Multiple Sclerosis: Health and Wellness Success Tips - dummies

Multiple Sclerosis: Health and Wellness Success Tips

By Rosalind Kalb, Barbara Giesser, Kathleen Costello

Even if you don’t have multiple sclerosis (MS), modifying your behavior in ways that will enhance your health and wellness is never easy. Anyone who has made a New Year’s resolution knows how challenging it can be to change behavior, even when it is in your own best interests.

So whether you’re trying to be more vigilant about your medical or dental checkups, improve your diet, or increase your level of physical activity, the best strategy is to come up with a plan that you can live with. Follow these guidelines to set yourself up for success:

  • Set reasonable goals. Unreasonable expectations only set you up for failure.

  • Focus on the things you can change rather than on those you can’t. Even though MS is here to stay — at least for the time being — you can do a lot to take care of yourself and feel well.

  • Don’t get caught up in your “failures.” If you have a momentary lapse from your new diet or exercise regimen, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, try to put that energy into getting back on track tomorrow. An occasional day off — and an occasional yummy treat — are good for the soul.

  • Work with a buddy to make things easier and more pleasant. Partners, neighbors from down the street, or friends from your support group are all good candidates for an exercise partner. And chowing down with a diet buddy can make those low-cal meals taste better too.

  • Every time you do something good for yourself — whether it’s eating something healthy, getting some good exercise, or getting a mammogram or chest X-ray — pat yourself on the back. Recognizing the things you do to take care of yourself is an important step toward feeling more in control of your body and your health in spite of MS.