The Liberation & Necessity of Hobby Accommodations

By Stacie Prada

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.

Image of an orange colored post-it reading "Hobby Accommodations" emphasizing the topic of guest blogger Stacie Prada

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.

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Color Your Way to Happiness

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.

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Tiny Pursuits Of Happiness

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.

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Benefits To Having a Hobby

Having a hobby can be beneficial to your health and well-being. Quoted by Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” We all have talents. Some of them might be hidden though. If you see something on TV or in a magazine that interests you, you should give it a try. You just might need to try new things to uncover your hidden talents or passions.

Hobbies provide many benefits in one’s life. Below are several reasons why you should give a new hobby a try.

A hobby can:Young Asian girl and woman painting (art)
• be pleasurable
• be gratifying
• be a great way to take a break from daily stress and give you a purpose
• be good for your mind, body and spirit
• promote eustress –  which means healthy stress that we all need to remain feeling excited about life
• open doors to making new friends with shared interests
• bring joy to your loved ones by sharing your passions with them

So, give new things a try and be open to new experiences. You may find that hobbies can bring you added joy and fulfillment. Now is a good time as any to start!

What’s your hobby?

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The Time is Ripe…Despite Multiple Sclerosis

Banana_in_hand

If you like to eat bananas, then you know that there are only a few days that they are in their prime. You go from the green tough phase, to one or two days of yellow perfection, and then the brown spots, bruises, and too sweet taste takes over.

If you eat avocados, then you know that when you buy them you have to feel them each day until they get just soft enough, and if you buy them soft, you must consume that day or miss your window of opportunity. In fact, sometimes it may seem like your avocado only has a few hour span where it is perfect for consumption.

So, what do bananas and avocados have to do with anything (aside from eating them, since they can be delicious and healthy snacks…just not served together)?

There are things in life you may want to do, but find you don’t have the time and/or the planning just never seems to work out. You know, like when you belong to a gym, but every time your schedule has an opening you are too fatigued to go. What about that painting class you wanted to take, but it is only held on a weeknight. which is really inconvenient? Sometimes you may be dealing with a banana situation where you only have one or two days which might work or an avocado situation where you feel you have mere hours to make something happen.

Yes, life is complicated and busy, and can be extremely overwhelming.  MS often throws a wrench into all of those carefully laid plans, but if there are things that you want to do: meet up with your friends, take that class, and get to the gym. Despite MS, the time is ripe to take charge and enjoy all of those things you want to do with your life. Sometimes it may take careful planning, re-prioritizing, and positive self-talk to get you there, but it’s worth trying. There may be cancelled appointments and days when you need to take a nap instead, but don’t let those days take over for planning for every other day.

After all, you probably still buy bananas even though you know you might not get to eat each one before it turns brown, and if you aren’t already acquainted, please meet your new friend guacamole.

 

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