For people who are suffering from uncomfortable eczema symptoms, it’s crucial to remember to take care not just of your body, but to also support your mental health. After all, it’s easier to go through situations when you are able to maintain a good attitude.
If you’re new to eczema and have noticed that sometimes you aren’t feeling at your best level of mental health, here are five tips to help you stay positive, that you can start using today!
- Acceptance is the First Step
Individuals who have recently been diagnosed with eczema may need a bit of time just to get used to the idea that this is a real condition they need to address. Health Central weighed in on the topic, explaining that while people may want to just wish they didn’t have this skin condition, it’s essential to be honest with yourself.
Recognizing that you have eczema and fully accepting this is your new reality may take a few months or even years, but this acknowledgment means you can be realistic about what it means for your physical and mental health. Then, you can start trying different techniques to manage your attitude about eczema and the flare-ups you’ll experience from time to time.
- Visualization and Meditation
If you’ve never tried meditation or visualization techniques, you should know that they are a great way to help you focus and relax, which will reduce stress and can do wonders for lifting your mood. The National Eczema Association recommends that people give guided imagery a chance.
Describing it as being like taking a vacation in your own mind, the NEA suggests that you pretend you are in a nice location, and use all of your senses to fill in the details. For example, if you imagine you are relaxing at the beach, you will smell the salty air, hear seagulls calling out as they fly overhead, and you’ll feel the ocean waves as they hit your legs.
Another approach is to schedule time to meditate regularly, lowering your breathing rate and slowing down. Being mindful like this helps to reduce stress.
- Control Physical Symptoms to Protect Mental Health
One of the problems with eczema is that the unpleasant physical sensations themselves can damage a person’s mental health.
As WebMD points out, since our skin is the largest organ of the human body, when there are problems with how it looks, there can be a damaging psychological toll. That is, individuals sometimes feel lowered self-confidence, which can lead to feelings of depression.
Adults and children with eczema tend to have a higher rate of ADHD, depression, anxiety as well as disturbed sleep, per WebMD. When you cannot hide the fact that you’re scratching an uncontrollable itch in public, stress rises and mental health can suffer further.
That’s why experts recommend that you use lotions and soothing creams and avoid triggers like excess heat and sweating, to keep your eczema symptoms in check. Doing so is key for maintaining positive mental health.
- Indulge in Your Creative Side
Focusing on a fun, creative project can take your mind off of your painful symptoms. Eczema patients can enjoy learning a new hobby, such as painting, drawing or making crafts. Not only do you occupy your mind with something fun and productive, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
You could join a cooking class to learn new skills, which will both distract you as well as make you happy when you get to taste your new culinary creations and share them with others.
Combining a hobby with some kind of community-minded activity could make you feel even better, such as knitting booties for children staying in a shelter.
- Find a Mental Health Counselor
If you are in need of someone to talk with about any uncomfortable feelings you are having as you contend with eczema symptoms, it’s a good idea to locate a mental heath counselor and arrange an appointment for a consultation. Sometimes an experienced and sympathetic ear is just what’s needed to bring mental balance back into place. That’s the advice of EverydayHealth, which pointed out the benefits of adding a mental health counselor to your eczema healthcare team (along with a dermatologist and allergist).
For people who have recently been diagnosed with eczema and who are having difficulty managing symptoms, a counselor can provide insight that will make the experience much more tolerable. And this is important for reducing stress overall, which itself can make eczema feel worse.
Staying Positive to Get Through Eczema Flare-ups More Easily
Hopefully these mental health tips will help with you with staying positive whenever eczema flare-ups occur. A person’s attitude does play a role in mental well-being, and it’s great that there are things you can do to make an improvement in your mindset.
As always, we would love to hear from you. Please share your experiences about taking care of yourself during eczema symptoms by making a comment below.