The Daily Battle: Living with an Illness That Doesn't Stop

Each of our experiences living with multiple sclerosis is unique to us. Some of us may battle mobility issues, others may struggle with fatigue and brain fog, and others may feel like they fall into the “all of the above category.” However, regardless of the specific details, we can all relate to the long exhausting road that it is to manage a chronic illness.

We dream of a day where we could wake up without having to think about our health. We want a day without MS as our annoying and completely unwelcomed sidekick.

MS demands so much

MS feels like it demands your attention every day of your life.

It's not like the flu, where you can take some medicine, rest for a few days, and gradually get back to your routine. Multiple sclerosis is here for the rest of our lives with a constant reminder that life is different since you first heard those words, “you have MS.”

When you need a break

So, what can you do when you desperately feel like you need some time away from MS?

Let’s talk about how to create some momentary “breathers” or breaks for us when living with this diagnosis.

As always, what works for me might not work for you, and vice a versa. But I’m sharing a couple ideas today simply to spark some inspiration. Take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t.

Spiritual practice

My faith has grown tremendously since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It helps me to remember that I can lean on a higher power for strength when I feel fatigued, overwhelmed, or weak. It helps me to remember that I don’t have to “be strong” every day. It’s okay to have a day when I can ask my higher power to be my strength and help to bring me rest and comfort.

Yoga

My favorite aspect of yoga is the fact that it connects my breath with my body. I find too often in moments of stress that I hold my breath and take more shallow breaths. This style of breathing can actually create more tension in my body – the opposite of what I want to happen.

So practicing yoga, no matter if it’s one pose or one hour of poses, can help to better connect my breath with my body, and in doing so help me to experience more physical ease. It’s far from a “day off” from MS, but it can offer a momentary sense of rest and greater ease.

Short breaks

Managing the phone calls, appointments and insurance approvals can be taxing mentally and emotionally, so some days we need to just take a break from the phone calls and appointments. Maybe you have one day a month or even one day a week, or perhaps it’s a specific hour of each day that is free from appointments, calls, or anything MS-related. Give yourself a mental break from all the to-dos.

Living with an illness like MS may not grant you the luxury of taking a day off, but it doesn't mean you can't find some breathers and relief along the way.

What helps you?

Now I want to hear from you. What helps you feel like you can get a breather or a reset when you’re feeling worn down from managing MS? Please share in the comments below, so that we can learn from you too.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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