DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been feeling overwhelmed by work, family, bills -- everything. Recently, I have developed a skin rash that I feel certain is due to my nerves. Whenever I start thinking about all of the responsibilities I have and what I am juggling as the eldest in a family of people who do not have their stuff together, I begin to itch. It’s awful. I have scratched the skin on my arm and ankle raw. When I was a kid, I had eczema, but that was so long ago. I’m worried that it has come back. I don’t have time to go to a dermatologist, though. It’s hard enough to get an appointment for the regular doctor. Just thinking about what to do is giving me anxiety. Do you have any ideas? -- Itchy
DEAR ITCHY: You need to see a doctor. Your primary care physician may be able to help you, or you might even try a walk-in facility. Do your best to see a medical professional at once. Explain your situation thoroughly, and show the evidence. It could be as simple as getting a prescription for a soothing ointment, or you may find you need other support.
On your own, build self-care activities into your schedule. Can you take a daily walk, even if it’s short? Add more water to your routine. Pick a hobby that can occupy some of your attention. Carve out some alone time when you feel less pressure to perform. Slowly deal with each of your duties so that you can get a handle on things.