MS Monday: Week of 7/16

This week the top MS news story is Stress. According to researchers, “Patients with multiple sclerosis who attended stress management therapy sessions for six months had fewer new brain lesions from disease flare-ups and slower disease progression during their treatment, Northwestern University researcher David C. Mohr, PhD, and colleagues found.” (WebMD)

If you don’t have the time or resources to attend stress management therapy, follow some of these tips and tricks from the awesome people at Zen Habits. If you have never heard of Zen Habits or been to their site, go NOW. It’s a great resource if you want to simplify your life.

10 Simple Ways to Live a Less Stressful Life by Leo Babuta

1. One thing at a time. This is the simplest and best way to start reducing your stress, and you can start today. Right now. Focus as much as possible on doing one thing at a time. Clear your desk of distractions. Pick something to work on. Need to write a report? Do only that. Remove distractions such as phones and email notifications while you’re working on that report. If you’re going to do email, do only that. This takes practice, and you’ll get urges to do other things. Just keep practicing and you’ll get better at it.

2. Simplify your schedule. A hectic schedule is a major cause of high stress. Simplify by reducing the number of commitments in your life to just the essential ones. Learn to say no to the rest — and slowly get out of commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. Schedule only a few important things each day, and put space between them. Get out of meetings when they aren’t absolutely essential. Leave room for down time and fun.

3. Get moving. Do something each day to be active — walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. It doesn’t have to be grueling to reduce stress. Just move. Have fun doing it.

4. Develop one healthy habit this month. Other than getting active, improving your health overall will help with the stress. But do it one habit at a time. Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss every day. Quit smoking. Cook something healthy for dinner. Drink water instead of soda. One habit at a time.

5. Do something calming. What do you enjoy that calms you down? For many people, it can be the “get moving” activity discussed above. But it could also be taking a nap, or a bath, or reading, or having sex (which can also be considered a “get moving” activity if you do it for longer than 5 minutes). Other people are calmed by housework or yardwork. Some people like to meditate, or take a nature walk. Find your calming activity and try to do it each day.

6. Simplify your finances. Finances can be a drain on your energy and a major stressor. If that’s true with you, figure out ways to simplify things. Automate savings and bill payments and debt payments. Spend less by going shopping (at malls or online) much less. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.

7. Have a blast! Have fun each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I like to play with my kids — they take my mind off everything and are really hilarious. I also like to play sports (again, often with my kids). Board games are fun. Sex, again, can be a fun activity. Whatever you choose, be sure to laugh.

8. Get creative. Throwing yourself into a creative activity is another great way to de-stress and to prevent stress. I like writing, but others like to paint or play music or sketch or make pottery or do interior design or build things.

9. Declutter. This is a favorite of mine. I like to take 20-30 minutes and just go through a room, getting rid of stuff we don’t use or need anymore. I look around at anything that’s cluttering up a room, and get rid of it or find a better place for it. When I’m done, I have a nice, peaceful environment for work, play, and living. Do this a little at a time — it can be one of your “fun activities”.

10. Be early. I will admit that it’s hard to be early when you have to get 6 kids ready (seriously — try it!). But being late can be very stressful. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by scheduling more space between events. Things always take longer than normal, so schedule some buffer time: extra time to get ready, to commute, to do errands before you need to be somewhere, to attend a meeting before another scheduled appointment. If you get somewhere early, it’s good to have some reading material.

(Source: Zen Habits)

 Want more?

Check out these articles on stress relief:

Tips for Reducing Stress

Stress Relievers: 25 Ways to Reduce Stress

50 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Also in the news, some pretty awesome people are doing great things for MS.

MS sufferer from Epsom sets sail
A multiple sclerosis sufferer set sail for the first time since his diagnosis on a specially designed ship for those with disabilities last week.” (Your Local Guardian)

Stick it to MS: Over 800 drummers in ‘world’s largest drum kit ensemble’ record in Manchester
“Over 800 drummers from across the UK are heading to Manchester…to try and break a Guinness World Record while raising funds for a Multiple Sclerosis charity.” (Mancunian Matters)


Alumni basketball fundraiser for man with multiple sclerosis
“An alumni basketball tournament fundraiser for Jermaine Sheppard, a 30-year-old Racine native who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, will be held at 6 p.m. July 21 at the George Bray Center, 924 Center St. Admission is $2.” (The Journal Times)


Women Against MS luncheon raises more than $110,000
“West Hartford native Richard Cohen, who was a news producer when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than 35 years ago, recently joined his wife, Meredith Vieira, NBC special correspondent and former co-host of the Today Show, as keynote speakers at the Women Against MS Luncheon, which raised more than $110,000.” (Hartford Business)

Somers Couple to Ride for Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis
“Sue and Leonard Sanders be uniting a passion to ride with their quest to find a cure as they saddle up for the 2012 NBC Connecticut MS Motorcycle Ride on July 22.” (Ellington-Somers Patch)

Check out this cool logo for MS Awareness from WorkPlacePros!

And as always, check out our MS Monday Motivation. If you like anything, be sure to share it!



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