6 Self-Care Tips for Managing Multiple Sclerosis

As the field of medicine advances, the average life expectancy of people with multiple sclerosis is increasing. The latest medications, therapies, and strategies ensure those with the illness can go about their days in comfort. It also means that those with MS are, on average, leading longer, more fulfilling, and more independent lives.

Doctors believe many people living with MS can improve their quality of life even further through acts of self-care.

Multiple Sclerosis self-care looks a little different than self-care for the general population, however! You’ll need to take your illness’s unique symptoms and presentation into account.

With that said, your lifestyle choices can play a major role in your ability to manage multiple sclerosis and thrive. Continue reading to learn 6 simple acts of self-care you can implement today to live more comfortably with MS.

1. Spend Time in the Sunshine

Up to 80% of people living with MS experience temperature sensitivity. As a result, your impulse may be to avoid the sun. The truth is, doctors advise people with MS to do the opposite! Research suggests that Vitamin D can slow the progression of your illness and keep you feeling better for longer.

When the temperature isn’t too high, consider spending time in the sunshine and taking in those rays! Not only is it good for MS, but it can also help your body produce serotonin, boosting your overall mood. Make sure to hydrate and listen to your body. If you start feeling uncomfortable, head inside and relax in front of the fan!

2. Enjoy a Puzzle

The human brain is resilient. Even the brains of those with MS have the power to build new mental pathways over time. Your brain’s ability to adapt is called neuroplasticity. Boosting your neuroplasticity can be one of the most fun parts of the management of multiple sclerosis!

Nearly every type of puzzle has the ability to help your brain rewire itself. Consider adding a daily word scramble, crossword puzzle, or Sudoku to your daily routine. You can spend time with loved ones working on a jigsaw puzzle each evening. Give your brain some exercise and learn how resilient you really are!

3. Work Smarter, Not Harder

One of the most common MS symptoms is fatigue. One of the biggest lessons of effective multiple sclerosis management is learning to find balance in your daily routines. If you use up all your daily energy on work or chores, you won’t have as much time to enjoy your friends and family.

With that in mind, MS self-care can be something as small as giving yourself permission to take a break. Many people with MS find success by setting a time limit for a challenging or time-consuming task. If the task is taking longer than the time you designated, it’s time to ask for help!

4. Eat to Optimize Your Health

A man with MS smiles while relaxing in the sun Some people think self-care means buying yourself a little treat. In reality, true self-care means doing what’s best for your body while it’s under stress. A latte or candy is great in moderation. Still, the best self-care involves being thoughtful about your overall diet.

For those with MS, a healthier diet can also help you avoid metabolic syndrome. It’s a series of symptoms that can lead to health complications like diabetes. While there is no one “MS diet,” try to incorporate low-fat, high-fiber foods. Prioritize vitamins, which can also help fight fatigue.

And don’t forget Tip #3. Take advantage of pre-cut fruits and veggies at the store so you can enjoy more nutrients with less work!

5. Take a Class

Taking a class is a double-whammy when it comes to better living with MS, as it can support your brain and your body! You’ll work on your neuroplasticity as you learn and internalize something new.

Fitness classes, in particular, can help increase your overall wellness and your mood. Consider a dance or yoga class. You’ll connect with your body while practicing mental skills like memorization and sequencing.

Plus, attending a class is a great way to get to know new people and expand your social circle. Putting a class on the calendar is a great way to ensure you budget energy for socialization.

6. Embrace Assistive Technology

Our final tip for managing multiple sclerosis through self-care is another way to work smarter, not harder. Do your best to destigmatize any feelings you have about using assistive technology or mobility aids. Walkers, crutches, canes, or scooters can make high-energy tasks more manageable.

Mobility devices can help you optimize your daily energy so you can do more, even with pain or fatigue. They can also help you prevent falls. Give yourself grace and allow yourself to rely on these tools to enhance your quality of life.

If you already use mobility aids, consider leveling up with a walking coach like NexStride. It’s a small device that attaches to your walker or cane. It uses light and sound cues to help your brain and body work together to achieve more seamless mobility.

Make NexStride part of your multiple sclerosis self-care routine. Learn more about how NexStride can help keep you moving ahead.

Petra

Petra

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