Some Guidelines on Saving Energy…

For People with Multiple Sclerosis

Introduction

Does this sound familiar? “I’m so tired!” and “I have no time!”. There is a huge challenge of managing one’s everyday activities, so you seek suggestions on how to manage your energy.

For people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), it is even more important to learn how to save energy and handle fatigue as well as possible. After all, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of this disease, and it has negative repercussions on the daily life of many people with MS. That’s why it’s essential for these people to adopt effective energy-saving strategies.

The goal of this article is to offer you methods and tools that will enable you to save time and energy. I encourage you to share them with all the “tired” people you know, whether or not they have MS. They may have another auto-immune disorder, or anemia which fatigue is a huge component.

We all know how how hard it can be to change a routine. We’re ready to change our house, our job and even our spouse, but we find it difficult to throw out a ratty old pair of slippers! To succeed in acquiring new habits, we first have to adopt an open attitude towards change: this is easier if we believe we will benefit from changing how we do things. To set realistic goals for yourself and take the time to integrate them well, and if they improve your everyday life, you’ll be more motivated to continue the change. And now, it’s literally up to you!

Part I – Suggestions for Simplifying Your Life and Saving Energy

1. Set Your Priorities

First make a list of all your activities (everyday activities, housework, job, leisure and rehabilitation) and rank them in order of importance, asking yourself the following questions:

* What do I enjoy doing and what is important to me?
* What absolutely has to be done today, or this week?
* How often do these tasks have to be done?
* Do I have to do everything myself?
* Are my expectations of myself realistic?
* What do the people around me expect of me?
* Are their expectations the same as my own?

Then choose the activities that you would like to continue doing yourself. We will see later that there may be more energy-efficient ways to do them.

If you think that everything is top-priority and nothing can be changed, think about your resistance to change and ask someone you trust for their opinion. This should help you.

2. Know How to Share Delegate Tasks!

Identify the tasks that you could delegate and that other people could do, without anyone being worse off. Tell yourself that learning to delegate can be a real step towards wisdom. If you have children, it’s natural for them to get involved with household chores, depending on their age, since that represents an opportunity for them to learn all kinds of things.

You can also make use of various services:

* Bank transactions and a lot of shopping can easily be done by phone or on the Internet. Check catalogs as well: the number and variety of things you can order by mail never ceases to grow.

* Many businesses, such as grocery stores, drugstores and dry cleaners, offer home delivery. Use it!

Being independent doesn’t mean doing everything yourself; it also means knowing how to get help.

3. Simplify and Eliminate Tasks

Here are a few questions that should help your reflection process:

* Could certain tasks be eliminated altogether? For example, you’ll have considerably less ironing to do if you take the clothes out of the dryer as soon as the cycle ends and hang them up right away.

* Could the frequency of certain activities, such as dusting, vacuuming or grocery shopping, be reduced?

* Could other tasks be simplified or done differently? For example: you could choose recipes that don’t take much time but are still delicious, or leave the dishes to drip dry instead of drying them.

Simplifying tasks also means….

* Thinking about what hairstyle would be the most practical for you, as well as being attractive.

* Choosing comfortable and appropriate shoes, since you get tired easily.

* Giving yourself permission to have a frozen meal instead of a home-cooked one so that you’ll have enough energy to go to the movies in the evening. Similarly, you could invite friends to a potluck dinner, where everyone brings something, instead of cooking everything yourself. People will be happy to help out.

4. To Improve the Organization of Your Day’s Activities, Plan Ahead

* Plan your movements around the house. Get into the habit of putting everything that needs to go up or downstairs near the staircase. You’ll avoid some climbing that way. Ask for help with heavy objects.

* Put everything you use for a particular activity in one place. For example: before sitting down to watch TV, gather everything you’ll need – phone, glasses, remote control – and then take it easy!

* Plan what you will need for your activities during the week and make sure you’ll have all the necessary items. Keep reserve supplies of toilet paper and wrapping paper. Have emergency solutions on hand: frozen meals, a bottle of wine or small hostess gift for a last-minute invitation.

* Hang up a bulletin board in a central location in your home and ask all family members to add to the shopping list.

* Plan your travel outside the house. How many times as you were coming back from your grocery shopping have you suddenly thought, “Oh, I forgot something…?” Before leaving home, take the time to make a list of all the items you need to buy and where you need to go (supermarket, dry cleaner, drugstore). When you leave, use the opportunity to take out the garbage on your way out if it happens to be garbage day.

* Write down the errands you have to run as soon as possible and those that aren’t urgent in your datebook. This will allow you to combine certain shopping trips. For example: if you have to go to the mall to buy the kids’ school supplies, why not buy a present for your mother-in-law whose birthday is coming up in a few weeks?

5. To Reduce Fatigue, Balance Your Schedule

It’s important to know your abilities and limits and to learn to live with them in order to prevent exhaustion. It is just as important to respect your personal rhythm. Be aware of the constraints you put on yourself and learn to be critical of them. All those “must do’s” aren’t always essential as we’d like to think!

* Figure out the schedule for your activities for the week and then plan your days, maintaining a certain balance among them. Your schedule has to be realistic and take your priorities into account. If necessary, change it! Each week, plan for some quiet times and some especially pleasant activities.

* Learn to recognize the times of day when you feel energetic and take this into account when you schedule your activities. Doing all the housework on the same day isn’t smart – it’s an unrealistic dream!

* Alternate periods of work and rest, hard work and light duties. Learn to anticipate your fatigue by knowing the limits of your tolerance while sitting, standing and walking. You will then be able to take breaks BEFORE you get tired, and thus avoid overly long recovery periods.

* Plan time in your schedule for leisure activities. We often tend to believe that a leisure period has to be long, but 30 minutes of reading, music, yoga or other exercise will make you feel better.

* Pace yourself during your activities; it is more productive to keep up a reasonable speed rather than tiring yourself out by going too fast.

* Avoid doing several things at once. You risk being ineffective and getting overtired. For example, use your answering machine and return calls when it suits you.

* Don’t feel obligated to finish a task at all costs or do it on a specific day. Whoever said that the vacuum only works on Thursdays?

6. Work Effectively

Maintain good posture

* When you sit down, choose a straight, firm chair with armrests instead of a soft, overstuffed armchair and make sure your lower back is well supported. Sit right back in the chair, and keep your back as straight as possible and your knees bent at 90 degree angles. If necessary, put a small footstool under your feet. Avoid the “slumped in front of the TV” position, which gives a false impression of being restful. Even if you aren’t accustomed to it, work sitting down as much as possible in order to save energy.

* At a table or desk, ensure that the height of the working surface is appropriate. Face your work head-on instead of sideways; for example, if the telephone is on your left, turn your whole body to answer the call or swivel your chair in order to avoid twisting your back.

* When standing, avoid locking your knees in an extended position and wear low-heeled shoes (about 1 cm or 1/2 inch). If your balance is good enough, change position by swinging your weight from one leg to the other while contracting your abdominal and buttock muscles. Even better, use a small stool to rest one foot at a time; this will reduce the fatigue in your lower back.

* If you have to lift objects, hold them as close to your body as possible, keep your back straight by contracting your abdominal and buttock muscles, and use your thigh muscles to lift yourself up. Avoid leaning, as much as possible. However, if you absolutely have to do so, keep your back straight and bend your knees. Ask for help rather than risking an injury!

* To carry packages, opt for a backpack or a bag worn slung over your shoulders, and avoid carrying too much at a time.

* If you have several bags to carry, distribute them between both hands, being sure to balance the weight. That will prevent you from straining your back.

Organize Your Work Space

* Collect all the objects you will need before starting work and put them somewhere where you can easily see and reach them. Eliminate disorder and unnecessary objects.

* Get everything you will need. For example, keep a bottle of household cleaner everywhere where you regularly use it, and have several pairs of scissors strategically placed around the house.

* Ensure that you’re working in good conditions; appropriate lighting, good ventilation, suitable noise level (too much noise can disturb your concentration).

* Install telephones in strategic spots around the house: have a regular phone on each floor or carry a cordless or mobile phone around with you.

Choose Practical, Adapted Work Tools

* Use “tools” that are easy to handle: lightweight dishes and saucepans, utensils with large, non-skid handles that provides a good grip.

* Choose practical appliances; electric can-opener, hand held blender and lightweight vacuum.

* Check out items with long handles or wheels: long-handled dusters and tongs, serving tables and suitcases on wheels.

Prevent Falls

* Avoid wearing shoes or slippers that don’t support your feet well or that have slippery soles. Long, flowing clothes that could trip you up should also be avoided.

* Thing about installing a handrail in staircases or your shower(s).

* Make sure the lighting in corridors and staircases is good. Nigh lights are very useful if you have to get up at night.

* Don’t let open spaces get cluttered with wires and furniture; stick rugs down firmly with two-sided tape, available at hardware stores.

7. Learn How to Analyze an Activity and Solve Any Related Problems

In our daily activities, we often act automatically. That’s why it’s so important to stop now and then and take the time to analyze how we do things.

It’s not possible to cover all the problems you might face, but here’s an 8-step process for analyzing and addressing difficult issues.

1. Identify the difficulties: Which activities are causing problems (such as excessive fatigue, pain and risk of falls)?

2. Identify the source of the problem: What part of the activity is difficult? When do your problems usually start? Do you feel pain? If so, where? Is the equipment you’re using appropriate? Is your work method appropriate? Does the pace of your work suit you?

3. Brainstorm: Note down all the ideas that come to mind for improving the situation: eliminate steps, improve your posture at work or the tools you use and delegate tasks (if possible). Don’t hesitate to ask your friends and family for suggestions!

4. Choose ONE ideas from the list you made and try it out.

5. Evaluate the results: Has the problem been solved? Do you see a satisfactory improvement? If not, move on to the next step.

6. Try out another idea you thought of and continue in this way until you have found a suitable solution.

7. If you have reached the end of your idea bank without solving the problem, consult an outside source: occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

8. Finally, accept that certain problems can’t be solved at this point. It will lessen the stress you are carrying and will help avoid fatigue, which stress brings on.

Part 2 – to follow tomorrow.

Credit: MS Society of Canada and augmented by Author Jennifer L Martin

10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

Making simple changes that either cut out or burn off extra calories will add up to weight loss over the course of a year.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, then you already know it’s the little things that add up — the “little bit more” at the dinner buffet, the “little bit too tight” feeling of your clothes. But what if you also knew about the little things you could do every day to increase your weight- loss success? Here they are.

10 Steps to Speed Weight Loss

1. Switch up your snacks. “First of all, watch mindless snacking,” says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at the Houston Northwest Medical Center in Houston, Texas. “[Those calories] really add up.” Instead of grazing on the baked goodies in the break room, have a plan for healthy snacks that combines a little bit of fat, protein, and crunch, such as apple slices smeared with peanut butter. If you are counting calories, doing the math may help: a pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories, so if you can cut 100 calories out of your day, you will lose a pound in just over a month.

2. Cut out high-calorie condiments and sugars. “Instead of getting a coffee with sugar, try Splenda,” says Banes. Likewise, try mustard on your burger or sandwich instead of mayonnaise, and order your salad dressing on the side so that you can control the amount you eat.

3. Hoof it. “Exercise is key,” says Banes. People who manage at least 150 minutes of activity a week are more successful with weight loss. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a bit farther from your destination so you have to walk. This will add extra exercise — and burn more calories.

4. Anticipate temptation. If you know you can’t resist freshly baked brownies, don’t keep a mix in your pantry. Also, if you are going somewhere with friends and family and know you’ll have a hard time controlling yourself, make a decision before you get there about what you will eat — and stick to it.

5. Try the veggie-loaded plate method. Banes recommends using your plate to guide your food selection and portion sizes. One half of the plate should be vegetables. The other side can be split between protein and starchy carbohydrates. If you decide to get a second plate, says Banes, it had better be all vegetables. People who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day are more successful with weight loss.

6. Skip the fast food. A study of 1,713 adults who have been successful with weight loss demonstrated that people who eat at fast-food restaurants less than twice a week have greater success with their weight loss. “If you do eat fast foods, don’t supersize it,” says Banes, and try to opt for a salad, small portions, or “get baked, not fried.”

7. Limit the calories you drink. While most people understand sugary sodas add calories, Banes sees a misconception when it comes to sweet tea and juices. Sweetened tea is no less calorie-dense than soda, and you’d be better off eating the fruit than drinking the juice, advises Banes.

8. Be accountable. Whether you have a diet buddy you check in with, a support group, or a food diary, keeping track of your daily food choices takes only a few minutes, but can double your weight-loss success.

9. Order smaller portions. Data suggests that people who order smaller portions or share a plate at restaurants are more successful with weight loss. Banes recommends ordering the lunch portion, an appetizer, or a children’s meal — or put up to half your meal into a doggy bag before you begin eating.

10. Acknowledge your success. People who believe they can succeed with weight loss actually do lose weight more successfully. How do you gain this confidence? Take a moment to pat yourself on the back when you make healthy choices and achieve your short-term goals.

These small changes, all of which can easily be made, will quickly add up to more pounds lost over time.

Source: EveryDayHealthLiving
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

The Health Connection-Knowing Your True Self

The Health Connection on BlogTalkRadio

The Health Connection on BlogTalkRadio

There was a funny blunder in this episode. Then within seconds of my show finishing here in California we had an earthquake. My computer desk was swaying, lights were moving, my daughters bed was moving. Maybe I just had a very strong blogtalkradio show that shook the earth? Lol I hope you enjoy the show.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jenniferlmartin/2013/05/24/understanding-our-true-self

Here is the information from Janette from tonight’s show:

Here is the information from Janette Dalgliesh per last night’s radio show:

Kim Falconer – my favorite LOA-astrologer by a long shot – has her blog at http://kimfalconer.wordpress.com (and yes, she’s also a successful SF author who writes fabulous books rich in LOA!). For anyone seeking a reading with Kim, the info is at http://www.falconastrology.com/readings_astrology_reports.htm

Eve Gregory – does work around connecting with inner guidance – http://evagregory.com

For numerology I’d recommend a reading with Janette! http://sweetreliefcoaching.com/numerology-loa/

10 Depression Symptoms to Watch For……..

While severe sadness is the most well-known symptom of depression, knowing how to recognize other signs can help head off a future depressive episode.

Recognizing Depression
If you’re one of the 20 million people in America with depression, you know that it’s not a condition to be taken lightly. It’s important to manage symptoms of depression with therapy and medication as prescribed by your doctor, both to feel better now and to reduce the risk of a depressive episode in the future.

One of the best ways to minimize the physical and emotional damage of an episode of depression is to recognize depression early and take action — which can mean getting back on track with treatment or talking to your doctor about whether your treatment plan needs to be reviewed and revised. But not all symptoms of depression are easy to identify, and the early signs can be different for everyone. Here are some common symptoms you should look for.

Fatigue or Lack of Energy
We all feel less energetic from time to time, so fatigue on its own isn’t necessarily a symptom of depression or a sign of a depressive episode, says Gabriela Cora, MD, managing partner of the Florida Neuroscience Center and a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. “However, if fatigue lingers and is accompanied by low mood and decreased motivation or interest, this lack of energy may be tied to early signs of depression,” she says.

Insomnia
Sleep patterns vary from person to person, so the best way to tell if sleep disturbance is a symptom of recurrent depression is to try to remember how you slept before your depression was well managed. If you slept poorly at that time and are sleeping less now, then this might be a sign of a depressive episode for you. “If you’ve already experienced depression in the past, you want to be sure to address any sleep disturbance that’s different from before,” Dr. Cora says. “It may not be a problem if you can’t sleep well for a couple of nights, particularly if you’re experiencing a lot of stress. But in the absence of a specific trigger, you should watch out for any sleep changes that differ from your normal sleep pattern.”

Sleeping Too Much
It’s also possible to get too much of a good thing, and sleeping too much could be a symptom of depression. Cora says that even for people who are managing depression, the magic number is still eight hours of shuteye. “In general, sleeping more than eight hours every night may not be as healthy,” she says. “If you oversleep and experience a mood that’s low or sad, this may indicate depression.”

Changes in Appetite and Weight
We all tend to overeat or feel loss of appetite from time to time. However, if it’s coupled with other symptoms, such as feeling depressed or losing interest and pleasure in usual or favorite activities for two weeks or more, it could be a sign of a depressive episode, according to Simon Rego, PsyD, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. A weight gain of at least 5 percent of a person’s total body weight in a short period of time (approximately a month) that causes significant distress may be considered part of depression, Dr. Rego says.

Physical Pain
Physical pain might be a surprising symptom of depression, but for some people it can be part of a depressive episode. “In some cases, people will visit their physician for vague abdominal pain, untreatable headaches, and aches and pains that don’t seem to go away,” Cora says. “It’s wise for all physicians and practitioners to keep depression in mind.”

Colors Appear Dull
Another surprising symptom of depression is perceiving the world around you as less colorful and less vivid. “Most people state how the quality of colors or music change for them after treatment,” Cora says. “They’ll say, ‘Is this a new picture in your office? I love the bright colors!’ or ‘I love music again. I can appreciate the beauty of it!'” If you feel depressed and life seems subdued, talk to your doctor.

Burnout at Work
If you feel worn out at work, you might be experiencing a depressive episode, “Many people who say they’re stressed and burned out at work are actually feeling depressed,” Cora says. “’Burnout’ is a much more socially-acceptable term than “depression’ is.” Consider how long you’ve been feeling burned out at work — is it just due to a challenging assignment or are the feelings more lingering and long-term? If you feel burned out on a regular basis, it could be a sign of depression.

Memory Problems
Most people have problems focusing from time to time — you might be distracted by a family problem or a financial issue that needs to be resolved. But to rule this out as a symptom of depression, make sure your problems with memory or concentration aren’t getting worse. “Sometimes cognitive impairment is so pronounced in depression we call it pseudodementia,” Cora says.

Social Withdrawal
“Social withdrawal is one of the most important symptoms of depression,” says James Overholser, PhD, professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. “When people feel depressed, they tend to withdraw from normal activities and social interactions,” he says. “Furthermore, if a person becomes suicidal, there’s a greater risk that a suicide attempt would go unnoticed and potentially unstopped. I advise many people to fight hard against the tendency for social withdrawal when feeling depressed.”

Unexplained Sadness
If you’re feeling sad, there are three things that determine whether or not it could be linked to depression — intensity, duration, and cause, or more specifically lack of cause. “The sadness of depression stays with you and doesn’t need to have a particular trigger,” Cora says. “Although we can sometimes track specific stressors that trigger first episodes of depression, we can’t necessarily track any subsequent stressors.”

By Wyatt Myers
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
Source: http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression-pictures/depression-symptoms-to-watch-for.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthSexualHealth_20130521#/slide-1

Live BlogTalkRadio Show today-Law of Attraction in Action

Today at 3:30 PST I will be doing a live BlogTalkRadio Show talking about Law of Attraction in Action and what is the connection to our overall health.

You are able to call in and listen to the show live, ask questions or just click on the link and listen through your computer.

 

I hope you’re able to join us.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jenniferlmartin/2013/04/11/law-of-attraction-in-action

 

 

Blue Fingers Brass Knuckles – an autobiography

Blue Fingers Brass Knuckles is my auto-biography about the health issues I’ve gone through such as: Multiple Sclerosis, Thyroid Cancer, Weight Loss Surgery and Severe Anemia. This is a great self-help educational book for not only the patient, but their family, friends, caregivers and also for the people in the process of getting diagnosed.  I’m a very spiritual person who believes in the Law of Attraction and applied these methods in my every day life. 

Ever since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1987 at the young age of 17, I had to learn to “depend” on others instead of being “Ms. Independent”.  I would have never gotten through my exacerbations (attacks) as easily if it weren’t for my courageous, strong & inspiring Mom Georgia who helped me get through day-today life with the “simple” things we all take for granted in our lives. 

For more information please go to http://www.JenniferLMartin.net