Water pouring into a hole in the bottom of a knocked over cup.

Is Your Cup Full? The Secret Sauce To Psoriasis Resilience

Is your cup full?

If you asked me if my cup was full a couple of years ago, I would have told you that my cup had a hole in it. It was beyond empty - I felt like I was mining deep into the crevices of my soul to find more energy to give.

In Chinese medicine, this state is known as depleted.

This is a terrible place for anyone to be, but especially those of us living with psoriasis.

Why?

Feeling depleted with psoriasis

Because if we give more than we receive, we become depleted. A depleted state is a terrible place to tackle some of the challenges we experience daily when living with psoriasis, things like:

  • Explaining politely to a stranger what the marks are on the skin (without it ruining the rest of our day/week/year).
  • Fighting off infections
  • Eating highly nutritious and anti-inflammatory foods
  • Being happy with ourselves when we wake up to start a new day
  • Nurturing the relationships, we need to support us when we are down (without giving more than we receive!)

Giving more to compensate for having psoriasis

If I had to take a day off work because I was flaring so badly I couldn't wear shoes, then I would work that entire day from my bed, contribute more communal work and resources than is expected- because I would then use all the hours I wasn't sleeping at night to work as well.

Receiving from others feels foreign

When we are kids, we happily receive gifts. As an adult, I feel a little embarrassed, especially when someone brings me flowers to say thank you for something.

Receiving is a critical element of a balanced life. Life would be rubbish if everyone gave, and no one welcomed receiving.

How easy is it for us to receive some or all of these things?

  • Love
  • Nurturing
  • Relaxation
  • Pleasure
  • Kindness

How is your inner balance?

Do you give more than you receive? If you're a stay at home mother of young children, I imagine the answer is usually a resounding yes.

I felt guilty during my time as a stay at home mum when I asked for time off when my husband got back from work. He had been at work all day... But so had I., In reality, we had both worked all day and yet I felt I needed to make a cup of tea and nurture him after his 'hard day' at work - and again if you looked at my day, while less impressive on paper, I hadn't been able to shower, nor had I had time to drink a cup of tea all the way to the bottom. I needed nurturing too.

Did I ask? Almost never.

How to use your cup for resilience

I learned the concept of 'the cup' while interviewing a child psychologist about raising resilient kids with psoriasis.

If you start the day with a cup full of water (or juice!), then you look at how your cup looks during the day.

You pour out water when you give, and you pour in the water when you receive.

Pouring out activities are so commonplace in our society and include things that feel like giving. It might be a little bit of juice for doing the dishwasher after clearing away the breakfast pots, and organizing the laundry before you go to work.

It may be vast outpourings for having to pick up the slack on someone else's project at work because they have fallen behind. Emotional outpourings are included too- using energy to bite your tongue, for example, and anger is exhausting. Pour out for those times when you use energy holding yourself back.

It's surprising how quickly your cup empties.

Then pouring back in- hugs, being praised, taking time off to go for a quiet mid-morning coffee, a yoga class at lunch, and a shoulder rub after dinner. Something that makes you feel valued, accepted, loved.

Is your cup still full at bedtime?

I am still working on mine, but at least on most days, I'm not gaping at the dry bottom.

Moving towards resilience and a full cup

You are already enough. I am already enough. We need to practice maintaining our boundaries to prevent unnecessary energy sucks.

Be careful not to over-give, over-do, over-control.

Learning, when too much, is too much, will help you maintain your energy levels for living your good life. Enable you to nourish your body, and also those parts of you inside that make you who you are.

Learning where your energy sucks are help. Mine can often be social media (even forums designed to support), friends who take but don't give, bustling shopping centers during the sales, and volunteer organizations I have overcommitted to.

What are yours?

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