Living Like You blogger, Willeke Van Eeckhoutte, shares how living with multiple sclerosis truly is a learning-curve process.read more
Just like many other people, it’s that time of the year again when New Year’s resolutions are already beginning to fade into distant memory.
Sadly, I’m part of the group of people who will only manage to stick to resolutions for a couple of months, only to slip back into undesirable behaviours. Unconsciously, resolutions even have a dirty ring to them. “Too busy,” or “Forgotten,” or even “Ah sure, I’ll get to it at some stage this year,” are all my usual excuses not to continue walking a straight line.
I can thankfully say that a few of last year’s resolutions started to take shape in 2014. I feverishly hope to continue this trend, and therefore ask you to cross fingers, toes and eyelashes for moral support!
My list of intentions this year is simple – it’s almost 100% the same as those published in newspapers, health-related websites and blogs. Losing weight, cutting stress and socializing more are just a few. But when I start to consider my MS as a reason to make changes this year, my list starts to change. The outcomes might be less profound – I can’t say that focusing on my MS will help check my “learn Italian” resolution box - but it’s just as important.
My first MS resolution is actually quite simple - I want my brain to listen, and listen well in 2015. So I’m committed to getting smarter about my MS and its impact on my brain. MS is an interesting field in research at the moment, particularly around brain atrophy, and being a curious type, I need to get reading and researching myself. Sure, brain shrinkage is not the most uplifting of topics, nor is it something many people living with MS think about often, but it’s an ideal resolution candidate if you ask me!
Second on my list is to finally listen to my body as intently as possible, as my four-month relapse in 2014 showed me that I wasn’t paying attention well enough. I often use “RRS” as abbreviation to keep me focused – it stands for “Rest, Relaxation and Sleep,” all things I need but don’t give myself often enough! So for this year, I have drawn up a schedule in my mind to force-feed myself with ‘RRS’ at some point each day.
Thirdly, I am creating a physical and mental map of my disease activity, as I often see my medical team, but can’t remember how I managed throughout the year. By keeping track of daily info on my disease, I’m hoping my visits with the docs are more productive and helpful than ever before. I also plan to track my activity levels, which will not only help me manage my MS but also perhaps the battle of the bulge. Kill two birds with one stone, right?
So that’s it for me – my intentions for 2015 are clear. So could you please re-cross those fingers, toes and eyelashes for me so next year’s blog is about how I fulfilled at least some of these? And in the meantime, feel free to share your resolutions on our Facebook page and together, may we stick to our resolutions a little longer than usual this year.