people down, making me feel like I let myself down. How many of you feel that exact same way?

However, I have not found a way to obtain that self-kindness. It always feels like a million miles away from me, with no real way to ascertain it.

Letting love in

Dr. Hibbert concluded that when we do all these things, we can let love in. We can find that self-love. I don't know about you, but I still have work to obtain self-love. It was powerful to hear her speak about it.

She also has a website at www.DrChristinaHibbert.com with other excellent articles and blogs if you want to look. Maybe you can find information there that will help you find self-love for yourself.

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