When It’s Time to Take a Break, You’ll Know It

By Steve Barrymore
Updated 2024-03-28 17:12:47 | Published 2022-03-23 20:06:46
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  • Multiple Sclerosis
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    • The Multiple Sclerosis section of the iMedix Blog is a resource rich in information about MS, covering topics like symptom management, treatment advancements, and lifestyle adaptations. It’s an essential guide for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to navigate the complexities of this neurological condition.

When It's Time to Take a Break

We all experience both good and bad days, but often we make a common mistake of overdoing it. These are the days when we feel invincible and want to do everything we couldn't do before. However, this can be a huge mistake for those of us with multiple sclerosis (MS) because of the debilitating fatigue it causes. We may try to make up for lost time but soon realize that our recovery is not as fast as others.

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We need to learn our limits and understand our body's new behavior, as MS symptoms can vary over time. It's important to be aware of our fatigue levels and plan accordingly, either by taking it easy or scheduling rest days.

When our cognitive function declines, when we struggle to find words or our physical weakness worsens, it is a clear sign that we need to rest. Prioritizing tasks and conserving energy earlier in the day can be helpful. However, it's important to acknowledge that we may not always be able to follow strict routines, and unexpected events can disrupt our plans. We need to recognize that our energy is finite and listen to the signals our body sends us. If we ignore these signals, we will pay the price later.

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Feeling lethargic and sleepy during the day indicates that we are either not sleeping well or doing too much. Stimulant medications can provide temporary energy boosts, but it's important to consult with a doctor before taking them. Living with MS means facing daily battles against a disease that constantly challenges us. This requires frequent pauses, breaks, naps, and adequate sleep. We need to accept that we may not always finish projects on time and that we may need to cancel or reschedule plans. It's crucial to understand our bodies, read the warning signs, and rest to avoid severe fatigue. We cannot afford to exhaust ourselves.

Sometimes we need to make significant changes to accommodate MS. This could mean taking naps, resting for an entire weekend, or even leaving a job. It's essential to listen to our bodies and make the necessary adjustments when the time comes. This does not mean we are inadequate or lazy; it simply means we are prioritizing our health. Feeling fatigued and sluggish is a common part of living with MS, and we should not feel guilty for taking time to rest.

MS fatigue can appear unexpectedly and may last longer than anticipated. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help manage fatigue, sometimes it is not enough. We must be in tune with our bodies and recognize when we need to rest. It may seem ironic since MS affects the brain, but sometimes our brain urges us to keep going despite our body's limitations. As someone who is always active and constantly on the go, I personally struggle with this paradox. However, we must prioritize self-care, nurture our bodies, and allow them to heal and restore themselves.

If you want to connect with others living with multiple sclerosis, consider joining our MS Facebook Support Group.

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