When Life Gives You Lemons…

When Life Gives You Lemons…

You know the saying: "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade." But with a chronic disease like psoriatic arthritis, sometimes the lemonade is still very sour.

Psoriatic arthritis is a roller coaster. One day you're up. The other, you're down. I've found that the best thing to do is acknowledge it, though I never accept it. I don't want to give my power to the disease and have nothing left to fight with.

Psoriatic arthritis coping tips

I feel it is essential to say that by no means is this article meant to diminish mental health or make light of it. In the context of the impact of living with a chronic illness, there is a big difference between being a little sad and having depression. That should always be taken very seriously, and treatment should be sought.

I want to share what I consider the point of this article to show a few ways to kick the frustration and disappointment of psoriatic disease to the curb. And with that, I bring you clichés that will either be forehead slappers or put a smile on your face...

Do an "about face"

Get a facial. And, yes, this is for men, too. A good facial will include a neck and shoulder massage, which often feels good with psoriatic arthritis. It can also come with a price tag, so find out all of the details upfront.

If the price tag is too high, take the time for self-care at home. Either way, be careful if you have sensitive skin or psoriasis. Using hypoallergenic or cleansers made for sensitive skin can help keep irritation low.

All hands on deck

Are you feeling overwhelmed with tasks? Chores? Appointments? Call in the troops for backup support. Order a pizza and have your friends pick it up on their way to your house.

Put on a cheesy movie or some good tunes and make it an impromptu get-together. Chances are, the work will be done lickety-split, and your spirits will be lifted.

An oldie but a goodie

With your stiff joints and fatigue, you probably feel like an old person. Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with the senior citizens in my community than with others my age.

If that's you, then embrace it once in a while and get out to your local senior center and volunteer. You can make them feel special, and they can put a smile on your face. This is especially true around the holidays.

Turn that frown upside down

Yoga is a great way to calm your mind. While there are many benefits to joining a yoga center and taking classes, you can also do it at home with a yoga DVD or catch a yoga show on PBS or your local cable station.

Learning to breathe correctly is a fantastic feat that will calm you and bring about some zen. You might be asking how yoga falls under this category. The forward bend, downward-facing dog, or doing a yoga handstand will turn your face upside down to make your frown into a smile.

As with any exercise regimen, be sure to check with your doctor first and don't push your body beyond your limits.

Toot your own horn

Even with the ups and downs, you are a remarkable person! If you spend just a few minutes reflecting on your accomplishments, you'll realize that you are pretty amazing.

So, go ahead. Toot your own horn once in a while, even if it is just yourself listening. Focus on what you can and already have done. A little pride and self-confidence can go a long way. You may not always feel joyous this time of year when you're battling psoriatic arthritis, but hopefully, these tips will make you a little less blue.

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