What’s your psoriasis fight song?

| Julie Cerrone

Raise your hand if you can’t believe it’s already the end of the third week! Craziness, right?! This month is just flying by. Think of all the amazing things you’ve done for yourself already this month. Your body is surely grateful.

Treating yourself is the most unselfish thing you can do

While attending a support group a few years back, a woman made the following statement, “The most unselfish thing you can do for yourself is to take care of yourself.” I can’t tell you how many times I hear (and have thought!) that taking time out of my day to focus solely on me was feeding my ego. But, if you think about it, if you take care of yourself then you’ll be able to show up for everyone else in your life. So by treating yourself, maybe to a massage, that yoga class you’ve been wanting to try, a healthy meal, you’re actually helping enhance the lives of everyone you know.

What did you do this week to treat yourself? I took time to have a little self pamper session! Mud mask, mani/pedi and a stint in my therapeutic warming arthritic booties. I used this quiet time to regroup and come back to myself. In honor of #PsAM15, I’m having a “Relaxation Package” giveaway on my blog! If you haven’t entered yet, head over and do so. You can enter through August 26 and the winner will be announced on the 27th!

Destressing starts when you turn off

Technology is great, isn’t it? We’re constantly connected to everyone and everything. But that’s also the negative part of technology. We’re constantly connected to everyone and everything!

When we allow time to step away from our computers, phones, ipads, television sets, etc. we allow ourselves to slow down and just BE in the present moment. You may not realize, but technology energizes our nervous systems and can be tied back to added stress, anxiety and restlessness in our lives. It can be hard (come on, I’m not pretending here!), but it’s great to just unplug and relax!

This week, the NPF urged us to unplug by 9 p.m. Were you able to do it? Unplugging at least an hour before bed can actually help us sleep better! Did you notice a difference in your sleep that night? For me, I always try to shut the TV off and put my phone away about an hour before I go to bed. It allows your nervous systems to decompress and prepares your body for sleep.

 

Heart health starts with your plate

With all diseases, not just psoriatic disease, there are comorbidities that patients need to be aware of. This week we honed in on keeping our heart healthy with delicious, yet anti-inflammatory, heart healthy meals! Were you able to whip something up in your kitchen that your body and heart could thank you for? Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be boring or unflavorful! This week I made fish tacos, sesame almond butter zucchini noodles, and roasted veggie wraps (½ cup almond flour + ½ cup tapioca starch + 1 cup full fat coconut milk). And they were all delicious! I urge you to go online and find fun recipes to play around with. Not sure where to start? Check out my Pinterest boards - I’ve curated many anti-inflammatory recipes!

Hit the bottle. The water bottle

Water. Oh water. Wouldn’t it be great if water was just as tasty as pop or juice?

Well, guess what! There are ways you can spruce up your water to make it easier for you to get your daily cups in.

Try adding a few sprigs of spearmint, slice up a lemon, lime or orange and add to your water, or add in a few drops of a therapeutic grade essential oil (like grapefruit!). Most of us do not get enough water in our day and this can cause us to be fatigued, cranky and have headaches. We can simply start to change this by focusing on adding a cup or two more a day! When you wake up, try to have a glass of water with lemon. You’ll rehydrate after sleeping and the lemon will help kick off your detox processes for the day. Maybe set a reminder on your phone for 3 p.m. to drink a tall glass of water instead of running to the vending machine for a Diet Coke. Start small and work your way up!

Make your soundtrack

Music is my life. I always have music playing in the background and I’m pretty sure I started singing as soon as I learned to speak. There truly are two sure-fire ways to get me in a good mood: Celine Dion or Christmas music. (Don’t judge me.) I have a playlist that I turn to when I’m having a bad day (check it out here!). Creating your own playlist is an amazing tool to keep in your back pocket. Whenever you’re having a flare, feeling low or sad or depressed, press play and let the music help change your mood.

Sabrina Skiles, NPF One-to-One mentor and Homegrown Houston blogger, had an amazing idea to create a “Fight Song” video mashup with some of the NPF bloggers. It turned out awesome and I had SO much fun helping to create it.

 

 

So maybe Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” isn’t YOUR fight song, but I bet you can find a song that will help pump you up when you’re feeling a bit low. If you haven’t created a playlist yet, use this song as the first soundtrack on it!

Stand up for yourself

Whenever patients ask me for advice, I always start with the same thing: you need to become an empowered patient. You HAVE to become an advocate for your own health. If you aren’t, who will?

How does one become an empowered patient? Learn as much about your condition as you can, research options out there for you and become a partner with your health care practitioners in the fight for your health!

Arming yourself with knowledge can help not only your health journey, but also the journeys of others. By teaming up with foundations, like the NPF, you can help advocate at the state or federal level for healthcare issues that affect not only psoriatic disease, but across all disease states. For example, here’s a post I did on biologics and biosimilars after advocating for the NPF and the Arthritis Foundation this past year! The National Psoriasis Foundation has many amazing opportunities to advocate for patients and I’d urge you to check out their advocacy kit. Advocacy can done in the comforts of your own home or on the steps of Capitol Hill! Try something new and volunteer to help other patients just like you.

So many challenges, so much fun, right?!

What has been your favorite challenge so far? Mine was definitely the playlist challenge because I had so much fun creating the Fight Song mashup. There’s one more week to go and if you haven’t started yet, now is the perfect time! Some of my favorite challenges of the month are coming up this week, so make sure to join in and comment on the NPF’s Facebook page!

Wishing you a pain-free day!

-- Julie

 


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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