For me, it has taken a long time to find a balanced lifestyle, using a trial and error method I am still not in a place that completely works for me. One thing that has changed my life completely is changing from a 37 hour a week job to now working just 25 hours each week. I find working shorter hours gives me a chance to 'breathe.'
Restless nightsThere are many nights when my psoriasis causes me to become restless and not sleep, this is something that can impact my every life severely as after a few nights I can find myself drained, however due to my working day finishing at 3.30pm I have enough time to come home and sleep before attending any other commitments I may have.
As well as working shorter days, I have regular holidays and this also made life much easier as my body has time to recuperate and I can take my time to moisturise more than once a day and catch up on sleep.
Make time to relaxIt is important to make time in your life to relax or de-stress, whether you have 10 minutes spare or hours, this is something I never appreciated until the last few years.
My main way of de-stressing is enjoying football, it's something I adore and love spending my time doing
I find football a great way to forget about everything and release any anger I have! I also love relaxing in a nice bath before bed, I put my music on and light a couple of candles and relax. I also find this an easy way to ensure I don't forget to moisturise, as I do it as soon as I get out of the bath and let it soak in before bed. A bath is also a good time to use a cream or special soap to ease any sore psoriasis as the skin softens when soaking in the water.
Pets really help
My dog is also something that helps me to relax, if I have a day where I feel stressed I like to take my dog for a walk and clear my head, this gives me time to put things in perspective and have a clear mind. I also love taking my dog to Llandudno, she loves going on the beach and it’s something that makes me happy. A pet can be very loving and caring and is often aware when you are feeling upset, which is something I find a great comfort when she comes to me.
Go out and get organisedSocialising is something I do at any opportunity, however I have to be careful that this doesn't become a negative experience, as finding something to wear that I feel comfortable about my psoriasis in can be a little frustrating. For example, if meeting friends in a beer garden on a hot day, I try to make sure I won't be too hot but feel comfortable in what I’m wearing.
I find being organised is something that helps me balance my life, I have many important roles outside of my job within the community and it is important I am organised so that it doesn't make me stressed. The majority of these roles require lots of time and effort and therefore I try to make sure I have dedicated time to complete everything I need to.
For me, a balanced life isn't about making sure everything is perfect, it is about find a way for me to have time to live well with my psoriasis and have time for treatment, have time to complete jobs I need to do and try to live as stress free as possible.