How to Cope and Thrive During a Challenging Time

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by Jessie Ace |

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Living through this unique time is nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. 

There’s so much doom and gloom around lately. I don’t know about you, but the constant government alerts and updates don’t feel like they’re helping me. It’s enough to drive me insane if I let it. 

So, how do we remain positive during such a challenging and uncertain time? 

Try out the following techniques to help you remain in control of your emotions. 


Argh! Jess, no! Not mindfulness! That’s lame! That’s the reaction I usually get whenever I suggest it to others. I get it. Mindfulness has gotten a bad rap. But it is something that is practiced by the world’s most successful people. 

It’s true! 

Practicing mindfulness every day can help you learn to manage your emotions. 

You can practice mindfulness by watching YouTube videos that demonstrate guided breathing exercises, or by writing down your thoughts in a journal, drawing, or doing yoga. The practice of mindfulness essentially focuses on being alone with yourself in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. 

What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation? Mindfulness focuses on the awareness of you, whereas meditation focuses on clearing the mind and nothingness. 

Change your self-monologue

Be aware of the language you use with yourself, such as, “I can’t do this,” “I’m stupid,” or “Everything is rubbish, what’s the point?” We all do this from time to time, including me. To achieve what we want, whether it’s a fitness goal, a relationship goal, or a career goal, it’s imperative that we change this narrative. We often tell ourselves things that simply aren’t true. They are things that we wouldn’t say to anyone else. 

Next time you have a thought like that, recognize how you are speaking to yourself. Make it a goal to flip the thoughts into something more positive whenever you recognize a negative language pattern. 

As motivational speaker Les Brown likes to say, things in life will either make you bitter or make you better. You get to choose which will be the outcome.

Listen to podcasts

There are so many podcasts to listen to including our own Multiple Sclerosis News Today podcast flash briefings.

My podcast, “DISabled to ENabled,” began creating special episodes in which we speak with guests in different countries to find out what life is like around the world right now. We try to see the positives in every situation.

As with our latest guest, David Francisco from “American Idol,” who shared his story this week, it really helps to put things into perspective. Francisco told us how he forgave the driver who caused an accident that paralyzed him. We talked about what being on the “Ellen” show was like, and why he’s teaching kids all over the U.S. about the dangers of distracted driving. 

Keep a time capsule journal

At a time when all we seem to take are supplement capsules, try a time capsule! 

The current situation will not happen every day, and something like this may never happen again. This moment in time is worth documenting. 

What is happening where you are right now? 

How do you feel about life? 

Have you started a project as a coping mechanism? 

Make a note of your answers in a diary or video blog, or “vlog.” One day, you’ll look back and think, “Wow, I remember what that was like.” Down the road, it may help to make you feel better about a situation you’re going through. 

Limit the news

I know it’s tempting to be glued to the news right now, but in all seriousness, you don’t need to know all the facts, 24 hours a day. You just don’t. Limiting the news reduces the stress in your mind, as well as feelings of panic and overwhelm. 

My new favorite phrase is: “You can’t worry about something you’re not in control of.”

Wash your hands, stay inside, and disinfect everything that comes in your door. That’s all you can do right now to help this situation. 

Start a project

You can do this either on your own or as a family. Starting a project gives everybody something to work toward and distracts from the negativity happening outside. It also gives you something to show when this is all over. 

Try learning a new craft or skill. Make a family time capsule and bury it in the garden. Write a book. Clean out your cupboards. Make one of those crazy domino-effect-type gizmos that go all around your house. Learn photography online. Sites like Udemy are amazing and have full courses for as little as $10. 

Bored family at home? Check out these five things to do at home for free

How are you entertaining yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Deb avatar


All those MS video's, pod casts are use less
for me. Our verizon plan is for 24 gb's a
month. Even all my doctors have a my health
site that you have to use. Because of this
and I don't understand how to use them I'm not getting the care I need. My husband says were locked into contract an can't do any thing. It just keeps getting worse. It's just the 2 of us. Finally I'm telling
some one I think.
We only have one e-mail so I afraid to
say anything.

Ann lumley avatar

Ann lumley

With progressive ms I just make a joke about the invisible and now visible illness I believe the one thing I won’t let it destroy is my sense of humour. And that compared to when my dad had ms medical science has advanced so much.
Yes I have down days but I’m with the virus and life all you can do is live and learn.


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