Jill is a wife and mother of 3 with a positive attitude about her life with relapsing MS. She was diagnosed in 2005, and through the years she’s learned many lessons and opened up to her new roles and responsibilities.
Throughout my 17-year journey with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), I’ve learned that taking care of myself is essential. As a wife and mother to 3 children, I’ve also learned that it can be tough to work through the daily ups and downs of my MS along with the expectations of everyday life, whether it’s family, work, or community obligations.
Saying yes to yourself doesn’t mean you have to give up on the things or people you love. I’ve found the following 4 tips keep me from feeling overwhelmed and ensure that I can say yes to being my best self.
Organization is key
I know I’m not superwoman and that I can’t take on everything I may want to, but I can tackle the most important things that arise in my life. To organize my schedule, I create a color-coded calendar each week where I list my responsibilities and plans for each day. This helps me see the different aspects of my day, view my week at-a-glance and ensure that I’m not over-committed.
Must-have versus nice-to-have
To avoid spreading myself too thin, I write down every week what I need to get done versus what I would like to get done. As long as I can get through the “must have” items for the week, I feel a sense of accomplishment, and anything above and beyond that is a bonus. I know that this prioritization process enables me to conserve my energy as much as possible, so I can always give my best to both myself and my family.
Talk, talk, talk!
Living with relapsing MS can be challenging, but I have found that life goes more smoothly when I am open with family and friends about how I’m feeling. By being honest about my symptoms or how I’m coping on any particular day, I’ve become more comfortable with myself and my disease. It also helps the people around me better understand my MS, and why I feel the way I do sometimes.
Committing to “me time”
For me, being the best mom and wife starts with making sure I’m being mindful of my whole self, including both mind and body. I set aside at least one moment during the day for “me time.” In fact, I have a small book of uplifting quotes that I read every day to remind myself that, no matter how I’m feeling, I’m doing the best I can. I’ve learned that my body and mind need to recharge, and by taking this time for me, I am saying yes to my own self-care, and that’s what matters most.
Jill K. is a paid spokesperson for Biogen and has experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate). She may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA.