Life seems to race faster, making it more important than ever to take care of yourself and mark out quality time to relax. This is doubly true for those who suffer from chronic health conditions. While medicine can help, self-care remains one of the best ways to alleviate both the physical and mental effects of chronic conditions.
Fibromyalgia sufferers experience consistent musculoskeletal pain in their joints and throughout their bodies. It often includes an abnormal sensitivity to pain that can lead to mental and physical fatigue, headaches, depression, and anxiety. Sufferers often isolate themselves, but self-care can help temper the worst symptoms.
Practicing yoga and tai chi, as with any exercise, can be difficult during a flare-up. However, these low-impact activities facilitate the flow of oxygen in the blood, and they can also help to elevate one's mood.
There are a variety of symptoms that accompany migraines, but most of them make it almost impossible to function normally. When migraines strike, one of the best remedies is simple rest. Taking care of oneself requires knowing when to throw in the towel and just ride it out. Stimuli such as bright lights and noise can exacerbate your symptoms.
Resist the temptation to attend work or school in the hope of being able to tough it out. The physical environment will likely worsen a migraine, and you'll likely get little work done in the midst of acute symptoms. Sometimes you just have to take care of yourself and endure a migraine, and there is no need to feel anxious or guilty about it.
Psoriasis is a particularly trying condition. Its physical symptoms can cause unceasing, irritating discomfort, but the mental effects can be even greater. Sufferers can feel shame and even depression over their skin’s appearance. Such feelings act as stressors that worsen symptoms, creating a vicious cycle.
Depending on its severity, you may find that simple self-care is sufficient to alleviate the worst of both its mental and physical effects. Enjoy a warm, never hot, bath filled with Epsom salt or other non-fragrant salts. Smoking and drinking alcohol can worsen psoriasis symptoms, so avoiding both is a particularly effective form of self-care.
Self-care offers substantial benefits if you have a chronic condition. It alleviates the need for potentially expensive healthcare treatment as well as improves your day-to-day quality of life. Most importantly, prioritizing self-care makes sure that your mental health stays in a good place — if you can nail that down, that’s half the battle won.
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