2020 was, for some of us, one of the hardest years of our lives. Stress and major lifestyle changes due to COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone, including people with psoriasis.
In 2021, we all expect a change for the better, so we need to start with some New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions are important for patients with psoriasis. With them, we can more easily adhere to what is most important to us throughout the year, skin care.
If you need extra motivation, beyond the obvious benefits, to keep your New Year’s resolutions in the upcoming year, you’re in luck. Many popular resolutions have something in common—in addition to helping with the areas you’re trying to improve; they benefit your skin health.
Here are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions and what they mean for your skin.
Exercise or lose weight
You probably could have guessed this resolution is at the top of many lists, but it’s also the one most people quit very soon. That could be because jumping into a new gym membership or drastically changing your eating habits tends to be ineffective. Healthy living is more about finding an exercise you enjoy and balancing your diet with a variety of foods.
Luckily, if you take steps to start an exercise you like, your skin will also be healthier. Exercise helps with a variety of chronic skin conditions, including rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.
Commonly related, this goal is also related to your skin condition. Not only will eating healthy improve your energy levels, it will improve your hair, skin, and nails.
Beware, though, that extreme or crash dieting can negatively affect your skin. Alternately, consistently eating in a way that reduces sugar and fat intake while increasing the fresh fruits and vegetables can help your skin.
Additionally, processed foods exacerbate skin problems while fresh foods can keep skin cells healthy. The primary problem foods to keep to a minimum are sugar, alcohol, dairy, and simple carbs.
Many people make resolutions to be mindful or reduce stress by meditating, taking time to recharge, or scheduling regular “me” time.
Stress affects your mental and physical health and wreaks havoc on your skin. When you’ve been stressed in the past, you may have found that your skin was drier or oilier than usual, or that minor acne became major acne.
It is very common that acne can worsen when we are in stressful situations or dealing with difficult issues. In response to stress, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne. This explains why acne can be an ongoing problem when we find ourselves under constant stress.
If you can keep your resolution to reduce stress, then meditation and mindfulness could be just what the dermatologist ordered.
The time and quality of sleep you get has overarching effects on your quality of life, including your skin health.
If you don’t get good, restorative sleep, your body might not feel rested and could kick-start that cortisol surge, which could put you at risk for more psoriasis flare-ups.
Avoid flare-ups in the new year by setting a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding insomnia-inducing habits, such as watching TV in bed or sleeping with your phone.
How to Stay Positive With Psoriasis in 2021?
First of all – remember that your mental health is just as important as your skin. If you’re dealing with depression, treatments like antidepressant medication, talk therapy, or both can help lift your mood. Spend enough “me” time and focus on things that bring you joy.
People who might be most helpful to you are those who know what you’re going through. Talk to others living with psoriasis. They can steer you to the best doctors in your area and offer tips and other resources. Ask your dermatologist if support groups meet in your area.
Stay proactive in your journey with psoriasis so you’ll always be one step ahead of the game and feel in control of your life. It’s also another way to meet others like you and listen to their stories. You’ll have people to turn to when you feel defeated.
You may want to tell co-workers (or anyone you’re around a lot) that your skin problem is psoriasis. Educating others is even more important if they can see your condition. Explain that psoriasis comes from a problem inside your body, not an infection on the outside.
Sometimes, stares or comments from others are hard to take. Remember, you can’t control what other people do or say, but you can control how you react.
Take Care of Yourself
Eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. All three will help you manage your psoriasis better and help keep your mood positive.