MS and Self-Care During the Quarantine

A woman as a potted plant watering herself to grow healthy

For most people, living through the quarantine is one of the most challenging and unnerving experiences ever. And yet, it can also be a time of boredom, as many are kept away from the places of everyday routines, from gyms to community pools.

To not just make it through but thrive during this time requires a heightened attention to self-care.

To hear more about how those in the multiple sclerosis community are handling these trying times, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page, and we asked: “How have you been practicing self-care during quarantine?”

More than 50 community members responded, and here is what was shared.

“Getting outside to walk.”

The number one response was exercise. According to the community, exercise is one of the best ways to feel good. Movement, whether it’s walking, cycling indoors or out or yoga can do wonders to lift the mood, increase circulation and help the body feel healthy. Suggestions for activity for people with MS include online yoga, exercise bikes, stretching and walking.

“Getting outside to walk the pups.”

“I walk. When I get home, I go back out and walk. I repeat and do it again.”

“Exercise and positive thoughts!”

“Just finishing yoga on Zoom.”

“Living my normal life but got the exercise bike out of the basement and have been riding up to 5 miles per day.”

“We are eating healthy to avoid inflammation.”

Diet plays a key role in how someone feels each day. For anyone with MS, diet is all the more important. Avoiding certain foods, including flour and sugar, can decrease inflammation and help someone with MS feel much better. During stressful times such as this, it can be tempting to turn to sweets and comfort foods, but those deliver a short feel-good high, and incur lasting damage on the body. When possible, replace stress-eating with exercise, sitting outdoors, calling a friend, or anything else that helps you feel at peace.

“We are eating healthy to avoid inflammation.”

“Still doing my morning elixir as always: warm lemon water, raw turmeric, raw honey, black pepper and organic cinnamon.”

“Making art!”

Another popular answer was art. Art is its own version of therapy, allowing artists to express feelings and thoughts while exercising their powers of creativity. Plus, art projects can be fun and relaxing and often produce something beautiful at the end. Note that anyone can enjoy art projects, regardless of previous experience.

“Adult coloring books and glitter pens! I find it super relaxing. I can just shut off my brain and color!”

“I still keep doing my beading jewelry making while watching TV.”

“Making art!”</em<

“We keep busy with gardening.”

Gardening is such a wonderful escape. Playing in the dirt connects us with something primitive and instinctual. Plus, it takes us outside, where we can appreciate the breeze, the smell of flowers and other small joys that keep us in the present.

“My neighbor worked up a spot in my back yard for a small vegetable garden. It has totally brought my stress level down! I go out there every day. Great for my mind, body, and spirit!”

“We keep busy with gardening and landscaping, and catching up in that ever-growing to-do list.”

We want to say thank you to everyone who shared. We appreciate all the suggestions on how to take care of oneself during this time.

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