When Life Gives You Lemons…
You make lemonade. But with a chronic disease like psoriatic arthritis, sometimes the lemonade is still very sour.
There is a big a difference between being a little blue and having depression. By no means is this article meant to diminish mental health or make light of it. That should always be taken very seriously and treatment should be sought.
The point of this article is to show a few ways to kick the frustration and disappointment of psoriatic disease to the curb during the holidays. And with that, I bring you clichés that will either be forehead slappers or put a smile to 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 be sure to find out all of the details up front.
If you the price tag is too high, then take a break while holiday shopping and head over to your favorite department’s store make-up department. The clinicians are more than willing to give your face a free cleansing and a make-up lift. Sometimes, this is enough to not only make your skin glow, but also your inner light.
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
When you have a pile of presents to wrap, and have zero energy to get off the couch, 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 wrapping party. Chances are, the work will be done lickety-split.
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 really 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. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness. And while there are many benefits to joining a yoga center and taking classes – meeting new friends, learning proper form from the instructor, good energy from those around you – you can also do it at home with a yoga DVD or catch a yoga show on PBS or your local cable station. Even just learning to breathe properly is an amazing 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 actually 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
Psoriatic arthritis is a roller coaster. One day you’re up. The other, you’re down. I’ve found that that 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.
This said, 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 who is 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.