Guest Blog: 5 Things People Living With Psoriasis Can Do to Combat Stress
By: Leah M. Howard, JD, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Psoriasis Foundation
According to new data from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), 1 in 3 people living with psoriasis struggle with depression. Couple this with the high levels of stress currently felt throughout the nation – a known trigger for the onset or flaring of the disease – and you can see why NPF is providing tips on living with less stress for those who have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
After more than two years living through the pandemic, it’s not surprising Americans report overwhelming stress levels. With stress as an ever-present trigger, psoriasis symptoms can become more severe for the more than 8 million people in the U.S. living with psoriasis, a chronic immune-mediated disease with an unclear cause.
While there’s no known cure for psoriasis, managing the disease is possible with the right treatment plan and by implementing healthy habits, including stress management.
By taking small steps each day to combat stress, individuals living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can find relief from their symptoms:
Catching Some Zs
Making changes to your sleep hygiene not only sets the stage for better sleep, but also leads to lower stress levels and better overall health. Going to bed at the same time each night can help regulate your internal sleep clock, which can boost your mood and reduce stress.
Limiting processed foods – or skipping them all together
Paying close attention to what you eat each day is a great way to improve your mood. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein, and whole grains is a natural way to relieve stress, anxiety, and even grief.
Getting up and moving
Exercise can be a fantastic stress reliever that can work within minutes. Simply taking a short walk, doing some breathing exercises or gentle stretches from the couch each day can help get you into a different frame of mind and make a difference. Moving more can also have a great impact on mood.
Relying on a strong support system
A support system is important for your overall mental health. During stressful times, friends and family may help you cope. NPF provides free support and resources to all those impacted by psoriatic disease, including caregivers, family, and friends.
Talking to your doctor
Each person experiences psoriatic disease in their own unique way, including its physical and mental impacts. What works for one person may not work for another. Talk to your doctor to find the treatment plan that works best for you.
August is Psoriasis Action Month, and NPF is educating its community on how to best manage their disease. For more tips and information about how to relieve stress and put psoriasis symptoms to rest once and for all visit https://www.psoriasis.org/solution
The National Psoriasis Foundation is a member of the National Health Council. For information about membership, please email [email protected].