My previous 3 blog posts spoke about various topics including what activities and habits improve eczema, mental health and adapting lifestyle changes. This post is a summary/reflection of those 3 previous posts and will break this down into 5 different areas.
1. Managing mental health and eczema
Breaking the itch-scratch cycle can be difficult. As well as controlling mental actions such as controlling the mind and healing, physical actions such as being mindful of what irritates the skin and keeping our hands active can also help.
Lack of sleep is another challenging factor at times. Having a good bedtime routine, not eating heavy foods before bedtime and keeping the mind relaxed is the most important.
The expense of spending time and money on skincare products and routines can also be an issue. This includes arranging time away from work or school to attend appointments. Secondly, having the finances to purchase products. Time for appointments is something beyond our control, however, managing our finances is something we do have control over.
Life factors such as work and study can affect our stress and mental health. Certain work environments are not good for eczema so learning and becoming aware of those types of environments is important. Then decide either not to work there or seek help from your employer. Work-life balance and time management for both work and study can also be a challenge as well as keeping a skincare routine.
2. Activities and habits which can lead to improvement
There are several activities and habits we can practice ourselves to help manage our mental health and eczema.
This can include meditation which can improve our immune system, break addictions as well help with depression.
Prayer is another example where you can connect to God or your higher self/universe. Being more grateful in prayer and being able to receive guidance on life events is helpful.
Walking is a great activity physically and mentally and can be done alone or in a group It helps us maintain our weight. It also allows time for thinking and reflecting. Listening to great things and nature first thing in the morning can help set us up for the day. This also helps with relaxation and sleep.
Music is great as it can really bring a good mood and help ease the pain. Depending on the type of music it can affect the brain and help with emotions. Also confidence, communication and concentration.
If you use social media it can make mental health worse depending on what you use it for and what you scroll to read/view. It may be best to remove social media if it’s badly affecting your mental health. You may want to consider downloading apps for more positive activities. I would recommend not picking up the phone immediately after waking up to scroll through or just before bedtime. When waking up, spend some time reflecting and thinking about positive things first to set you up for the day.
In my blog post about activities that improve eczema, I asked the question what other activities could one try to improve self-esteem? The main thing I went into depth about was the benefits of therapy however there are other ways of doing this.
Adapting to eczema and managing a different lifestyle. By doing this we can learn to be in control which will improve confidence and positivity because we become in control of managing eczema and accepting the fact that our lifestyles are different.
Training our bodies and minds to think more positively can be done in many different ways. This can include practising saying positive affirmations. There are many examples of positive affirmations and meditations about confidence and self-esteem on youtube. You could also try creating your own ones based on your current life situation. Another suggestion that I’ve recently done is to invest in a confidence life coach. If this is of interest to you, please contact me directly for details.
Learn to love yourself and be comfortable with your own skin. This can be done using similar affirmation and meditation resources on Youtube and also self-discipline.
4. Lifestyle changes
Living with eczema means having a different lifestyle which can be stressful at times. We need to go above and beyond taking care of our skin regardless. Working out what is good and bad for our skin is also helpful as well as a positive mindset.
Taking part in activities which will not affect your eczema is important. Being sure that you have the right friends who understand your concerns is also important. With some activities it may be ok to participate in you just need to take extra precautions (e.g. swimming and spas)
Being part of a support group is also helpful as you can relate to others with similar conditions and also have to adapt to a different lifestyle.
Having a great network of friends is a great way of relaxing and also links to lifestyle, especially when doing positive activities. I believe that friendship involves two things. Being able to go out socialise and have a good time but also confiding in each other over good times, decision making and also life challenges.
Eczema can affect dating and relationships especially if you have low self-esteem or limiting beliefs about dating and finding love. The key thing I mentioned is not allowing a condition to become your full identity and being able to embrace your weaknesses. Being open as well can also open doors to many areas.
On reflection, there are a lot of factors to think about physically as well as mentally when it comes to managing eczema. The many areas of life really can play a role and adapting suitable activities and habits in order to apply these is also key. If you enjoyed reading this my previous 3 blogs speak more in-depth on this and can be found on the links below. As my last few blogs have covered a large area of stress and mental health my plan next is to write about confidence and self-esteem around eczema.