First of all - depression is a very serious condition. If you ever feel where you are losing control or need help please call your local 800 crisis line, a friend or a family member and tell them how you are feeling. This can not be stressed enough. Please, be careful with this powerful emotion.
Many people with MS deal with rocky emotions and depression. This is the fault of MS and nothing else. We are not crazy (mostly). We have an illness that can throw us into our own personal tornado.
|Matillija Poppy @DescansoGardens|
Here is my own experience:
Isolation. That is where I tend to find myself. Isolated from friends and society. If left to my tendencies would hole up in a treehouse, write, cook food, garden and stay to myself. I mean who wants to play with the undependable aspects of someone living with MS? They bother me so I can imagine what my friends or family might think.
But this is not true. Isolation is not good. Humans are pack animals and can thrive in a group setting. Social interaction is good to keep the mind straight and intact: to keep it from wandering down unwarranted paths.
Here are 5 suggestions for staying social with MS:
1. Pick up the phone. Call a friend. In this social media world sometimes there is nothing better than hearing someone's true voice. TIP: Use ear buds. Fatigue is already bad enough for those with MS but having to hold a phone to the ear is terrible waste of energy.
2. Write a letter. The connection between hand, eye and mind is stimulating for the brain. A good exercise to keep the synapses working. Also, it creates a stronger relationship between the writer and receiver. Handwriting is unique. Personal. No two are really the same. No two people are really the same. Take your time and use it to meditate while you write. Why are you grateful for this person in your life? Then share that with them. As the heart grows fonder, may it help ease the pains of MS. TIP: Buy preprinted notecards that have your address on them. Make it easy and fun. Buy fun stamps to go with them.
3. Get involved. Volunteer for a local organization. It does not even really matter what you do - it may be gardening or helping a student learn to read. Volunteering is a great way to feel a purpose in life yet often has some flexibility to work around the restrictions that come with MS.
4. Go for a walk. Not a power walk but a nice stroll through your neighborhood. During this walk bring your awareness to the forefront of your mind. Don't just look at everything but see everything. If you were writing about what you were seeing what are some of the words you would use to describe the scene? Bring this beautiful words to mind and consider what you are seeing - open your mind to new sights.
5. Explore. Is there a bookstore or coffee shop in your town that you've never visited? A restaurant you've been wanting to try? It's OK to go out on your own. Explore and find new things - you never know who you might meet along the way. Maybe it's a squirrel. Or a bird that flies by. But maybe it's a person similar to you who might need a smile and "hello" as much as you need it.
6. Smile. One of the best medicines, a good laugh and smile. In fact they are quite contagious. See someone without a smile? Smile at them and see the reflection. Most often they will smile in return. Such an easy and infectious way to pass along some happiness. Smiling is good for the body, mind and soul. It also encourages interaction with other people. Make eye-contact and smile and you may just have a new friend in life.
Life is hard enough with MS, but these simple tips can help us live a better life. We ned to take action but the response will come. Take the first step toward social activity. Keep taking these steps and feel how the interaction is helping you, how it's changing you and keeping you more present. Be aware of these changes, and be grateful for the steps you have taken to be at this better spot in life.
|Celebrating Mother's Day with Mom & Dad|
We are our own advocates and our wellness is a full-time job. Stay strong and stay positive. And remember, We've Got This!