caret icon Back to all discussions

Balance: How do you balance your health needs with life?

Hey MS pals, I’m wondering if you have any tried and true strategies for taking care of yourselves? I find that taking care of myself would be a full time job if I had resources (time and money) to be able to. I got to thinking about it when my new chiro suggested I couple my chiro appointments with physio for a more effective movement treatment plan. But life doesn’t allow for two sessions like this weekly/biweekly, let alone the fact that both of those things poop me out for the rest of the day. Do you prioritize your health? How do you fit it all in?

  1. this is such an important topic and all too common struggle with MS. If you have the time, you don't always have the energy... and if you have the time, you don't always have the energy. Managing a chronic condition can definitely feel like a full time job. And the fatigue and brain fog can make it feel like a full time job that constantly demands overtime!

    I would say the thing that I have changed most significantly is to try to simplify life as much as possible. That could mean simplifying my schedule as well as simplifying my home. I know it sounds kind of generic, but I think the biggest thing is not trying to maintain the life that you had prior to your diagnosis.

    When a chronic illness comes into the picture, you have to make space for it. Something has to give and if we don't make the space for it, it can stop us in our tracks. (By the way, I'm saying this just as much to myself too!)

    I'm looking forward to hearing what others will share in this discussion too!
    - Alene, moderator

    1. Great question! Here's a not-exhaustive list of things I do:

      - Keep a regular daily routine, up at the same time, bed at the same time.
      - Swear by physical therapy and speech therapy! They set me up for a whole year.
      - Eat a mostly vegetarian diet.
      - Walk every day.
      - Work in the morning since that is when I'm at my cognitive best.
      - Lost 40 lbs this year and I feel so much better, so I'll keep it off.
      - Listen to jazz every day. It brings me joy and wonderful memories.
      - Play my flute and piano from time to time. It brings me joy and wonderful memories.
      - Write every day. I'm a writer! it makes me feel like myself.
      - Approach each day and each person with childlike enthusiasm and cheeriness.
      - Take great care using my cane, getting up and sitting down slowly, pivoting, etc.
      - Socialize every day. It's easy to do, living in a senior community. I have lovely friends here.

      Please read our rules before posting.