Meet Aby and Get Tips About Living With MS and Overall Well-Being.

Meet Aby and Get Tips About Living With MS and Overall Well-Being.  
by Caroline Craven

When chronic illness hits, it is not only the body that is hurts.  Everything can be affected, leaving one to feel out of balance in life. 

If you are not nourishing your whole self – including the body, mind and soul, it’s likely that your wellness may suffer. 

It can certainly be difficult to find balance while working, taking care of others and being present for friends and family. 

Divide and Conquer 

Let’s look at how we can dissect these elements into more digestible pieces by using Aby – a new app created by Biogen for everyone living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and the people who support them.

This app is a really useful tool for anyone impacted by MS – from newly diagnosed patients to those who have had MS for many years, as well as their caregivers and health care providers. 
Before getting started, consider your current state of affairs.

Visualize how sensitive you are in your condition.  Are you feeling in balance with everything going on in your life?  

While we may feel as strong as an oak tree on some days, more often we may be delicate dandelions figuring out how to not blow away in the wind.

Then look closely at your body, mind and soul.  How are you feeling physically?  What are your emotions like today? How do they differ from the week or month prior? 

Now take it one step further, and think about your vulnerability at this moment.  Does one little thing happen and you are wiped out for the day?  If so, then it’s time to slow down, breathe deep and nourish yourself.   

To help capture these sentiments, after creating an account on Aby, you can use the journal feature to record your sleep patterns, activity levels and emotions from day to day. I love that it’s all in one!  

I take advantage of the Aby notes section in the journal, to keep track of the myriad of feelings that I feel throughout the day.  Later, when my sleep, activities and emotions have been recorded, I can look back and see trends, using this information to manage how I use my energy and better understand my body.  

6 Tips to Find Balance in Life

With this information, you can identify ways to find balance in life while nourishing yourself.

To find balance, here are some techniques I would recommend: 

1.         Seek quiet:  Whether it’s a “do not disturb sign” on your door or a walk to a peaceful spot outside, find a place where you feel safe and where you can be at peace. This may mean a gentle stroll or roll without people around, or possibly a few minutes in a quiet room, or under a tree in a garden.  Just sit, be quiet and become increasingly aware of your body and surroundings.
2.         Break up the routine:  Do not sit in one place too long, especially at a desk in an office or while working.  Stand up, stretch and walk around.  When life becomes stagnant, it can become a vessel for ill will and bad energy. Think of pond scum.  But, if you take charge and make changes, you can encourage your life to flow with clarity and beauty.  

Tip:  EXPLORE the exercise program in Aby.  “Warm-up” is only 48 seconds long.  Short enough for everyone to fit into their schedules.  

3.  Listen to music:  Music may soothe the beast within, so give it a try!  Many folks find it may help with focus and motivation. You can use it to get moving in the morning or for an afternoon jolt.  Try different genres and see which ones inspire what’s inside of you.  Get up and dance if it so moves you!   

What’s your favorite dance tune?  Right now, I’m stuck on the soundtrack to Peter Rabbit, the film of 2018.  So fun!  

TIP:  In Aby, record your activities in the journal.  And then, add your mood, your sleep and your MS symptoms.  The first day may not seem that important, but trust me, a week or so into it and this information will be handy to have.  It has become a great way for me to spot trends in my MS symptoms.  

4.  Stay hydrated:  Often considered the essence of life, surround yourself with the cooling, cleansing presence of fresh water.  Drink it filtered, all day long.  While bathing and cleansing, be appreciative of the water flowing freely from the faucet.

Take this time to acknowledge the gratitude to those you love and the life you appreciate. Remind yourself of something beautiful in your life.  Carry the sense of water throughout your home and garden by adding water elements to your surroundings, such as a fountain.  Download an app that sounds like the ocean or a river and carry the water element with you throughout your day.

5.  Elevate your diet: Perceive all healthy food and drink as nourishment for your mind, body and soul.  What are you feeding yourself?  Is it working?  One way to feel better about yourself is to add more plant-based foods to your diet. The variety of colors, vitamins, textures and tastes are endless.  Use them raw or find recipes to cook.    

Want some inspiration for a meal?  Make themes for your dishes.  One suggestion is to have a different color in every pot.  Another is to have a meal in honor of a great piece of art in your house. Match the colors and play with the plating and table displays.  Be creative and enjoy your inner “Martha Stewart.”  

Tip:  EXPLORE the diet and nutrition feature in Aby to learn about healthy recipe options!  Check out “Tips for Healthier Eating.”  

6.  Smile: Smiling is contagious in a good way, and it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you have a smile on your face! It also physically works the face muscles, and is just a darn good thing to do. Pass it on!

Look at the Bigger Picture

We define ourselves by what we do, so let’s think again about the bigger picture.  Why are we on this planet?  One might say we are here to do good unto others, to enjoy the beauty surrounding us and to shower the world with love.  While people have other ideas about why we exist, this image is perfect enough to place us in a positive mood.  

Most importantly, enjoy what you are doing!  Life can throw us some real curve balls, but we can duck, swing and catch them when we are at our strongest.  I hope that the Aby app may help provide you with additional inspiration.   

How Do You Aby?  

There is much I find helpful by using Aby.  By easily tracking my life with MS, I’m taking the first step to help take control of my actions. 

After weeks of recording my information, I have found trends in my symptoms.  I can now share this information with my health care professionals to help keep on top of this illness.   

Dive in and give it a try. You can download the app for free by clicking the icons below, or by searching “Aby” in your app store. 

It is my personal goal in life to help everyone with MS.     

Together, we’ve got this!   

*Please note that I am being compensated by Biogen to share my experience with the Aby app.* 

#MS #multiplesclerosis #aby #livingwithMS #spon 


Day 10: ReNew YOU Journal

Day 10 of my ReNew YOU Challenge

Have you checked out my ReNew YOU challenge?  Interesting stuff here to help you live a better life.

Click here for ReNew YOU
Click here for my daily journal 2019.

An excerpt from today - Jan 10

WOW.  I cant believe I am here.  And would not be here if it weren’t for all of your well wishes and support.

I walked 4 miles today!   Wahooo!!

My work is paying off but still having some issues.

I was having a hard time committing to walking/exercise so my friend joins me - it makes me accountable and I need that!

But because I’m persevering, I am on my way to achieving my goal of improving my MS health by taking self-care steps of wellness.

1.  Walking:  Heading out for my third walk this week:  builds strength and heart health.

2.  Stop and smell the roses:  builds appreciation and gratitude.

3. Do not procrastinate - even the dullest of chores to be done now.  And it’s helping a lot.  They need to be done so just do it!

4.  Eating healthy.  Wish I got a photo of the Sushi Burrito from Bristol Farms.  Delicious!  And Uber healthy.  I split it with my friend.

5.  Time with friends.  Today with my friend on a walk.  Several friends on the phone.

6. Compartmentalize my day for work.  I divided up the day and two hours a day, first thing are spent on GWMS.  then, writing and other gigs come into the picture.  When there is ton to do, it’s important to divide and conquer.

7.  Smile.  Smile and pass it on.  The cheapest form of joy we can spread.

8.  Having moments of doubt?  Repeat your affirmation.   Today, my affirmation is this:

“Because I am walking, working hard and taking care of myself, I am on my way to reaching my goal  of improved health and I am feeling strong, capable and empowered.”

And remember... #takeTHATms!

CLICK HERE TO read the journey...

Find a new you with 30-Day ReNew YOU Self-Care Challenge

Jan 1, 2019 - time to make a change.  Bad habits crept in and I paid the price.  I’m doing my own 30-day ReNew YOU challenge - Want to join me?

Click here to follow my daily journal.

I had pretty bad pain during the night and not sure why.  My diet was low sodium and pretty healthy.  That can often cause the pain.  But I was mellow and took care of myself the last few days.  Why the pain?  

The holidays caught up with me both in stress and physical damage. In addition I’ve been feeling a bit down - oh heck, I hit a low.  

But the good news is that all of these are irreversible with specific self care actions.  And it’s time to make a change! 

I’m taking my own thirty-day “ReNew YOU Self-Care Challenge.”   

Want to join me?   CLICK HERE

This easy to follow program will get us starting 2019 in a positive attitude and on our way to reaching our goals.  Let’s do this! 

The Challenge consists of answering questions and formulating an affirmation to carry with you.  There are several sessions and these will be posted here.  

SESSION 1:  Getting Started - Creating Goals and Vision 

SESSION 2:  Action Steps - building a tool box 

SESSION 3:  Building Affirmation - Coming Soon

I do these challenges often and today seems a perfect day to start another.  

Here’s how we’re get started: 

1.  State a goal or two that we want to accomplish. 

2.  Define action steps and tools to get us there.  
3.  Create the inspiration to help us along the way.

Considering my challenges today of pain, stress and feeling low, my goal to kick off the year is to Upgrade my MS health.  I’ve let things slip and by getting back on track my symptoms and stress will be alleviated.  

During the holidays and if I’m not paying attention, my diet creeps higher with sodium, over processed flour and to much refined sugar. This year has been no different.  I’ve also been spending much time on my rear, and not out moving like I could be.  This year has also been a wonderful year of expenses.  Wonderful because they all represent memories and fun times.  But alas, time to tighten that money belt down and gain some control.  

I acknowledge these weaknesses, own them and know they  must change.  Time to rein in the unhealthy desires and replace them with positive, healthy habits.  

Join me in the process.  Follow along and answer these questions and we can discuss/chat online or on the phone.