How to feel less self-conscious and live a full lifeOne of the most difficult aspects of coping with psoriasis is coming to terms with how your skin looks. It can affect how you see yourself and how other people might perceive you. While it’s only normal to feel self-conscious about your skin, the good news is that there are strategies you can use to help you feel more at ease and do the things you want to do.
Focus on the positivesYou’re more likely to worry about what your skin looks like when you don’t feel so good about yourself in other ways.
You’re more likely to worry about what your skin looks like when you don’t feel so good about yourself in other ways
Building up self-esteem can really help. If you want to feel good about yourself, here are seven ways to boost your self-confidence:
- Make a list of all your positive characteristics. Write down all the things you like about yourself – you’re caring, you’re a good listener, you’re creative, you’re imaginative – and whenever you feel down look at your list.
- Take care of yourself physically. Make sure you eat healthily, get enough rest and exercise regularly.
- Plan activities you enjoy. Make time in the week for yourself. Read a good book, see a film or just spend time with good friends and family. By allowing yourself time for enjoyable activities, you’re less likely to worry about what you look like and your mood will improve naturally.
- Say yes to social events. There’s no point sitting at home alone just because you’re worried about your skin. The more you isolate yourself, the more likely you are to feel bad about being out of normal life and you deprive yourself of getting support and having fun.
- Focus on your good bits. Every time you think of some part of your body that you’re unhappy with – challenge negative thoughts by remembering small improvements and also remind yourself of the things you are happy about – your eyes, hair, legs, voice and so on.
- Spend time with people that care – people who value you and make you feel good.
- Take up new activities. Try out some new recipes, join a book or film club, or take up a new interest that will get you more involved with others and help you to work towards a new goal.
Track your progressIt’s easy to dwell on the negative and lose track of how much improvement you’ve already made. So you might find it useful to keep a ‘symptom diary’ and also take a few photos. You can even give your symptoms (physical and emotional) a score from 1-10 (from hardly noticeable to very bad). In time, and with the right treatment, you should notice improvements. Look back at your symptom diary and photos next time you’re feeling down and remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
If you don’t experience any improvement over time you should consult your doctor to investigate new strategies to move forward.