I recently found a little book – Multiple Sclerosis – 300 Tips for Making Life Easier by Shelley Peterman Schwarz. It contains many tips which Cir already does, but there were a few new ones that caused us to have a “light bulb” moment.
As someone living the past 30 years or so with MS, many of the tips he uses have come as a result of trial and error. But many of you are newly diagnosed and looking for answers.
So if some of the tips in 300 Tips for Making Life Easier are some that you have already figured out through your own trial and error, great! If not, then that's good also. You'll learn something that can possibly help you.
Anything that helps you conserve energy you have and use it more efficiently, will be included. Overall, simplicity will be stressed. The more you can simplify your life, the better.
In her book, 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, Shelley states at the very beginning, three things that people with MS should keep in mind.
Pace yourself. This may seem obvious to some. But to someone who has just recently been diagnosed, it may not be. When you are used to living an active life, the thought of slowing down, can be frustrating.
Pacing yourself may mean limiting your activities to one or two a day. Or simply resting in between each activity instead of trying to do everything and then resting afterward. You will more than likely tire yourself out and end up feeling miserable for the next few days.
For instance, after a shopping trip, put away the perishables. Then sit for awhile with your legs up, before sorting out and putting away the rest of your purchases. Or better yet, let someone else do it.
On days when you have a doctors appointment, plan ahead by taking your shower or bath the night before. Lay out your clothes the night before.
The next day, you only need freshen up and get dressed. If you are used to spending an hour to get ready before leaving the house, now you may need two or three. This way you can pace yourself, and avoid having to rush.
When you don't have to rush, you eliminate the chance of tiring yourself out, before you even get started. Cir would rather cancel an appointment, instead of rushing to get ready. We've done this several times.
If you find that you haven't allocated enough time, reschedule your appointment. Learn from experience, how much you can do at any one time. Soon you'll know how many activities you can do in one day and will be able to plan accordingly.
Get the book! 300 Tips for Making Life Easier is an excellent little book. It offers tips for making life easier in your home, for looking good, managing meals, medical issues, as well as traveling.
This is actually the revised second edition. Shelley also writes a column, "Making Life Easier", that appears in newspapers and magazines across the country.
Visit her website, Meeting Life's Challenges to find out more about her.