Our Support and Wellbeing Facilitator Barbara Sujecka shares some top tips.
Living with MS can bring about many changes to emotional and mental health, in addition to physical symptoms. You might be feeling anxious, scared, frightened or angry. So, what happens when you put a global pandemic in the mix? Everything gets even more complicated!
Are you feeling isolated from your usual support networks? Missing your normal routine? Stuck on your own at home? Loving or hating working from home? Or missing the peace and quiet as you now find your home full of family who are usually at work or school? Although it’s different for everyone, it can be a challenge to manage emotional and mental health especially when you are living with a long-term condition.
Here’s some emotional wellbeing tips you might like to try.
Bring back a routine
If you’re working from home, or you’ve slipped into a rut, try and reclaim your day. This can include getting up a bit earlier to get some exercise done, getting out of your pyjamas, or setting out a timetable to add some structure to your day.
Do some exercise
Whether you can manage a jog, walk or stretch – try and do it every day.
Check in with yourself and ask ‘how am I feeling?’
There are no right or wrong feelings and we all have good and bad days. But it’s worth connecting with your own feelings and figuring out what makes you feel happier and how you can help yourself.
Learn how to do some relaxation exercises
There are lots of apps and tips online on breathing exercises you could try.
Take the time to do something you enjoy
Whatever works for you – music, reading, dancing around the kitchen – do something nice for yourself every day.
Connect with the world around you
This could be looking out of the window, sitting in the garden or a socially distanced walk. Try and clear your mind and enjoy what you’re seeing, hearing or feeling.
We’re all social creatures and we need relationships and social connections to thrive and stay well mentally. Dealing with MS on your own isn’t easy.
Time to Talk
Connect with someone and improve your wellbeing. There’s lots of ways to do this so it really depends on what you need!
- Chatting to family or friends can be great, but if you need to talk, then make sure they know that they need to listen! This can be tricky, so if you need to get something off your chest you could try something else.
- Contact our MS Helpline. It's there to offer emotional support and answer your questions about MS. And they are all lovely people!
- Try an online forum or a telephone/online peer support group. Have a look at our online webinars and sessions or visit our online forum. You can also check out our telephone Keep in Touch or befriending services.
- Find something that suits you. There are so many ways to connect with others – explore!