Often the statement is said, “MS took from me…(fill in the blank)…” Multiple sclerosis takes a lot physically and emotionally, and it is frustrating and depressing. There’s no getting around the ongoing loss and grieving process of living with a chronic and progressive illness. It deserves acknowledgement and shouldn’t be minimized or dismissed.
Being optimistic and living well with MS demands immense resilience and coping skills. It also benefits from accommodations and adaptive technology. While often described and prescribed for work and personal grooming, accommodations that support ongoing participation in hobbies are especially joy-inducing. They help reduce or perhaps delay some things on the long list of things that MS took from a person.
Accommodations are crucial for how they can make an activity rewarding and fulfilling instead of a reminder of how much we can’t do anymore. Thinking about what makes an activity difficult will help determine which accommodations would be useful for an individual.
These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with ranch flavoring are amazing and easy to make. This is a quick and delicious recipe that takes Roasted Brussels Sprouts to the next level. These savory and crispy Brussels Sprouts are always a crowd favorite in my house.
Investing in a hobby welcomes joy, happiness, and relaxation into our lives. Having a hobby allows you to take a break from your day-to-day routine and carve out time to devote to yourself. Hobbies keep you in the moment, drifting your mind away and focusing on an activity that you love. Not only do purposeful activities add joy to our lives, but they are known to improve mood, mental clarity, and our overall well-being.
Art is a wonderful outlet for self-expression and creativity. Sketching is a hobby I enjoy when I need to unwind and decompress. With soft, mellow music playing in the background, my brain enters a meditative state and I feel relaxed. Being hyper-focused on the drawing allows for creative and open-ended thinking.
Having a hobby can be one of the most rewarding aspects of day-to-day life. Discovering something that you are passionate about and can do in your free time is an invaluable way to enrich your life for the better.
In our latest edition of The Motivator magazine, “The Therapeutic Value of the Arts” is explored. In this cover story, we discuss how participating in the arts can benefit individuals both mentally and physically, leading to a more positive outlook and a better quality of life. Art therapists, music therapists, and other types of therapists have worked with individuals with MS and have achieved very positive results. Music, art, photography, and writing are all explored as avenues of creativity that members of the MS community can enjoy, no matter their skill level.
Art is an excellent way to improve your well-being, regardless of your artistic experience. It promotes self-expression, mindfulness, and the reduction of stress. Although all forms of art can be beneficial and promote peace and relaxation, it is important to find an activity that brings you joy and accommodates your lifestyle. Here are some examples of therapeutic art activities that you might like:
Having a hobby is great way for anyone to disengage themselves from their regular routine and derive purpose and meaning from life. Investing your time and energy in an activity that helps you unwind can do wonders for your heart, mind, and soul.
Each year, we feature the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in our annual MSAA Art Showcase. We receive many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share the work of these artists and their inspirational stories with you, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature artist Andrea McCallum of Elko, NV: