31 Days of MS: Being Kind to Yourself
Day 7 of 31
This is Heather Russell-Kay’s story:
Hi! My name is Heather and I am an actor, teacher, blogger, and support volunteer. I was diagnosed with MS just over six years ago, and for me, it came as a shock. I had never even heard of MS!
When I was initially diagnosed there was some physical help available, but there seemed to be very little for the mental health side of things (it was not mentioned at all at the beginning). And after talking to others, it sadly seems to be a reoccurring theme for many people with chronic illnesses.
Living with MS can be difficult, and although the physical aspects are tricky, sometimes the mental aspects can have an even bigger impact on our lives. I know it has for me at times! And anxiety is something I have struggled with since the start of my MS adventures.
Although I was unsure at first of how to look after my mental health, over time I have found lots of different methods to help, with a key focus on being kind to myself. That’s something I think we could all incorporate into our lives more.
Here are my tips:
- Remember to create time for yourself. Give yourself permission to have days where you splodge out on the couch, with a cozy blanket and your favorite film on.
- Do something every day that makes you happy.
- Give yourself recognition for the little achievements throughout the day.
- Learn to say “no.” Put you and your health first, and don’t agree to stressful and tiring things that you do not want to do.
- Be compassionate toward yourself. Talk to yourself as though you are your own best friend! Be kind to yourself.
And most importantly, remind yourself that you are amazing and that you’re doing great! It’s easy to notice the things we feel we are not doing well, but spend time focusing on all the things you have achieved!
Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or go here to see the full series.