How do I even begin to put the last two weeks into words? It feels a like I’ve stepped into an alternate reality that slightly resembles my life but not really!
We have yet another new normal to get used to!
It’s a double whammy for those who have just being diagnosed with MS. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have recently been told the life altering news that they have an incurable illness only to be hit by another complete change to their lives.
It’s a lot to process! To be honest, I’m struggling a bit with the strain of it all. However, at times like this, I like to try and find the silver lining and there always is one!
If you have been recently diagnosed, try and use this time to process what your MS means and how you’re going to approach treating it. Put some work into researching and deciding on an action plan. Even if you’ve been diagnosed for a while, this is a good opportunity to evaluate and assess your MS trajectory, free from most of the distractions of normal life. You can ask yourself these three basic questions:
- What am I doing that is working at the moment?
- What is not working at all and needs to change quickly because it’s pulling me down?
- What do I need to tune up or tweak because it could be working better?
To help you in this endeavour, I’m offering 70% off the usual cost of my video coaching course, The Natural MS Recovery Plan during this time. You’ll be able to watch the videos and work through the course material in your home and at your own pace. You’ll also be able to set up coaching calls with me to chat through how you’re doing. I’m hoping to get some group calls going too!
How does the virus affect us?
Obviously because this is such a new virus, there’s not much data out there on how it specifically impacts MS. However, this is what I’ve managed to glean about MS and coronavirus.
Firstly, having MS doesn’t increase your risk of contracting the coronavirus. However, your reaction to the virus could be worse than someone who doesn’t have MS. It all depends on the strength of your immune system.
Secondly, there have been concerns around the immuno-suppressant effectof some drugs such as Tysabri and Gilenya and how the virus would impact this. However, the risk seems to be low to moderate. So if you’re taking DMDs don’t panic! Keep your immune system strong by staying away from the nasties – reigned sugar, gluten and dairy.
Thirdly, viruses cause a reaction in the immune system which could potentially lead to autoimmune activity. I know that I often feel old symptoms flaring up when my body is under attack. So, if you do contract the virus, it’s important to do everything you can to build your immune system by eating highly nutritious food like smoothies, lots of greens and by good quality supplements (probiotics, Vit C and Vit D). Getting lots of rest is also vital.
Lastly, this is a worrying, frustrating and stressful time and, as we know, stress has a massive impact on MS. I’ve chatted to a few ladies this week who have had an onset of few symptoms as a result of the stress they have been feeling. It’s important to be aware of your stress levels and take steps to reduce them.
Here are a few ideas to keep yourself feeling great!
How to Stay Well
1. Follow all the advice we’ve been given on self-isolating, hand washing, disinfecting everything that comes into your home like post and parcels, groceries. We have had two big grocery deliveries in the last week and I’ve put everything onto the kitchen floor and wiped it down with antibacterial wipes. We also quarantine our parcels for 3 days (which is how long it takes for the virus to die on plastic surfaces).
2. Keep your self physically healthy by eating nutritious meals and doing regular, light exercise. I’ve found that a daily walk or cycle has also been important for my mental well-being.
3. Try and meditate for 10 minutes daily to evoke the Relaxation Response and reduce the feeling of stress.
4. Do something, every day that you LOVE – something that feeds your soul. For me this is painting! I feel so nurtured and happy when I have a paintbrush in my hand. It has the most remarkable effect on my mental well-being. For you it may be baking, sewing or reading.
I realise that this advice is common sense and I’m sure you’re all doing it already! However, it’s often just good to receive some sort of confirmation that you’re on the right track.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you during this time! I’d love to connect with you.