Article: Multiple Sclerosis & Stress: 10 Ways to Reduce Stress
by Megan Lewellyn, Feb 28, 2017
- BREATHE– I know that this is a part of the power of meditation and although I don’t meditate (NOT saying I am opposed to try it – just haven’t explored this much yet) just the simple act of sitting still and breathing – big deep breathes that I am consciously thinking about can help me a ton!
- MUSIC – I LOVE music! A wide variety of random artists and songs. But it is truly amazing how much just putting my headphones on and “rocking out” can do to calm me or at least redirect my focus and allow me to be on the positive and NOT the negative side of things that are introducing stress back into my life.
- EXERCISE – Ideally a good ole fashion gym session involving sweat and then some stretching- but if that doesn’t fit into my schedule even a short walk with the dogs can help. (Mal: I find a nice walk around the local riverbank, enjoying a bit of nature and fresh air, is a helpful way to de-stress).
- WRITING – As I have said probably a million times by this point, I LOVE writing. When I allow myself the time to sit down and just spew words out onto the page, everything else just fades away. Often times when I begin to write I am intending to go in a specific direction (today I am going to write about X) BUT if I allow myself to just freely write -rather than trying to stay within the constraints of whatever topic I have chosen, it is amazing what can come out. I often say to Shawn that until I start reading a post for editing purposes I have NO FUCKING clue what I have written. AND I can go back to something I wrote a while ago and have NO recollection of writing it. It allows me to ZONE out.
- KNITTING – Although I have NOT made much of significance lately (a few scarves to give away as xmas presents) I LOVE that one of the perks from getting “better” is that I CAN knit again. For a while, it just became too painful (tingling and numbness in hands and forearms akin to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) BUT now I CAN just curl up on the couch and knit – getting lost in the simple mantra of “knit one, pearl one” or whatever the stitch might be. (Mal: I know it sounds dotty, but I actually enjoy doing those grown-ups colouring books... an hour just passes like that [finger snap!], and the stress just melts away).
- TALKING – For those that know me I am sure you are NOT shocked to hear this (hehe) BUT just having a really good conversation with someone can allow me to reset and STOP stressing. I have learned that it doesn’t even have to be some earth shattering, in-depth, heart to heart conversation. It can be as simple as chatting with the clerk at the grocery store, or running into a neighbor while out walking the dogs.
- LAUGHTER & SMILES– This one might seem pretty obvious given my blog tag line “Living With Multiple Sclerosis and Finding The Reasons to Laugh and Smile” but I can’t STRESS (hehe) enough just how much this can help.
- KINDNESS– Putting a smile on someone else’s face is a guarantee that I will feel better!
- EAT HEALTHY – Although I have confessed before that I am not likely to become a vegan eating, green smoothie slurping gal – I do tend to migrate towards eating healthy foods – THIS made much easier by the fact that I have ALWAYS loved fruits and vegetables AND unfortunately became allergic to red meat after the birth of my youngest child (stupid Macky!!!:) SO I have avoided the negative health risks of eating beef for14 years, although NOT by choice – I would most DEFINITELY partake in a good ole fat juicy burger from time to time IF it didn’t lead to me being sick afterwards (stupid Macky!!!:)
- PLAY – When I struggled to walk, needed the cane or Segway almost 100% of the time, getting out and actually PLAYING with my kids was challenging but we did come up with some creative solutions. Trampolining – NO I couldn’t bounce up and down BUT I COULD sit on it while the kids did the bouncing. They created games around “who could get Momma” highest in the air:) And playing in the pool or ocean (boogie boarding worked well) since a fall in the water is much less of an issue than falling on hard concrete. These days I am super stoked that Shawn and I are going to get all FIVE kids up to the mountains next week to do some sledding and shooting and just goof off a bit. AND in the very near future we will be heading out in our new boat to do some FISHING!
Peas be with ewe