Your 10 top tips to deal with MS and other disabilities

10toptipsHere are 10 top tips in lifestyle, home remedies, coping and support to help you handle multiple sclerosis and feel better in your everyday life.

1. Get plenty of good rest

Everybody functions better after a good night sleep. Getting some good rest is even more important to someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis. So to improve your lifestyle, try sleeping at least eight hours a night.

A few years ago, I was sleeping about four hours a night. Nowadays it is up to about seven hours. Most mornings I sleep until I wake up naturally.

2. Exercise

Regular, moderate and simple exercise is a great way to improve your strength, balance, muscle tone and co-ordination while living with multiple sclerosis. If your body temperature is too high and you feel uncomfortable with it, swimming and other water activities involving exercise can be a good option to help you get your temperature back to normal again.

If your MS is limiting you, try some simple exercises like walking, yoga, tai-chi, stretching and stationary bicycling.

I have to admit that exercise and I haven’t got on since my 20s. Yes, it’s good for you but just not for me.

3. Refresh and cool down

Some multiple sclerosis symptoms can get worse when your body temperature rises. When that happens, the best choice is to try and lower your temperature again, using some devices like cooling scarves or vests, and fans and avoiding being exposed to heat and high temperatures.

A steady temperature has never bothered me, just too sudden a change. That’s why moving to the sunny and hot south of Spain has not been detrimental to me. Mind you, we live in a house with air conditioning and ceiling fans.

4. Eat a balanced diet

Results of small studies suggest that a diet low in saturated fat but high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in olive and fish oils, may be beneficial. But further research is needed. Studies also suggest that vitamin D may have potential benefit for people with MS.

Since moving close to the Mediterranean I certainly eat a better diet and get plenty of sunshine to stimulate natural production of vitamin D.

5. Relax and relieve stress

Feeling stressed all the time can make your multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms worse. Try something to relax you, like yoga, meditation, a massage, or even just deep breathing.

Stress and I don’t exist together; never have done. I don’t worry, I just take life as it comes.

6. Maintain your normal and daily activities

It’s really important that you maintain your lifestyle and daily activities as much as you can. Keep a daily and normal routine so your body isn’t subjected to a whole new routine.

Good advice and something I try to do. I try but don’t always succeed.

7. Keep your friends and family close

Surround yourself with people you love. Your friends and family are the best people to have around to make you have a good time and laugh a lot. Enjoying life is still possible, even if you’re dealing with a complicated disease like multiple sclerosis.

Enjoying life is really important to me and it is something that can certainly be achieved despite this awful disease when, like me, you have the love of your nearest and dearest.

8. Maintain your old hobbies and find some new ones

Everyone has hobbies. Some more than others. If you had a hobby before you got diagnosed, don’t suddenly give it up. Keep doing it and if you’re curious about trying some new things, take up a new hobby as well.

This is something that I have managed to do as it involves two things that I can still do, drive and operate a computer – but not at the same time, obviously.

9. Join a support group

Sharing your feelings with other people who are experiencing the same thing can sometimes help you with dealing with the disease. Joining a local support group is an excellent idea, but if there isn’t a local support group you will be able to find on-line groups.

I’d really recommend this one. Support groups can really be great.0 I used to attend regular monthly ‘gatherings’ in the UK.

10. Talk about your feelings and fears 

Find someone you can talk to. A friend, a family member, your doctor or caregiver, someone you feel comfortable with. It’s important that you share your feelings and fears with someone. Don’t keep it to yourself or you can easily become overwhelmed by it all.

My beloved wife, Lisa, is my carer and the person with whom I share all my thoughts.


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