Five Ways To Help You Feel Less Overwhelmed With MS And Stress

After listing our house to sell over two years ago it finally sold. Before I go on let me say that moving is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I love the dream home we built. I was pregnant when we purchased the land and we began building our accessible ranch.

great room

Surrounded by woods, with wall-to-wall windows in our great room, we’ve been privileged and blessed to watch nature 24/7 in all its glory.

It’s the house where our son grew up, where we had birthday parties and holiday celebrations and laughter and tears. It’s also where we adopted our first cats.

It’s the house my father planted 16 Chinese peony plants along our driveway because he wanted his daughter to be surrounded by beauty.

But it’s time to move and it’s breaking my heart. I know I’ve been blessed to live here for 22 years, but I can’t get past the fact that I’ll never live here again.

I’ve become my own worst enemy; I can’t let go.

The anxiety, heartache and sadness I feel is causing my legs to tingle and my fatigue to be my constant companion. I feel as if I’m teetering between despair and depression and I’m scared of the ride. To make matters worse we don’t have a home to move to, and the search has been stressful.

What do you do when your emotions spin out-of-control?

Negative emotions can cause illness. According to the website bodyandsoul.com:

“Modern science confirms what most of us know: negative emotions can make you ill. The neurotransmitters that fire in the brain also connect with hormones, immune cells and organs, contributing to disease and poor health. However, the news is not all bad. Just as negative emotions and attitudes can create disease, positive emotions and uplifting thoughts are able to create good health.”

I am trying my best to feel better. My MS is screaming at me to do it as fast as I can. So here are a few ways I’m trying to kick my emotions back into shape:

Yoga

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: My gentle yoga class grounds me spiritually and I feel more balanced emotionally and physically. Without realizing it I’m leaning on lessons I’ve learned in class. They help me tolerate the difficulties of the outside world. Stand tall, focus on your breathing, find your inner peace and always be kind to yourself.

Meditation

I’ve learned to breathe in on the count of 4 and out on the count of 8. I’ve learned that as I breathe I need to focus on mantras such as the word “Om” or “Ham Sah” to help clear my mind of any clutter. Meditation can alleviate stress, improve concentration, increase happiness and improve overall immune health.

Supplements

Instead of taking more medications I take several supplements that may curb feelings of anxiety or situational depression: SAMe (enteric coated, 400 mg/day), L-Theanine (on an empty stomach) and Holy Basil (after a meal.) Take a look at what Dr. Andrew Weil says about emotional health and natural depression treatments. Speak with your doctor before using any supplements. What I take may not be right for you.

Do the Best You Can

As I said with my yoga mantra, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can. Life can be difficult and with MS it is even harder.

Reaching Out

I don’t know what I would do without my husband and son. They are my best friends and love me unconditionally. I also turn to my dearest friends for heart-to-heart chats. I’ve gone back to therapy. There is absolutely no shame in that. Finding the right psychologist is key to creating part of your wellness team. They are there to help you through the rough patches of life. Since I am Medicare, with no secondary insurance, I was blessed to find someone who is both excellent and accepts whatever Medicare pays her. She is a godsend.

Life is all about ups and downs and multiple sclerosis is all about unpredictability. We need to do whatever it takes to help us stay as strong as we can. Namaste.

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.

Comments

View Comments (9)
  • SweetSunshine
    1 year ago

    Hi Cathy Chester
    I Totally Understand Your Emotional attachment to your home. And on the Bright side, it’s those memories and photos that keep our Hearts full.
    We sold Our Home (A Ranch Style) 1400sqft. And moved into a 1937 Colonial 2 Story. I know it seems a bit backwards for having MS. But I realized I felt locked up in 2 bd 2 Bath Condo. The quite large upper patio would have been someone’s Dream( it was above a 2 car garage) but most days it was so hot and Humid that I couldn’t go out to enjoy it. There was no room for a craft room, so if I was in a Creative mood by the time I was done creating for the day, I was just to tired to clear away everything from the formal Dining Room and Than I became frustrated and felt very overwhelmed to the point of depression. And at that point my efforts seemed pointless like the joy never existed.
    I had gained about 45 lbs and had no drive what so ever.
    The decision to sell and move was realistically for my health. My Family Thought I had lost my mind. 58 with MS and Fibromyalgia and I move back to a 2 Story 1500 Sqft Home. But I had a plan and it was going to work come Hell or High water. Once I recovered from the stress of the packing and the move, we started to settle in ( trust me we had movers) I thought I had lost my mind. Boxes to unpack and I felt overwhelmed and depressed and of course that didn’t help, so I allowed myself to have a couple little “Pity Party’s “ and Than I kicked myself in the pants and started plowing through my self created Disaster. And I was missing the feeling of being secure in the tidiness of our organized Condo.

    Like yourself I wouldn’t take any depression medication that and Steroids ( they made me really mean and Fat). Within a Month I was able to get pretty much everything set up and organized and I started to feel relieved. A month sounds like an excessive amount of time, however for those of us who have MS we think that’s a pretty big accomplishment. Shortly after The Mr. and I made a trip to the Home Depot after deciding on Colors, to pick up Paint and supplies so that I had everything here, because by the time we get showered dressed and ready to go we’re already tired. It took me 6 months to paint 8 rooms and 2 hallways. And the vestibule. But I Did itand It felt amazing and I felt useful. So 1 year later I have my craft room set up and organized and the House is now a Home. It was so worth it. I’ve lost 52 lbs and I haven’t felt this good in years. Between the stairs in the house and the yard for little flower gardens, I’m getting so much exercise without running myself into the ground. I can be outside in the shade and come in if it’s not the most pleasant weather. If I’m having a bad day and just need to rest the craft room is right next to our bedroom and a nice size Patio attached to our bedroom over the FamilyRoom. So I can still get fresh air. I realized that I could fight harder against the effects of this Ugly Disease I just hadn’t I was letting myself get consumed with self pity and Anger. And that made me a better fighter. Trust me it’s not easy to live everyday with MS and more than I care to admit It kicks my Butt, but I’ve learned that it’s easier on me if I keep my Mind right. And if I get messy I just Close that craft room door, lol.
    You’ll find that Home that fits your Heart and Needs. And once you fill it with the Love inside of you, you’ll make amazing memories there to. And all of the memories you have of The Home your leaving Will Be Beautifully placed in the one you’ve picked to call Home.

    It may seem like it takes us forever to get things done, and that we have more bad days than good ones, But what I’ve learned is that I have learned to appreciate the good days like I didn’t before, I think it’s one of our HumanNature Flaws to take for granted the things that are so available to us “while they are” , and it’s not until our blessings begin to seem less frequent that we “Realize” just how very blessed we truly are. I know it sounds so very “Cliche” but it’s been said
    “ We Didn’t Know What we had until it was gone”
    Now I appreciate everyday good or bad, and when I decide to have a good ole Pity Party I think about Someone who can’t have as many good days as I have, and kick myself in the pants and I’ll go in my CraftRoom and make something I’m proud of to donate to one of Our Veteran Benefits or Animal Rescue Foundations. And Suddenly I pull myself back into Reality, and Thank God for Everything I have and Ever Single Person in my life that Loves me just as I am. A Hot Mess with Attitude Bigger Than these two Letters – M&S –
    Many Blessings to All

  • l4u95h
    1 year ago

    I’m facing the move thing in about 2 or 3 weeks if things line up right. Just typing that out gave a worse headache. 🙁 I hate saying it but I’m hoping the job doesn’t happen. I hate to move and we’ve been in our current home 15 years and it just overwhelmed me to think about.

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    1 year ago

    It is difficult and can affect our health. Take one day at a time. Deep breaths. I know how you feel. It is overwhelming. We moved last November, don’t like our place but love the area. I hope all works out for the best, l4u95h. Thanks for stopping by!
    Cathy Chester

  • NorthwoodsGirl
    1 year ago

    Oh my. I am doing the same in a year. Downsizing after raising my kids here for 18 years. Son is now married. Daughter heading to college. Everything it entails is so overwhelming. This house is busting at the seams. Where do I even start? I know if my anxiety gets ramped up I will be a huge mess so I am taking things a room at a time and avoiding the inevitable of leaving here. I love it here. Breaks my heart. The new place is beautiful too but away from everyone. The starting over …. ☹️. I hope your move goes smoothly for you and you can settle in happily at your new place.

  • Bettybeem
    1 year ago

    These are excellent! I’ve also used doodling and zentangles to help distress. Sometimes I’ll add what I am grateful for in the zentangle. They’re loosely based on suggestions in the book “Praying in Color”.. I’ll also play my violin which is a great source of solace.

  • kkrumnow
    2 years ago

    Thank you for the list.
    When I get stressed by something unexpected, I drink milk. No kidding. MILK. It de-stresses me, calms me down, and refocuses me. So, when I become jittery from nervousness and anxiety, milk saves me.

    Yoga is a great method for de-stressing but I have almost fallen trying to stand up from the mat…which scared me to death. I haven’t gone back since then. I love yoga but I can’t do the up and down required of yogis.

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    2 years ago

    How interesting! I never heard of that before. Perhaps I should give it a whirl!

  • omgck
    2 years ago

    Wow Cathy, this article really hit home with me as I have recently had to move from the place I grew up and also raised my family. Thanks so much for putting into words such a painful experience but also giving such a positive outlook!! This is very helpful in many ways… The very best of luck to you in finding your new home Cathy.

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you omgck! And best of luck to you as well!
    Cathy

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