3 Reasons Why Christmas With Psoriasis Can Suck
I did not intend to write a “negative” post about Christmas but I think many of you will resonate with its content.
Every year, except for the past two I have dreaded Christmas as I know I am setting my self up for a psoriasis flare up. Also coupled with all the expected niceties of Christmas season and the financial pressures leads to more stress and less control over your average everyday activities.
I am hoping that if you can identify why Christmas sucks for your psoriasis you will be in a better position to do something about it.
Here are my 3 main reasons why Christmas with psoriasis can suck.
1. Your routine disappears
One of the best tools to combating your psoriasis is creating a routine that eliminates stress from your life. I can’t prove it but I think people with psoriasis tend to over think and over analyse everything.
This leads to increased stress levels caused by subconscious worrying. One way to fight this is to develop routines so all your daily and weekly activities become second nature to you.
At Christmas time, we have to travel to be with our family and friends, which upsets our normal routine. We also have to head into town to buy presents in overcrowded shopping streets and malls. So many extra “jobs” have to be done which all tend to increase your stress levels whether you notice it or not.
2. Impossible to keep good food habits
Two weeks before Christmas and all you see floating around the office are chocolate sweets, mince pies, Christmas cakes, chocolate liquors and the list goes on. Not only that but you have to attend a couple of lunch functions and Christmas parties in the evening time. If you are in sales, then you are sure to be invited to numerous client Christmas parties.
If you follow my smart psoriasis diet plan (or any recognized psoriasis diet), we all agree on an anti inflammatory type diet. Christmas however is the season of high inflammation when it comes to food. So many delicious treats to have, and you can guarantee it will be processed and rammed with sugar.
Another issue is when you travel home to family for the holidays. You are not in control of what you eat. Also most homes in the Western World consume way too much wheat products. I know in my case, my family eat bread with breakfast, supper and sometimes with dinner.
Wheat/gluten is my biggest trigger food, but trying to convince my parents that bread is bad for my skin is surprisingly hard. Also I feel bad asking my parents to have certain food in the cupboards that they would never consume 51 other weeks of the year when I am not there.
3. Alcohol, the cause off… and solution to… all of life’s problems!
Over the past 2 weeks I attended 4 Christmas parties. I over indulged in alcohol. It is my biggest weakness and up there with gluten when it comes to triggering a psoriasis outbreak. All alcohol does is put toxins into your body that causes inflammation and really messes with your digestive system when you abuse your body through binge drinking.
Temptation is everywhere during the festive season. Even over the last two days, shop assistants were falling over themselves trying to offer a Christmas drink as I slogged through the crowds to do some final Christmas shopping.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the good times over the festive season when you meet up with family and friends. But if you drink too much it’s just going to cause a flare up and then affect your mental state when it can’t easily be hidden from public view. This may then cause you to avoid certain social occasions that you would have attended without question if your psoriasis was under control.
How to control your psoriasis while enjoying your Christmas
Firstly understand that enjoying the Christmas season when you have psoriasis means a trade off – If you want to enjoy yourself a lot, then be mentally prepared to accept the consequences, i.e your psoriasis will without doubt flare up.
The following only applies to people with mild psoriasis who are in tune with their body and can control their skin through diet, shakes and supplements.
If you have moderate to severe psoriasis then please stick to the smart psoriasis diet plan and look forward to the following year when you are in full control of your psoriasis.
- Plan out your Christmas parties at start of December if possible – Try and space out your parties to at least 5 days apart (You will need sleep to recover properly)
- If you have to attend parties 2 days in a row, then consider being very disciplined and alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water or not drink alcohol at all on one of the nights
- Stick to the “cleaner” drinks – Forget beer and whiskeys. Red wine can be OK but I recommend drinking gin and tonics with a slice of lime or lemon. Personal experiments have shown that this drink in moderation has the least impact on my psoriasis. I’d love to hear other peoples thoughts on this
- ENSURE you take your daily supplements – Especially the vitamin d3, strong multivitamin and fish oil supplements
- Drink plenty of water everyday and start drinking raw vegetable shakes every day
- Try and stay as disciplined as possible with your food choices. Eat more salads, avoid all the sugar treats if possible
- Try and get a workout or two into your schedule. It will sweat out a lot of toxins
- Plan your trips home to family by bringing safe foods that you can eat when peckish. Don’t rely on your family to read your mind and have lots of fruit, veg, salad and grass fed meat and fish in the pantry!
Obviously, if you have the discipline not to drink or stray from a good psoriasis diet you do not need to adhere to my advice above, but expect a more tranquil Christmas. If you have moderate to severe psoriasis than I would advise to have a quiet Christmas and not party it up.
All the best for 2014!