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Make Caring for Psoriasis Routine, Not a Fading Resolution

A seemingly simple statement, but one that holds a lot of layers. The new year feels like a fresh start, a chance to start over and make changes. That feeling can result in some people making too many resolutions or creating ones that are harder to achieve. 

For people living with psoriasis, the new year can be a good reason to reassess your treatment plan. Insurance also tends to restart and/or change in January, so it’s the perfect time to review what kind of treatment and which doctors your plan covers. 

Managing all aspects of a psoriasis treatment plan, including medications, nutrition, skincare products, supplements, clothing decisions, stress management, etc., can feel overwhelming. However, if you plan ahead,resolutions to take better care of your psoriasis can, over time, become part of your everyday routine. 

  1. Write down your goals. 

Instead of calling them “resolutions,” call them “goals.” The word resolution itself (a firm decision to do or not do something1) can feel too overwhelming for some, and it often leaves no room for readjustments. 

Start by focusing on just a few smaller goals. Making too many changes at the same time can also feel stressful and spread your energy too thin. For psoriasis patients, small changes to things like nutrition or stress management can play a big role in treating your disease. Want to eat healthier or add more anti-inflammatory foods? Start with adding 3-5 new recipes monthly to your meal rotation. As time goes on, add more!

It’s also important to address the emotional aspect of living with psoriasis. This can be adding 15 minutes of exercise to your daily routine and/or keeping a journal to write down your thoughts. 

  1. Outline how you will achieve them. 

Putting together an action plan is an important step toward progress. Reflect on the past year, and notice what steps, milestones, habits, etc., helped you feel successful. Bring those things into this year’s plan to continue that momentum.

For example, if your goal is to be more diligent with applying lotion or taking new supplements, set a daily reminder for a time when you’re usually at home to do those tasks. Scheduling treatment to-dos into your calendar can be a simple way to remind yourself to take those steps. 

  1. Adjust accordingly. 

No matter who you are, some goals may need to be tweaked, changed, or ditched altogether. Set a regular cadence to revisit your goals; this can be weekly, monthly, or whatever is realistic to you. Then check in on your progress and adjust, if needed, to ensure you get the most benefit (and least amount of stress) from pursuing them. Remember: Once they’re written doesn’t mean they’re set in stone!

  1. Establish measurements of success. 

As much as we’d all love the goal to be to completely clear up psoriasis spots, that might be a bit too lofty! Instead, measure success based on how you feel – maybe it’s just less itching so you can get a good night’s sleep. Especially with chronic conditions like psoriasis, feeling more confident and comfortable in your skin is the best success!

Even with careful planning, there will be good and bad days. If and when you have a setback, it’s OK to take a break, refocus, adjust if needed, and move forward. Over time, your psoriasis care can become a part of your everyday routine. 

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