Managing Eczema and Stress During COVID-19
We are living during an unprecedented time. Schools have closed, sporting events have been canceled, and we’ve now been introduced to new terms like “self-isolation” and “social-distancing.” It can be stressful, but it’s important to remember that like all difficult times, this too shall pass.
Heightened stress in 2020
I’ve found 2020 to be a very stressful year in general, but this new pandemic has heavily contributed to an increase in strong emotions. As eczema patients, it’s important to keep a positive outlook on life with everything going on. The last thing we want is for our skin to flare, right?
Coping mechanisms to reduce stress-related eczema flares
Certain coping mechanisms that may have worked in the past, like visiting with friends, are now out of the picture, so we must adapt! Here are a few things I am doing to help keep my stress levels and eczema flares to a minimum during this trying time.
Go for a walk
This first one might seem pretty basic. Well, in my world, going for a walk has a double benefit. Not only do I get to enjoy some fresh air, but I also get to walk around the neighborhood I just moved into. It’s just a simple and enjoyable way to get out of the house and keep my mind off my skin and our current situation. I like to think of it as a mini-adventure.
Read a book
Enjoying a good book is a great way to transport your mind to a new world and off your eczema-related stress. It also allows for an opportunity to keep your brain sharp, and depending on the topic, can be used as a tool for self-growth. I have bad anxiety, so I have been reading about strategies I can implement to better myself, all while staying in the comfort of my own home. If you’re not into reading, there is a great selection of audiobooks online. If you'd like to give audiobooks a try, Audible offers promotions at various times throughout the year.
Write in a journal
This is something I have recently tried for the first time. I’ve always had a little apprehension, but I figure with everything going on in my life, it would be a good outlet for how I’m feeling. I take 15 minutes out of my day for some uninterrupted time and let my emotions and feelings pour out on to the pages. I’ve found that it has been a very cathartic experience for me and that I feel better once my thoughts are on paper.
Whether it’s taking a bath, treating my skin during a bad flare-up, or cooking a healthy meal to nourish my body, I like to take part in some activities that promote a better me. They don’t have to be anything complicated. I just make a point to focus on taking some small steps in the right direction.
FaceTime a friend
Out of all of these suggestions, this one is probably my favorite. FaceTime has allowed me to reconnect with old friends and remain close to ones that live across the country. The fun is often magnified when a whole group of us can get together to catch up. Isolation isn’t good for us as humans, especially since we’re social beings, so this has been a nice substitute for human interaction during these difficult times.
What are some strategies that you’ve used to diffuse your eczema related stress during the pandemic?
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?