Bruce’s Story: An MS Care Partner’s Perspective
Being a support partner means being prepared for circumstances you can’t control. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for them. Hear Bruce describe how he approaches being a support partner, and what he does to ensure both he and Rennie are prepared for a relapse.
Support partners often overlook one very important detail—taking care of themselves!
As a support partner, it’s important to remember that as you are planning ahead to lessen the impact of an MS relapse on your loved one, you still need to take some time take care of yourself. The responsibilities of support partners can sometimes feel overwhelming, but taking a few moments every day to take care of yourself can go a long way to ensuring that MS relapses don’t overtake your life. See below for a few simple ways to help you refocus and recharge.
- Get some sleep – Nobody is at their best when they are sleep-deprived. Be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep every night, and recognize when it would be helpful to lie down and take a nap. You might be surprised how much effect a 20 to 30 minute nap can have on your mood.
- Keep up your hobby – Whether you’re a bookworm, a music fiend, or a movie buff, make sure to find some time to partake in your favorite pastime.
- Get some exercise – Exercise has benefits that go well beyond helping you in your role as a caregiver. Taking time every week to exercise, whether it be jogging, lifting weights, or simply going for a walk, won’t just help you stay focused as it will also help you live a longer, healthier life.
- Try some relaxation techniques – Whether you like yoga, tai chi, or just closing your eyes for a few moments and breathing deeply, make sure to take a few moments every day to relax your body and refocus your mind.
- Ask for help – Sometimes even support partners need support. If you feel overwhelmed, know when to reach out and ask a friend or family member for help.
Not only can these simple methods help you better care for your loved one with MS, but they can also help you live a healthier life in general. Taking time to make yourself happier and healthier can be your way of not letting MS and the accompanying relapses take charge of your life.