With psoriatic disease, it’s very easy to fall into negative thought patterns.
I wish my skin was clear. I wish my joints didn’t hurt. I wish I had the energy to go out with my friends. I wish I wasn’t in this situation. Why can’t I just be “normal”?
It’s very easy to start beating yourself up over things that are often not in your control.
But what can you do? If you can’t control these things, what’s the solution?Loving yourself, despite ANY health condition. That is always the answer.
You might be thinking, “That sounds very ‘out there’. I’m not too sure about that.” But loving yourself can really make you perceive your day in an entirely different light!
I give the example of working for a negative boss. If you worked for someone who was constantly nagging, always condescending, and never appreciating your work… would it make you want to work harder? Would you be happy showing up for work every day? Would you stay at that job?
Now contrast that with a supporting, happy, and appreciating boss. Someone who always lifts you up and praises you for your work. A true support in your life, a person who truly wants you to succeed.
Which job is going to give you more fulfillment? Which job is going to help you thrive and live your best life? Most likely, the positive one. Right?
It’s the same with our body. If we treat it with compassion and kindness, we can start to more easily accept the flaws that we perceive. When we come from a place of love and positivity, it makes it a little easier to deal with challenges, manage the pain, and accept the consequences that we may not necessarily want.
By loving ourselves, despite an autoimmune diagnosis, we can have the upper hand in altering how we perceive our lives.
So how can we love ourselves, despite the pain, skin flare-ups, and fatigue? Here are six ways that you can start loving yourself despite any health condition!
1. Realize that you are still the same person that you were before your diagnosis.
No diagnosis can take away the heart and soul of who you are as a person. Therefore, your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis does not define you. Sure, it may be something that you need to live with and manage daily, but it doesn’t define you as a person. You are still beautiful, you are still brilliant, you are still a great friend and family member. Don’t let any condition impact the way you see yourself as a person.
2. Every day might not be great, but there’s something great every day.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the bad and start to generalize that having bad experiences means you have a bad life. Those negative thought patterns creep in and then we get swept away by them! But by focusing on the great things about your day, you can start to shift your perspective. Perhaps you were about to get out of bed, brush your teeth, make your favorite meal, or talk to a great friend. These are things that can make your day great. When you start to focus on the positive things, however big or small they may be, you begin to have the upper hand in deciding how you perceive your days.
3. Treat yourself!
Take a long bubble bath, order from your favorite restaurant, binge on your favorite show — do something each day to treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe it’s having a cup of tea in the afternoon or sending a text to a friend to check in. Whatever it is, make sure to do something that makes you smile every day.
4. Place yourself in a supportive environment.
Surround yourself with family, friends, a support group, and/or online social friends. Make sure they’re individuals who will help support you in your time of need. People you can turn to when you’re feeling down. Who will understand when you need to cancel plans because you don’t feel well. And who won’t question you when you have long sleeves on in the middle of July. By creating a supportive environment, you give yourself a place to thrive and feel safe.
5. Each night before you go to bed, write down three things that you love about yourself.
This may seem like a silly practice at first, but it can have a profound effect on your life! Write about all the things, big and small, that you love. Perhaps you love the way you dealt with a certain situation, or the fact that you smiled or laughed so hard that day you cried. Maybe it’s that you didn’t need as much pain medicine as normal or that you were grateful for having some energy that day. Whatever it is, by ending your day focusing on three positive notes about yourself, you can wake up in a positive mindset for the next day!
6. Realize that all of the love that you need comes from within.
This may be something that takes some time to realize. But, when you start to shift your thinking into this thought pattern, it can change your life. By looking for outside sources of love, you negate the primary source of love that you have! All the love that you need is within you. And by tapping into that inner love, well, let’s just say, anything’s possible!There are many ways that you can love yourself. By taking a few of these examples, and incorporating them into your everyday life, you can truly start to love yourself despite any diagnosis. Loving yourself is good for your health! So what are you waiting for? Start today!
Julie Cerrone is a Psoriasis HealthCentral Social Ambassador, certified holistic health coach, ePatient advocate, yoga instructor, autoimmune warrior and the blogger behind It's Just A Bad Day, NOT A Bad Life. Helping chronically fabulous patients realize they can live their best life possible, Julie stresses the importance of finding your own personalized treatment plan. Check out her Elimination Diet 101 eCourse which will help jump start creating your own plan.