How do you identify your stresses? Have you ever sat down and figured out what causes you to stress out? Is it your job? Or is it your family relationships? Is it dealing with MS?
Stress in anyone's life can be difficult to deal with. And, unfortunately, everyone has to deal with it. When you have MS, the added stress of having an unpredictable illness, doesn't help matters much. You have enough on your plate when it comes to managing the symptoms, the doctors, your medications, and everything else that comes along with multiple sclerosis.
Dealing with everyday and chronic stresses can leave your head spinning. And if you have a sudden acute stressful event, what happens then? Do you have a strategy in place for dealing with them? Do you know how to calm yourself down? Or do you just try to let it run it's course?
But first things first. One way to get a handle on your stresses is to keep a stress diary. You only need to do this for a few weeks. Just until you identify them.
Keep a small notebook with you. Whenever you feel any of the signs of stress coming on, write down what's happening. Write down a few notes.
Where are you? At home, at work, in traffic? Who are you with? Your boss or co-workers; your spouse, your children? What time is it? Early in the morning or just after work?
You want to be able to sort out which ones you can change or do something about and which ones you can't.
You've kept your diary for a few weeks. You've identified your stresses. Now read through and sort them out into categories. Which ones are job related? Which ones happen at home? Which ones are directly related to your MS?
Just as we can't to identify your stresses for you, sorting them out is another thing you need to do, depending on your findings.
Dealing with a disease like multiple sclerosis and all the variables involved is enough, without adding on normal day to day stress and other types of stresses. Most likely, worrying about when you will have another relapse, or just how you will walk from the bedroom to the bathroom without falling, is going to cause you stress.
So figuring out what causes you the most stress when it relates directly to your MS, is very important. Letting family members know how they can help is also very important in dealing with these areas once you identify your stresses.
One area of stress for Cir has been having things within easy reach, especially when he's getting dressed to go somewhere. When he's feeling able to do everything himself, this means not having to look for lotion, deodorant, or whatever he needs.
As long as everything is in it's place, he doesn't get stressed out. When he has to look for things, he falls behind schedule and has to rush. When he has to rush, he would rather just cancel or reschedule.
This isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes it just happens. We've learned to be very flexible and to take things as they come. We realize that anything can be changed. Doctors appointments can be rescheduled. A trip to the store can be postponed.
Everything is more difficult when fatigue or mobility issues come into play. Try planning as far ahead of time as you can. And realize that there is always another day.
As you can see, if you can learn to identify your stresses, your MS can be a whole lot easier to manage on a daily basis. So begin now. Make a diary to identify your stresses in each situation. That way even though you can't predict the future, you can know how to deal with most things when the come up.
To read about the signs of stress go here.
To read about other things that may cause MS, follow this link.
Interested in finding out about hormones as a cause of MS? Follow this link.
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Cir & Akrista
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