Top 5 Tips for Managing Stress

Everyone experiences stress in their life at some point or another, especially those dealing with a chronic health condition.  Plaque psoriasis can prove to be especially challenging, as not only can the condition itself cause stress in the form of body confidence issues or social anxieties, but it can also be triggered by stress.  This can create a vicious cycle of psoriasis flare-ups leading to endless frustration.  Managing stress or taking steps to alleviate it can help fight the cycle and leave those with plaque psoriasis feeling a little better, both physically and mentally.  Here are some stress management tips for those with plaque psoriasis.

#1.Exercise

Exercise can be a crucial outlet for those with plaque psoriasis.  Not only does exercising release endorphins that can combat stress, it also fights obesity and cardiovascular complications, which can develop comorbid to plaque psoriasis.  Exercising can be as high impact as running a marathon, or weight training, to as low impact as stretch and meditation-based yoga, or anything in between.  Swimming, hiking, and biking can all be done at various impact and exertion levels, and can leave your body feeling stronger and more focused.

#2.Sun Exposure

Not everyone responds to treatments the same way, however, one of the most common treatments for plaque psoriasis is light therapy (or phototherapy).  This idea can be compounded with exercise or relaxation in the form of a walk in a beautiful park, sitting in a peaceful outdoor garden, taking a neighborhood stroll with a favorite playlist on an iPod, or even having a cathartic conversation catching up with a friend outdoors.  Even if it is only for a few minutes at a time, being outdoors in nature and the natural sun can prove to be very relaxing and re-centering.

#3.Emotional Care

Taking care of yourself emotionally and your mental health can come in a variety of forms.  From talking with a therapist who can help you work through frustrations and stress directly to practicing simple meditation, fostering a healthy mindset can prove to be a great tool to help you manage stress.  Participating in a hobby, or just retreating for a day to watch your favorite movie, can shift your mind to a more stress-free state.

#4.Eating Healthy

While there are many different diets individuals with plaque psoriasis have reported working (or not working!), there is one common theme behind them all—eating well can be a great step in feeling the best you can.  Fueling your body with healthy food options can positively impact your overall energy and stress levels, as well as decrease your obesity and cardiovascular complication risk.

#5.Seek Support

Joining an online community like this one, or visiting an in-person support group can allow you to make connections with others who share similar frustrations and stressors.  Additionally, opening up lines of communication with those around you who don’t have plaque psoriasis can also be helpful as you’re building a stress-relieving support system.  For tips on how to talk with those around you about your plaque psoriasis, check this out.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, managing stress can always be beneficial.  Let us know how you relieve stress with your plaque psoriasis!

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