Ways to feel better about yourself
While it's only normal to feel self-conscious about your skin, being armed with the following strategies will help you stay upbeat and keep you feeling positive, whatever life throws at you.
Keep a mood diary
Record what, when and why negative emotions come up, and any circumstances or thoughts associated with them. If you notice any patterns, you can come up with solutions and set realistic goals.
For example, if your neighbour's children sometimes stare at your skin, your goal might be to have a friendly chat with their parents about your psoriasis, so they understand more about it.
Even small achievements can make a big difference to your confidence, so it's important to acknowledge them properly. Every day, write down two or three things you've achieved, however small they may be.
Be your own best friend
Imagine you are talking to a good friend. What advice would they give you? Chances are they would remind you of your good points and why they like you. Now, imagine you are your own best friend, and offer yourself a little kindness and compassion.
Like any illness or condition, psoriasis is nothing to be ashamed of, yet feelings of shame and embarrassment are common
Step outside of the situation
Next time you start to worry about what people might think or say, take a step back, mentally, and imagine you are looking on from a third person's perspective. By doing so you can often learn to take things less personally.
Learn to like yourself
Each morning look in the mirror and remind yourself that you have a great smile, a warm personality or that you're good at making people laugh. Then, if a negative thought about your psoriasis pops into your head later in the day, you can choose consciously to remind yourself of your many positive attributes.
Get a little help from your friends
Spending time with people who love us can make us feel valued and understood. Even if you don't feel like going out, a quick chat over the phone or 10 minutes spent re-reading old birthday cards, letters or emails can be great reminders of what the people who matter really think about you.
Mastering a new skill, such as learning a new language or musical instrument will do wonders for making you feel better about yourself. Or why not take up a new hobby or sport or find some other way to express your creativity?
Learn to accept yourself as you are
Some people with psoriasis find it hard to accept the way their skin looks. If this is a problem for you, aim to spend 5-10 minutes every day looking at the affected areas. Try not to be so hard on yourself. Learn to accept and love the way you are. Do this regularly and, in time, you may feel better about your condition.
UK/IE 2013b/00074, Date of prep: April 2015