How to boost confidence and self-esteem
If you have psoriasis it is important to stay positive and not let your happiness depend on how your skin looks.1 There are things you can do to help you feel more at ease and make sure that your psoriasis doesn't stop you from doing the things you want to do.
You're more likely to worry about what your skin looks like when you don't feel so good about yourself in other ways
Focus on the positives
Building up your self-esteem is a great way to help you feel good about yourself.2 Why not try some of these techniques:
- Accept your psoriasis as part of who you are. If you accept that your symptoms may always remain with you, or recur at any point, it will be easier to get on with your life despite your psoriasis.1,3
- Be your own best friend. Imagine you are talking to a good friend. What advice would they give you? Chances are they would remind you of your good points and why they like you. Now, imagine you are your own best friend, and offer yourself a little kindness and compassion.2,4
- Make a list of all your positive characteristics. Write down all the things you like about yourself e.g. you’re a good listener, you’re caring, you’re creative, you’re imaginative. Whenever you feel down, just looking at your list will help you to feel better about yourself.2,4
- Take care of yourself physically. Being physically active can lift your mood and improve self-esteem.4 This is because when you exercise your body releases endorphins (chemicals that make you feel good).5 Having a healthy diet is good for your overall wellbeing4 and can improve your psoriasis symptoms.6 Try to get a good night’s sleep. Poor quality sleep can leave you exhausted and stressed4 which can make your psoriasis worse.7
- Plan activities you enjoy. Make time in the week for yourself and doing activities you enjoy. Read a good book, see a film or spend time with friends and family that value you and make you feel good. Allowing yourself time for fun activities will boost your mood.2,8
- Say yes to social events. There's no point sitting at home just because you're worried about your skin. The more you isolate yourself, the more likely you are to feel bad about being left out. You will also be depriving yourself from having support from friends and having fun.1,2
- Take up new activities. Try out some new recipes, join a book or film club, or take up a new interest that will get you more involved with others and help you to work towards a new goal to lift your spirits.2
- Celebrate success. Even small achievements can make a big difference to your confidence. Every day, write down two or three things you have achieved, however small they may be.4
Happiness is a combination of pleasure and purpose.8 You can take control of your happiness by planning activities into your day that will give you pleasure and activities that will give you purpose, in the right balance.8
Track your progress
It is easy to dwell on the negative and lose track of how much improvement you have already made. You might find it useful to give your symptoms (physical and emotional) a score from 0-4 (from none to severe).
In time you should notice improvements. Look back at your scores next time you're feeling down and remind yourself of how far you have come.
Keep a mood diary
Record what, when and why negative emotions come up, and any circumstances or thoughts associated with them. If you notice any patterns, you can come up with solutions and set realistic goals. Remember that with a chronic condition such as psoriasis, you will have good days as well as bad days.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
UK/IE MAT-26898 Date of prep: July 2019
- Recreational activities, relationships and everyday life with psoriasis. IQWiG. 2017. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK435707/ (accessed July 2019).
- www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/raising-low-self-esteem/ (accessed July 2019).
- A Tuckman. Dermatol Ther 2017; 7(Suppl 1): S53-7.
- www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/tips-to-improve-your-self-esteem/#.XSg07i2ZOi (accessed July 2019).
- www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/living-with/ (accessed July 2019).
- www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis#psoriasis-treatment (accessed July 2019).
- www.psoriasis.org/advance/tips-for-better-sleep-with-psoriatic-disease/ (accessed July 2019).
- P Dolan. Happiness by Design. 2014. ISBN: 978-0-241-00310-7 (accessed July 2019).