Winter Is Coming

I am a walking contradiction. Winter makes my soul so happy and my body grouchy.

When summer turns to winter

This summer passed has been a beautiful summer of remission for me. One of the best yet since being diagnosed many moons ago.  Alas, my fellow people, the summer fling has entered its final stages, and the winter is on its way. There is a possible pre-winter depression seeping in. I am turning a blind eye until I have no other choice but to face it head-on. When the said time comes I will be taking that bull by the horns. Heavens knows I have had all summer to prepare. I am ready, I am ready for winter, I am ready for all the challenges it will bring and I have made myself a survival guide.

Psoriasis symptoms when the seasons change

Winter brings an array of symptoms. Sore skin that splits, tears and itches enough to make any sane person crazy. Sore joints, leaving my 33-year-old body feeling like a 103-year-old lady. Aching, creaky and possibly very grumpy, which my loved ones fondly refer to as my dragon mode. Leave the best for last – explaining my grumpy, sore, spotty self to people to spread awareness and possibly stop me from yelling at them for being rude. The little red spots are showing face and will soon join hands to create beautiful and strange patterns across my body. My joints are chiming in too, lest they be forgotten.

Coping with psoriasis this winter

Here is my survival guide for winter to cope with my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis:

  • Topical steroid ointment. I take being prepared for this pretty seriously. I am talking about one tube in my bag, one at my desk, one in the bathroom and one next to my bed.
  • Warm, but cool clothing. Do you see the common thread of this walking contradiction business? I don’t want to freeze, fortunately, I live in the southern tip of Africa so the chances are minimal that I would actually freeze, I don’t like getting hot, even in winter. It must be just right.
  • Warm but not hot baths as hot baths seem to make me very itchy, with Epsom salts to help lift all my beautiful silver scales off.
  • A positive attitude, I can do this. Okay so this one does not last all winter, but it helps to go in with a woohoo spirit.
  • Painkillers. I would not survive without them. OTC meds no longer cut it for me, so I am off the doctor to get some stronger ones.
  • Olive leaf extract. This along with turmeric are going to be a natural everyday choice for this winter, it is said to assist in bringing the inflammation down.
  • Hot water bottle/bean bag for sore joints, achy nights and days
  • Lots of books to read, when I stay in and keep warm.
  • Soup, it contains all the nutrients. Minerals and lovely things our bodies need to keep going through the hard days.
  • Soft winter sheets, these are my guilty pleasure, my skin needs them and my heart desires them.
  • Flip flops, yes you read that correctly, I wear them all year, I know you are all thinking, what is she crazy? The answer is yes, however, there is also a method in my madness, my feet do not like getting hot when they do, I overheat, when I overheat I itch and that is the last thing I want.
  • Self-love, kindness, and self-care. These I find are by far my most valuable assets in a long cold winter. Remembering to take it slow, to stop when it all feels too much and to allow my body to take the time it needs to rest. Does everyone around me understand this, you may ask. For the most part yes, there are some no’s but you know what I am okay with that. I do not need their understanding or validation. It would help. But I can survive without it
  • Warm winter gloves to help the achy hands.
  • Good friends, to lean on, laugh with and naturally to help me carry things when my joints do not want to anymore.
  • Things that make me happy that require minimum effort, this list includes, but is not limited to; chocolate, movies, music, good books, laughter, my family, and my loved ones.

If you reside in the Southern Hemisphere winter is on its way. Stay warm, be kind to yourself and allow your body the rest it needs to.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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