7 / 11 Make Time for Exercise
Research shows that exercise can help ease symptoms for many people with MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends moderate aerobic exercise, which may improve muscle strength and bladder and bowel function, as well as stretching exercises to relieve stiffness and improve flexibility and mobility.
Just be sure to take some basic precautions. For example, if you’re having problems with balance, consider swimming or riding a stationary bike. To avoid becoming overheated, take regular breaks, and drink plenty of water. Getting too hot can temporarily worsen MS symptoms.
8 / 11 Get Help Early
Don’t wait until you’re in a really bad place — physically, emotionally, financially, or otherwise — before asking for assistance. Once you’re in a crisis, it can be tougher to get your life back on track.
Get a support team in place now, and ask for help in finding treatment and solutions at the first signs of trouble, no matter what problem you face.
9 / 11 Know the Symptoms of Depression
Depression is so common among people living with MS — at least half experience it, according to Kalb — that experts now believe it may be part of the disease itself. Symptoms of depression include a loss of interest in daily activities; changes in appetite, sleep patterns, or mood; feelings of worthlessness or guilt; and persistent thoughts of death or suicide.
If symptoms such as these are affecting your ability to function in your daily life, see your healthcare provider.
“Depression is treatable,” Kalb says. “Living with MS is hard enough without having to deal with it while you’re depressed.”