Finding a balance in your life between your obligations and what you enjoy doing can help you manage your pain when you have psoriatic arthritis.

Being overcommitted and running from one activity to the next may make you feel tired and frustrated, leading to more pain. Spending too much unproductive time alone can make you feel isolated and allow you to focus on your pain. The answer is to find the right balance.

Here are some tips for planning your days so that they incorporate a mix of activity and rest so that you have the time and energy for what's important to you.

  • Evaluate your habits. Think of a typical day and the activities you need to get done. See if you can spot patterns that contribute to feeling tired and having more pain. For example, maybe you work through lunch to get more done, but find yourself out of energy by the afternoon. These patterns might signal a good place to add some balance, such as meeting a friend for lunch or taking a break from work for some deep breathing exercises.
  • Create a schedule. Keep a list, calendar or planner to help you keep track of the things you need to accomplish, including work tasks, chores at home, and things you do for fun or relaxation.
  • Prioritize what's important. Focus on the tasks that are most important to you. Let go of the tasks that are less important.
  • Delegate when you can. Ask for help or allow others to take over certain tasks. It will create more time for the important tasks you need to do and help relieve stress.
  • Make time for relaxing. Taking care of yourself is an important task to include in your schedule. Leisure time can help reduce stress and provide enjoyment. Make room for leisure in your schedule, but not too much time. See if you can find opportunities for it throughout your day, such as taking a short walk in the morning and meeting friends for coffee in the afternoon.
  • Look for wasted time. Think about idle time in your schedule when you could be doing something more productive. For example, use time spent riding the bus to work or waiting in a doctor's office to work on your grocery list or balance your checkbook.

Continually evaluate your schedule. Do you feel accomplishment at the end of most days? Or do you feel as if you run out of energy before you can get everything done? If your expectations aren't matching what you're able to accomplish, it may be time to rethink your schedule to add more balance or reprioritize your tasks.

Oct. 01, 2020