Ahh…the holiday season! With its dazzling lights and festive cheer, the holidays can often bring a whirlwind of activities and expectations. Although it’s a joyous season, it can also bring forth chaos and stress. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and ensure a harmonious and fulfilling celebration. Here are a few strategies to help you navigate the holiday season while keeping your well-being at the forefront:Continue reading
The holiday season can be overwhelming. While I enjoy shopping, cooking, decorating, and spending time with loved ones, it can leave me drained and exhausted. The holiday season represents joy and celebration, but life has a way of challenging our plans and intentions. Taking care of ourselves is integral to enjoying this season to the fullest.
Holidays have a significant impact on our lives. Every year, I remind myself to be mindful of my spending. I get so caught up in gift exchanges and not-so-necessary decorations that I lose track of what is truly important. A present is lovely, but the gift of our presence and undivided attention is unmatched. Spending time with loved ones and being present in the moment is priceless. I must remind myself to put the phone down, set aside my worries for another day, and focus on being fully present. If a gift exchange is essential and you have a large family, we can always give a personalized homemade card or a small trinket that symbolizes your appreciation. Seasonal sales are great but be mindful of impulsive spending. Knowing our financial limits and respecting those boundaries is part of our well-being. It allows us to prioritize our expenses and financial goals.
Social expectations can be a source of stress during the holidays. We may feel pressured to participate in events or activities that do not align with our current emotional or physical wellness. I allow myself to leave social events early, take breaks, or excuse myself from them as needed. Your loved ones may be more understanding of your limits than you think. Share your feelings with them, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Sometimes, it’s essential to know the food or seating options at the event, or it may be essential to know who may attend the gathering if it contributes to an unhealthy dynamic. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and follow through with them.
For those who experience loneliness or grief during the holiday season, know that you are not alone. The absence of people or any loss in your life can be difficult this time of year. Whatever the cause of our grief is, know that it is okay to acknowledge and express it. One way to deal with these feelings is to rethink our expectations and be flexible with ourselves. These feelings are entirely valid. Seek support from friends, family, and professionals, and practice acceptance. My MSAA Community Online Forum offers a free peer-to-peer online forum for individuals with MS, their families, and their care partners to share information and their experiences with multiple sclerosis. Building connections and finding support this holiday season can be done in various ways.
Self-care has become an essential component of well-being during the holiday season. I have learned that prioritizing my needs and preferences does not have to be an added task on my to-do list. I can make small changes that have a significant impact on my health.
La época festiva puede ser abrumante. Aunque disfruto de comprar, cocinar, decorar y pasar tiempo con mis seres queridos, esto puede dejarme agotada y exhausta. La temporada festiva representa alegría y celebración, pero la vida tiene una forma de desafiar nuestros planes e intenciones. Cuidarnos es fundamental para disfrutar al máximo de esta temporada.Continue reading
Some aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS), such as muscle spasms and fatigue, are talked about often. However other symptoms are not commonly discussed.
To find out more about the people who experience those symptoms, we reached out to the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook community. We asked, “What are the MS symptoms that no one ever talks about?”
The community was inspired by this topic – nearly 200 community members responded! Here are some of the lesser-known symptoms they shared.Continue reading
Bubble baths, massages, shopping. These are just a few things that initially come to mind when I think of self-care. Self-care is often glamorized, focusing on the external material aspects that constitute treating oneself. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of all of these aspects, and I love a good shopping spree every now and then. But these aspects are just on the surface of what it really means to care for yourself.
Self-care isn’t always as luxurious as it sounds or looks on movie screens. Taking care of oneself requires dedication and discipline. I’ve found that self-care is uncovering the ugliest parts of yourself. Really getting to the root of who you are as a person, how you react to specific situations, and how you grow as an individual are just a few life-changing processes that I truly consider caring for yourself. But where does this process even begin? Visualizing the person you want to be and showing up as them every day, regardless of your current circumstances, is just one method. Much like the classic saying, “Fake it till you make it,” you are only as good as your mindset. By acting as if you are already where you want to be in life, the rest will surely catch up in due time.Continue reading
While we honor the important role of care partners throughout the year, November is an extraordinary month as we recognize National Family Caregiver’s Month. MS is unpredictable, and having a loved one diagnosed with it can be scary and overwhelming. MS symptoms may greatly vary from individual to individual. An individual with MS may need help with daily activities and these challenges might get more complex over time. Being a care partner requires a lot of patience, understanding, empathy, and flexibility. Here are some things to keep in mind as you provide care to an individual with MS:Continue reading
Featuring Barry A. Hendin, MD
MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer
Question: What types of medications are prescribed for pain in MS and what types of
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may be helpful?
Answer: Management of pain includes but is not limited to prescription medications. Our initial goal is to assess the cause of the pain and then to try to manage the pain itself. Pain in multiple sclerosis (MS) can come from lesions in the central nervous system (CNS), which produce very specific symptoms of intermittent facial pain (called trigeminal neuralgia) or burning and itching discomfort in various parts of the body.Continue reading
By Suzanne Marriott
Being my husband’s caregiver throughout his years of living with MS taught me a great deal. I discovered hidden internal resources and developed new skills that stretched my understanding of what I could do.
Through embracing the challenges of caregiving, I learned to trust myself to do what had to be done to care for my husband, Michael, despite my self-doubt and lack of experience. For example, in the latter stages of Michael’s disease, I learned to accomplish procedures that only an RN could comfortably do, such as administering IV medications and changing his Foley catheters while maintaining a sterile environment. As his condition worsened, Michael came to trust me more and more, and I was able to ensure that he received the right medical care and the right follow-up—from me.
Working within the MS community has provided me with a profound perspective on life and resilience. Each day, I witness the trials and triumphs of those living with this complex condition, and through their experiences, I have gained invaluable lessons that have reshaped my outlook on life.
The Power of Resilience: Witnessing the determination of individuals with MS has attested to the true power of resilience. Despite facing unpredictable symptoms and challenges, the strength shown by these individuals in their pursuit of a fulfilling life is nothing short of inspiring.Continue reading
Living with MS can be an ordeal of its own considering the unpredictability and uncertainty that comes with having it. MS can affect mobility, independence as well as quality of life. Symptoms may greatly vary from individual to individual. Over time, it might get harder to perform regular activities. By getting diagnosed during the earlier stages of the disease and with the appropriate treatments, an individual can live a healthy and fulfilling life.
For some individuals, the symptoms may be profound while for others it might be manifest as an invisible illness as result of which people close to you may fail to understand and acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. MS can make one feel isolated and alone. Individuals with MS want to be heard and would benefit from having a close-knit support system to vent out frustrations and anxieties whether it be friends or family.
For those who have MS, ask for help when you need it. Embrace your body’s limitations. Share your experiences and stories. Empower yourself and others by being an advocate for MS. Raise awareness of the disease and make use of the multitude of resources out there to improve the lives of those with MS. Set aside time to do things that you love and make the best out of your MS.