Managing fatigue & psychological issues
How to manage fatigue
Fatigue is one of the hidden symptoms of MS but is the most common, and often the one that is the most misunderstood. MS fatigue is different to normal tiredness or exhaustion and often comes on without much warning. It is an overwhelming sense of exhaustion both physical and mentally. It can be triggered by a number of elements such as infection, changes in temperature hot or cold, stress, medication or lack of sleep. Its important to pace out your activities with adequate rest periods and save and use energy in the right way
Top fatigue tips
- Ensure you have adequate sleep
- Take rest periods during the day after tasks or activity
- Maintain a healthy diet (see nutrition and diet section)
- Exercise as often as possible (see exercise section)
- Consider relaxation techniques
- Consider cooling techniques such as using a fan if you overheat.
- Have medication reviewed regularly by GP or pharmacists to ensure you are on the right ones for your symptoms
- Think about your tasks and plan what you are doing or see if they can be done in a different way.
- Prioritise or delegate, using your energy for the things that are essential or important to you
How to manage stress
As with the physical management of symptoms, you also have to consider the effects of stress on MS, as this may make some symptoms worse. We all have stress in our lives at different points but sometimes this stress can become overwhelming. Its important to try and regulate any stress as much as possible to maintain your wellbeing .
The main elements of managing stress are
- Recognise the effect stress is having on your health.
- Identify what is causing you stress.
- Take action to remove or reduce the cause of stress
How to manage emotions
Living with MS can produce varying emotions from diagnosis and throughout the course of your MS. These changing emotions can be caused by the MS itself or just be a natural reaction to events in your life. These feelings can vary over time, and symptoms of anxiety, feeling low, or feeling overwhelmed are just some of the common ones. It is important to talk through these feelings with friends and family and speak to your MS team.
Strategies to manage emotions have also been mentioned in other sections such as diet, exercise, and the workplace, but here are a few more suggestion to help manages emotional changes.
- You look after the body but consider looking after your mind; take part in things like relaxation techniques, mindfulness or meditation. Listen to your favourite music or find things that work for you.
- Get some fresh air, even if its for a short time as this can help clear your head. Guernsey has some fabulous scenery and is ideal for walks
- Have time outs or MS free zones. You are allowed to rest, relax, pamper yourself and zone out sometimes. This can help you re balance.
- Find ways to express your feelings .Try listening to music, playing an instrument, singing, painting or other creative hobbies.
- Talk to people around you and gain support
- Take a proactive approach to MS and ask questions
For further information please follow the links below: