Members of the PsA Healthline community share tips for making self-care a part of their daily routine.

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When you live with a chronic condition like psoriatic arthritis (PsA), making time to practice self-care is essential. Often, however, this is much easier said than done.

It can be hard to prioritize self-care when it feels like the other items on your to-do list are more time-sensitive.

It’s important to remember that investing in self-care can actually help you to feel better and be more productive in the long run.

Keeping up with work or family responsibilities can become much more challenging if your emotional and physical needs are not being addressed.

The PsA Healthline community understands just how hard it can be to find time for self-care with a chronic condition. Six members shared their tips for how they fit self-care into their daily routines.

“I think the most important thing about practicing self-care with psoriatic arthritis is to be kind to yourself.

“Address the judgmental self-talk first. It can be hard to just pause your life to accommodate your physical or emotional needs, but we have to remember that our bodies and health are our responsibility.

“We need to be our own No. 1 supporter. Guilt has no place in self-care.” — @AimeeStephaniePerez

“I’ve been just feeling down all week. Today I forced myself out of the house, and I’m glad that I did. It’s a beautiful day. Cleaning the car was therapeutic.

“Now I’m doing a little shopping. Sometimes we just have to push through the tough days!” — Spottietoohottie

“If I know I overdid it, I like to ice the parts of my body that will most likely hurt the most. I also rest as much as possible to try and counteract the strain I put on my body. So far it seems to help.” — Cailey Barham

“Try to think of creative ways to ‘save your spoons‘. For me, I can either take a bus to work from the parking lot or walk for 13 minutes.

“Often, I’ll choose to take the bus knowing that it’ll save my energy for other things I know I’ll have to do during the day.

“Have the option to take the stairs or the elevator? Maybe take the elevator so you can save your energy for something else you need to do!” — Jenny Parker, PsA Healthline community guide

“In the past, ​I have pushed myself too much and almost made myself physically sick. Now I push myself, but not like I used to. I try to listen to my body more and just do what I can.

“I have always been a busy person, and it is hard for me to realize I have limits.” — Brenda L.

“I got a massage gun for my birthday. When I am having a bad flare I’ve been using it on my neck, shoulders, and calves before going to bed.

“I’ve definitely been sleeping better and not waking up as much due to painful muscle spasms.” — Rachdurgin

It’s important to remember that self-care is a practice. Finding small ways to make time for yourself day after day is all it takes to start making self-care part of your routine.

Everybody has different needs when it comes to self-care, and the way you practice may change on a daily or monthly basis.

Sometimes self-care is taking a nap after a tiring outing or making time to catch up with a friend on the phone. Self-care can be listening to a guided meditation or going for a walk to get some fresh air.

Self-care can be turning down an invitation to a social event. It can even be making a budget to avoid future stress when it comes time to pay your bills.

If you are looking to prioritize self-care, you’re definitely not alone. Filling out a self-care checklist can be a great place to start if you are feeling lost or overwhelmed about self-care.

For more tips about practicing self-care or about navigating other aspects of life with psoriatic arthritis, the PsA Healthline community is here to help.

Elinor Hills is an associate editor at Healthline. She’s passionate about the intersection of emotional well-being and physical health as well as how individuals form connections through shared medical experiences. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, photography, drawing, and spending way too much of her time running.