Stress busting tips

There's no doubt about it – MS can make your life more complicated. Your plans may be disrupted by unpredictable symptoms. You may need to adjust your activities to fit changes in your balance and mobility. Each person has their own challenges, and they can all lead to increased stress. Here are a few simple ways to reduce the stress in your life:


  • Set priorities for yourself. Organize your time so that you do the things that are most important to you first. Let less important things go.
  • Identify things that cause you the most stress. Then, look for ways to get around them. For example, if you find traveling stressful, see if you can make a phone call instead.
  • Concentrate on doing one thing at a time. Once you have finished a task, take a moment to let yourself feel good about getting it done. Take a rest if you need it, and then move on.
  • If you are running late, or if you feel overwhelmed, cancel or reschedule your appointments.
  • Learn to say "no." Save your energy for the things that are most important to you.
  • Look for aids and devices that make it easier to do your day-to-day activities.

Get support.

  • Don't try to do everything yourself. Ask your friends and family members to help with some of your responsibilities.
  • Consider joining a support group for people with MS. Being able to share your concerns and experiences with others can give you an emotional boost. The experiences of others can help you solve your problems – they may have been through the same thing, and can provide practical tips. You can also use your experiences to help others.

Plan ahead.

  • Think about which situations cause you stress. Then, plan ahead to minimize or avoid these predictable sources of stress. For example, if waiting in line is stressful for you, bring a book to help pass the time. If you find the morning rush stressful, get up 15 minutes earlier so that you don't feel so rushed.
  • Schedule breaks for yourself throughout the day. This will give you a chance to rest, and will also prevent the stress that comes from getting "behind schedule".
  • If your symptoms are unpredictable, think ahead about what you'll do if the symptoms start during an activity. Make plans for where to meet or call if you need to change your plans.
  • Keep things that you use regularly (such as your car) in good condition.
  • Keep extra supplies of things you use frequently. "Restock" long before you're about to run out an item.

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