Time For Yourself, With a Positive Outcome

Loving Yourself More Than MS

Having Multiple Sclerosis is difficult for everyone involve but definitely for you, the one who has this disease. We are often so worried about others especially the one’s we love and the how it affects them, sometimes we can lose ourselves in that emotion. So my question to you is, with everything that you do to take care of your family, friends, performing at work, and all the other parts of life that require your activity, what do you do just for you? I’m not talking about the necessities of life and following what your doctor recommends for you to do, I am talking about something that is ONLY FOR YOU – something fun or what you enjoy.

MS is a chronic disabling disease which is expensive to treat from medications, treatments, even time off from work or having to leave employment altogether. That leaves many of us, especially if you still have children at home, feeling guilty for spending money on ourselves for something others feel may be unnecessary, to even taking the time away from everyone just for you. Someone once told me, “if you can’t love yourself and meet your needs that you won’t be able to meet the needs of those you love. It took me a long time to understand what that really meant but it is true. One person is only able to give just so much before they are hurting not only themselves, but also the ones they love because they get burned out.

What is it that you really enjoy or love to do then think, when was the last time you did just that?   If money is an issue, find something inexpensive to do. If you love to shop then do so by setting up a budget that you can afford and stay within it so there isn’t any additional guilt when you get home. There are many inexpensive things that a person can do from taking yourself to a movie, or out to eat with a friend. If you love getting your hair done but you find that going to a beauty shop cost more than you want to pay, try going to a cosmetology school. They provide many of the same services like hair, make-up, and nails at only half the cost of a professional shop. If money isn’t an issue your options are pretty much open, just make time to do exactly what you enjoy, think of it as a type of therapy. This will make you relax, smile,  and happy which will bring that positive person back home to your family.

Just getting out of the house even for a walk while listening to music turns my mood around. My husband encourages me to set up lunch dates with my friends or to even take in a movie, anything that will get me out of the house. Two weeks ago my daughter talked me into a night date with her to go to a local business for a “paint date”.  Painting isn’t something that I thought I would enjoy and wasn’t really good at it, but the time I spent with her in the upbeat environment they provided, I found myself laughing and having a great time. When my husband came to pick me up, he saw that I was relaxed and in a great mood and what was funny, he was smiling back at me, happy that he was seeing a less tensed person returning back to him.

Multiple Sclerosis takes a toll not just on your body but also your emotional health. From the time you are diagnosed with this chronic auto-immune disease, you are dealing with it for the rest of your life. It never lets you forget you have it but be determined that IT DOES NOT HAVE YOU.  That is why I am encouraging you to find something you can enjoy, then following through with whatever it is, without guilt; it really will be a medicine worth taking. You will be amazed at how even small things can put you in a positive frame of mind.

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.