New Year, New You
Shelly Maree is one of our young, energetic writers for Skin To Live In. She is active in many social communities surrounding CU and frequently encourages others to get involved. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Shelly aspires to raise awareness and understanding of CU by sharing her story and experiences.
It is that time of year again, when almost everyone in the world is making their New Year’s Resolutions. Of course, the usual promises are always there: we are going to eat healthier foods, get a gym membership, etc. We are going to quit our [insert bad habit of choice] once and for all! Sounds great, right?
It might be an easy promise to make for most people, but those living with skin disease know that they can’t always march to the same drum as everyone else. What if you are already on a specific diet designed to help control your psoriasis? How would your urticaria react to those jumping jacks at the gym? For many people, drastic life changes just aren’t an option.
So what is?
Do something for YOU.
One way that people can learn to cope with their skin condition and positively channel their feelings is to have an outlet: something you can do that is just for you, to help give you a break from the difficulties of living with a chronic illness. This can come in the form of a new hobby, practicing a new skill, or another new habit that is beneficial to your life while not agitating your skin. What are some NEW New Year’s Resolutions for people living with skin disease?
Make music like Mozart
OK, wishful thinking. Even if your name isn’t Wolfgang, you can still reap the mental and health benefits that music has to offer. Studies have shown that playing an instrument can often have a calming effect, reducing stress and anxiety in the musician. Making music for recreational purposes has been found to interrupt the body’s stress response,1 so the next time you are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of your disease, grab a keyboard and start playing!
Try your hand as an artist
Painting can be a wonderful outlet for channeling your negative emotions into a personal work of art. During the first International Urticaria Day in 2014, I met with many urticaria sufferers that turned to painting and other similar art forms to express their experiences with the disease. Or, if you’re afraid of picking up a paintbrush, perhaps you could give creative writing a try!
Morph into a beautiful little bookworm
I know many people tend to put their last college book down and never pick one up again, but reading more as a new year’s resolution is another great way to challenge yourself and grow, and it just so happens to be another great way to distract your mind from your skin disease, while helping you to relax!
Get out and EXPLORE!
I know how tempting it is to hide from the world when an outbreak occurs. Not only are we just sick and tired, but we try to cover our skin from the world when it is less than perfect. Challenge yourself in the new year to leave those fears in the house, and get outside more. This could mean just going for a walk around the neighborhood to get some sunlight, or driving to a new location you’ve never been before. This is a resolution that can be beneficial physically, or just mentally, depending on how you attack it. It is all up to you!
Those living with psoriasis and CU often face limitations that most people do not have, but that shouldn’t stop you from being the person you want to be in the new year. Whether it’s making music, painting, writing, reading, or exploring, there are so many creative outlets for you to try this year.
If you’ve got another great activity to try in the new year, follow us on Twitter and share with our community!