As someone who has had psoriasis their whole life, I don’t have a particular skin care routine. So if you’re still trying to find something that works for you during the transition from summer to fall, you’re not alone. Sometimes, the search can seem never-ending.

For me, dealing with the shift between seasons has more to do with my mental health and well-being. As someone living with a chronic illness, seasonal changes can mean emotional ones. Let me explain.

I grew up in Los Angeles, where summertime means beaches, pools, and bathing suits. I had some degree of anxiety about being in the hot weather and being seen in my suit. But, to me, summer also means being around my family. I never have to explain my illness to my family.

Not only was summertime a break from the monotony and stress of school, but it was also a couple of months away from the social pressure and bullying at school.

As I get older, I think more about what summer means to me now. How I experienced it as a child is different from now. I guess because as a kid, summer is an experience. It’s time away from responsibility to do whatever you want. As an adult, the only thing summer brings is hotter weather.

You still need time to recharge when you’re a grownup. This is especially true if you’re living with a chronic condition like psoriasis but applies to everyone. I wish there were such a thing as a summer break for adults — a timeout from life to focus on healing, self-care, and seasonal transitions.

But, that’s not reality. So what can you do? You have to live a life that makes the most sense for you. Create an environment where you feel balanced and free. Take a job somewhere that understands your needs and the needs of your condition. You need to be able to advocate for your health.

This is when you should lean on your loved ones and the support of the psoriasis community. Allow others to help you learn to put your health above everything else. Your health is the most important thing.

Ciena Rae is an actor, writer and psoriasis advocate whose work became widely recognized online after her Instagram page was featured on HelloGiggles. She first started posting about her skin in college, where she majored in art and technology. She built a portfolio of experimental music, film, poetry, and performance. Today she works as an actor, influencer, writer, and impassioned documentarian. She is currently producing a documentary series which aims to shed light on what it means to live with a chronic illness.