6 Tips for Mental Wellbeing When Living with Psoriatic Disease

29 October 2022

By Rome Naidoo

Rome Naidoo is a Compassion Course Facilitator for Medical students at the University of Cape Town.


Mental health is just as important as physical health, yet it's often overlooked. Psoriatic disease can have an enormous impact on your mental health causing stress and anxiety. Implementing the 6 following tips into your daily routine will empower and help you to feel more in control of your emotions and allow you to live a happier, healthier life!

Get enough sleep

Anyone who has ever tried to get a good night's sleep knows that it can be a challenge, and for people living with psoriatic disease, it can be even harder. According to a recent study[i], people with psoriatic disease are more likely to have sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. This is not surprising, as the symptoms of psoriasis can be uncomfortable and even painful. The good news is that there are ways to enhance your sleeping to get the rest you need.

  • Try to establish a regular sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
  • Create an environment that promotes relaxation. This means keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Both substances can interfere with your sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help relieve stress and promote better sleep.
  • Do breathing exercises. Try for example “Box breathing”: exhale while counting to four, hold it with empty lungs while counting to four, inhale while counting to four and hold it with full lungs while counting to four. The exercise has been shown to make it easier to fall asleep, especially when you are feeling stressed.


Living with psoriatic disease means you have to deal with the physical symptoms, feeling of isolation as well as the impact the disease has on your mental health. It can be tempting to just give up and accept a sedentary lifestyle, but that's not going to do your mental or physical health any good. So how can you make sure you're getting enough exercise when you have psoriatic disease?

  • Find an activity that you enjoy and that doesn't make your symptoms worse. If your skin is particularly sensitive, stick to low-impact activities like walking or swimming.
  • Don't try to do too much too soon. Start slowly and build up gradually.
  • Be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
  • Get help from your healthcare provider to find out what kind of exercise is right for you. With a little trial and error, you will find an exercise routine that works for you and helps you manage your psoriasis.

Eat healthy

Eating nutritious foods helps your body to function at its best. But eating healthy isn't always easy. Here are a few tips to help you make sure you're getting the nutrients you need.

  • Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
  • Eat a variety of foods. This will help ensure that you're getting all the nutrients your body needs.
  • Make sure you're getting enough protein. Protein is essential for healing and repair, so it's important to include plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet. E.g. meats, fish, almonds, guava, peanuts, lentils.
  • Include healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats are important for keeping your skin hydrated and for reducing inflammation. E.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, salmon, olive oil, coconut oil, cacao butter.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps to flush toxins from your body and keep your skin hydrated.

Take breaks

Plan for breaks and take a few minutes to relax and rejuvenate. Here are a few tips on what you can do on your breaks.

  • Take a warm soothing bath: Remember to ensure your skin and bath regimen include a moisturizer that will keep your skin feeling hydrated sometimes the skin and psoriasis scales can be relieved by moisturizer. Especially for persons with skin that may tend to dry quickly remember shorter baths . (15mins) are best.
  • Read your favourite book.
  • Take a walk outdoors.
  • Take a "nature bathe” - this is an ancient practice used in many places of the world. It means relaxing in a forest atmosphere.

Connect with loved ones

Spending time with loved ones can help reduce stress and promote positive emotions. Whether you stay in touch via text, social media, or in person, quality time with those you care about is crucial for a healthy mind.

  • Make a list of people you will contact when you feel you need to talk.
  • Express your appreciation: telling your loved ones how much you appreciate their support keeps the relationship feeling balanced.
  • Take walks in nature, exercise or have a healthy meal with a loved one.

Seek professional help and join a support group

If you’re struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, don’t hesitate to get professional help. They can provide you with the tools and resources you need to improve your mental well-being.

Also, realizing you are not alone in your challenges can be mentally strengthening. Hearing someone else’s story, sharing your own story, and connecting in a group with people going through similar hardships can really help. Find your local support group, start looking for national patient organisations at IFPA’s website.

[i] Psoriasis and sleep disorders: A systematic review, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.go...