Try these tips to make living with MS just a little easier.
Between fatigue, muscle weakness, imbalance and other problems associated with MS, living with the disease often demands a lot of effort and energy, even for the simplest of tasks.
Conserving (and managing) your energy can help you spend more of it doing the things you want to do as opposed to those you have to do.
These MS life hacks can help you make that happen:
First, be a fan of a plan:
How many times have you walked into another room only to retrace your steps to fetch an item from the room you just left? Or come home from running an errand only to remember something else you needed while you were out?
Energy conservation begins with planning (and then prioritizing, pacing and even how to position yourself and your tasks throughout the day in order to shave even more work off every day tasks).
The big idea is to thoroughly scrutinize your daily activities and lifestyle and then develop a plan — complete with strategies and necessary tools — that allows you to manage more of your life and activities with less effort. Once you’ve created a plan, you can then address priorities, pacing and positioning.
Use this handout from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada for help getting started.
- When bathing or showering, use warm, not hot water. This helps eliminate shortness of breath from a buildup of steam and condensation as well as reduce heat sensitivity.
- Using a bath bench, bath stool, grab bars or a raised toilet seat can make bathing and toileting easier and safer.
- Use zipper pulls.
- Try magnetic button shirts (men’s and women’s here).
- Jewelry helpers can make necklaces and bracelets easier to put on by yourself.
- Wear loose clothing for easier breathing.
- Sit when you can and sit while putting on shoes and socks.
- Wear slip-on shoes.
- Use a terrycloth robe instead of a towel to dry off.
- Organize and lay out clothing the night before.
- Begin dressing your lower half first as this uses more energy.
- Avoid bending and reaching. Instead, use a reacher, sock aid or long handled shoe horn or lift your legs up onto the bed or chair.
- If you have a weaker limb or limbs, it is easier to dress the weaker limb first. It is easier to undress your strong limb first.
- Wear clothes that are easy to put on and take off (for example, use clothes and shoes with velcro® instead of small buttons, clasps or laces).
- Avoid using scented products such as hair products and lotions. These can irritate your lungs and cause shortness of breath for you and others around you.
Related article: Chill Seeker: Tips for Reducing MS Anxiety
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