Multiple Sclerosis Community
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1396846 tn?1332463110

How do you handle your stress?

I have been seriously stressed over the past few weeks. Mom is not doing well. Been admitted to hospital 3 times in the past week and a half due to her congestive heart failure. Anyway that is not what I was asking lol.

How do you all manage stressful times so that your MS doesn't take you down.

I came home today after spending 7 hours at the hospital with my mom and started cleaning, I mean some serious deep cleaning and I seem to feel better (not to mention my house looks better lol) but I know that on days when my MS is acting up that would not work for me so I want to see what you guys do for stress relief.

I have always used cleaning as a stress reliever but now a days my MS is giving me more and more problems so I am not sure I how much longer I can do that, well I will always clean but not like I do now when I am stressed or angry haha.

11 Responses
667078 tn?1316004535
This may not help you at all.My pain Doctor and other doctors believe in this.

I have started working with mindfulness meditation with my counselor. The trick is basically that "Relaxation" is the natural state and "Stress" is not. I can't change situations just how I react. I am learning to tune into my senses when I am stressed to ground me. I am learning about depressors thoughts which bring me down, fixers the things I think I should fix which I can't. I learn to recognize what thoughts are tied to tension in which parts of my body. I am learning that I can't push thoughts away but I can move on by focusing on my senses.

If I have a nightmare I do not focus on what is in the dream. I say wow a nightmare. I feel the pillow under my head, listen to night noises.

My biggest stressor is thinking I have to control so much or fix things for those around me. There is really so much that is out of my control. The more aware I become of the tension in my body and the mindful of my present the less tense and stressed I get over time.

I have wind chimes in my backyard and lots of birds. Music is a great tool for me. I take my ipod To stressful appointments and listen in the waiting room.

738075 tn?1330579444
Alex, that's just what I do!  I also practice meditation, Yoga, listening to music (turn off the news, for goodness sake!), playing my guitar, riding my bike - it's amazing to me how much a bike ride or a good Yoga practice brightens my outlook and mood.

Great start to a thread, Paula!  I'm sorry your mom is doing poorly...
645800 tn?1466864555
I think the one I use most is to sing along with a "Song Sung Blue". Yes just like the song. My three favorite ones are Song Sung Blue, When Will I Be Loved, and lady. For some reason singing  a blue song does seem to lift my spirits.

The other thing I did was compose songs. If someone was watching while I compose my music you would think I was watching one of those tear jerker movies. I'll be constantly wiping the tear away so that I can see in order to compose more. While you may not have the talent or tools to compose music the same principle could be used in other ways like writing or some type of artwork. It is just to pour your heart into what you are doing. I really miss this part of my stress reduction as I lost my software when my old computer died and can't afford new software that will run on my new computer.

Avatar universal
Journaling helps keep me focused.
Meditation helps me focus on something more positive.
Self-hypnosis helps me relax completely.
Listening to music helps me get going if I'm stalled.
Exercise or strenuous chores lift my mood.

If things get over the top (it happens, especially with someone so close being so sick) and none of the above work, a small dose of Xanax and sleep are my last resort friends.

So sorry to hear about your mom. Good for you, focusing on taking care of yourself too.
Avatar universal
oh did I fail the stress management test today!  laugh along with me, tis funny now

started with an 8am urology appt with a urologist "clueless about MS" and a tongue in cheek meeting with him!  Stress wasn't bad yet, BP top number only scaled in at 137, considering I had a 40 mile drive in AM rush hour traffic, figured par for the course.  Good news was that no new kidney stones lurked in the background...yeah....

got to cardiology for pacemaker check and weigh was 10# heavier than last time (thank you steroids) BUT BP was now 175 over something.  I zoned out at the top number........

All of this followed by 6 hrs of phone tag and aggravation with a future infusion site which turned out to be a disaster because of the Decadron prior to infusion......a total disaster.  i may wind up with a site 3 hrs away just to find a neuro who will extend a professional courtesy to my neuro because one has to be "in state" to order Decadron IV.  Sigh....surely they all became "best buds" at the Neuro convention down in New Orleans, ya think?  Anyway wound up being called a name I will only mention in PM due to this being public by a neuro's receptionist, which I highly resented as I was the "height" of diplomacy in speaking to her....

So, finally just called Biogen (Tysabri) and turned it over to Case Management.

Needless to say my stress level is running over, I leave in 3 days for the summer, have a house to shut down, and no clue as to how to manage my stress or care to...........headed for a shower, some hot tea with a sip of Bailey's in it and facing an increase in my BP meds per my cardiologist

Have a good week-end everyone!

Sarah, another workaholic along with Mary!
572651 tn?1531002957
Paula, you need to find what you like to do - what works for me and others is not necessarily the tonic you need.  Besides cleaning, what else gives you pleasure?  Mindful meditation is highly recommended in so many places for folks with MS.  I hope your mom is feeling better soon.  

Sarah, you sound like you could use some stress reduction, too.  Hang in there and if you have to leave a day or two later, so be it. You have all summer.
987762 tn?1331031553
Hmmmm i'm not a 'stress' person, never have been so i can't really say the why of it, or whats nature vs nurture lol no way to do what i do (did) if your not calm by nature to start with lol

I'm told i'm unflapible though no matter the how or why of it, I still meditate every day, still do yoga or my version of it, exercise stretching and resistance, still laugh my self silly and immerse my self in fiction.

And now I have HoBo, who's never far from my side or lap if he gets his way lol nothing like having a gaint baby who loves you even when your having a bad day, funny how this pup just knows lol I dont know how i've done with out him. ohhhh i am soooooo whipped lol

1396846 tn?1332463110
I find seeing what others do for stress relief interesting. I am not normally a stress out kind of person but with everything going on I sure am feeling it.

I know that what works for others may not work for me I was just interested in what others do to help relieve stress. Cleaning works for me and always has, I clean if I get angry, I clean if I am sad, I clean if I am stressed about something. I also enjoy cooking to help relieve stress.

I do believe that others may have ideas that I haven't thought of so I could maybe give them a try, if the ideas struck me as interesting and enjoyable to me.

Thanks for sharing your stratagies with me, I really appreciate it!

987762 tn?1331031553
Stress relievers:

Bubble bath, candles, wine and music
Dancing to up beat music
Making something for someone
Listening to classical music
Reading a good book
Shopping - not necessarily buying
Movie nights
Date night

um i'm now out of ideas, lol but i'm sure there's a lot more people do to reduce stress.

429700 tn?1308011423
I'm so sorry to hear about your mom.  :(

Stress causes me to be up late at night and get little sleep.  For me, it's the lack of sleep that causes me to feel really, really badly.  Try to get yourself relaxed and sleepy at your scheduled bedtime.  

If I do any activity late at night, I cannot get myself to calm down enough to get any sleep.  Plus, I have the most horrible spasticity from over-doing it.
198419 tn?1360245956
Hi Paula,

So sorry to hear Mom isn't so stable lately. I do the same thing w/the theraputic cleaning - it really helps.

I turn the radio on, or my favorite tv channel "party favorites" and just turn up the volume and hope no-one comes home to disturb me or change the channel.

I do whatever I can that doesn't require thinking, and because that can indeed overdue your body - just do it slower, but do it!

Wishing you and your Mom some stability :)

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