Busy as a bee…

This blog is one I did for the MSAA talking about finding things to do during this lockdown.  It is easy to get sucked into the seductive siren summons of the TV as monotony turns into inactivity.   We need to mix up our activities and avoid watching our bellies grow into an unruly beast.

We need to use every possible way to shield ourselves from the detrimental impacts of boredom.  Here are some key ways to armor ourselves from the aggressive onslaught from the apathy of life.  It is difficult not to be tempted by the alluring song of the couch and the TV’s hypnotic flicker.  The following tips may seem foolish and utterly superfluous but could help you find ways to keep busy and even boost your overall wellness.

When considering things to avoid lethargy, you do not necessarily think of food, but you should.  Wait, do not skip this blog, but hear me out!  This blog entry is not just a list of things to do to fight the sedentary life though that sort of thing is coming.  During this global viral pandemic in which we are immersed, it is essential to be aware of our food intake.  We do not want downtime to be a growth spurt for our midsection.  Since we are in lockdown at home, it is essential to eat for our activity level, meaning low physical activity equals consume smaller portions. 

All of us need to keep our bodies moving.  When the stay at home order was set, our worlds shrank to our houses’ size, requiring us to get creative.  It is imperative not to sit on the couch and watch television eating bonbons until the order is rescinded.  We must dig deep within us and gather all of the motivation we can muster, and fight the urge for a sedentary sabbatical.  Walk down the street daily, use soup cans for weights, or even do chair Yoga all, so you will not let the temptation of torpidness win your affection.  They are not kidding when they say a body at rest tends to stay at rest as muscle deterioration begins quite rapidly. 

Learn the importance of time management during this nothing is going on in life.  However, time management means fighting any urge to do nothing and schedule events to avoid life’s emptiness.  Plan time so you are not getting bored doing anything and keeping your mind and family entertained.  If you have little kids or grandkids, create game time with them to keep all of you busy and other times have time just for you.  Use Zoom, Hangouts, or Facebook to video chat with them so you can enjoy games or arts and crafts with them. 

To alleviate boredom has always been a pretty paramount practice to help MS patients or anyone.  However, now that we are in isolation, we can quickly get on each other’s nerves causing physical difficulties like never before. Remember, there is a symbiotic relationship between family togetherness and personal alone time.  To keep our brains active, we need to find and nurture both relationships, like a five-year-old who just skinned their knee.   

Think smarter, not harder.

New Year needs new effort…

Now that we have rung in this New Year and flipped the digit to enter into this New Year, we need more. We should desire something to make us stand out from the crowd as it is too easy to vanish into obscurity if we do not evolve. In life, no challenge should define us like struggles do not say who we are as they are just a blip in our timeline. Every year we should grab the tree of life, and with all of the strength, we can muster and shake it. So if you have a lot of power, then rock and rattle it until branches crack, or if you have less vitality, vigorously shake the leaves and say I am here. We must not merely survive this game called life, but we must thrive like a cactus in the hot desert sun.

The key to finding the new thing that will change your outlook on life is to consider your limits. You should stretch slightly past your comfort zone to prove to yourself that you can do more. Find something you have never done or are not particularly good at, as studies show this builds your brain. Find your neighborhood community center and look into taking some classes involving art or cooking. If it is age-appropriate, find a senior center, check out the schedule, and make new and possibly lifelong friends. There are plenty of events for the low and even mid-speed MSers if you are willing to pinpoint and participate.

For those looking for high octane options, there are a plethora of them from which to choose. Adaptive sports have become a massive industry as no one likes to being excluded because of their life’s limitations. We have come so far in technology that what was once impossible is now conceivable. Great minds have gotten together and figured out how to make things work correctly, specifically for the disabled. We have all heard the phrase; there is an app for that. Now we can say there is an adaptation for that.

Adaptive sports include things such as surfing, kayaking, skiing, skydiving, and the list goes on and on. No matter your talent level and abilities, you can ride a bike with a handcycle. If you have the required skills, you can even whitewater kayak. If you are willing, it is not out of the question to snow ski in Colorado with the best of the best. For these sports, you are limited only by your willingness to act and what the imagination can create.

I have always said: do not tell me that I cannot do something because, with time and effort, I will find a way to make it happen. I was challenged to do a 5k in my wheelchair, and even though others doubted that I would complete it, I was successful. Some said that I could not do two and a half miles of swimming, yet I blew that challenge out of the water, and I swam eight grueling miles. There may be obstacles in your path, but you decide to allow them to stop you or not. The question becomes, how badly do you want it, and how much are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish the goal? So get off the couch and pick up your feet, cane, crutches or get behind your walker, even sit in your wheelchair and do something new for the New Year.

Do not let multiple sclerosis stop you; do something despite it.