Hello everyone, my name is Hannah. I’m 27 years young and have been living with multiple sclerosis for the past three years. I know it’s not been long since I was diagnosed, however it definitely feels like a lot longer. Today I’m going to talk about how I’m remaining and keeping a positive attitude towards MS and life in 2018.
Now I hear some of you say, “Why 2018? Why haven’t you been positive since diagnosis?” Well, since my diagnosis I have always tried to remain positive and happy even when going through a relapse but, it was hard. My emotions were all over the place and trying to remain positive and happy sometimes actually seemed impossible. 2017 was probably my worst year for relapses.
I had four throughout the year, causing me to have roughly six months off work in total. After my last relapse in October I decided that I was going to change my mindset and mood, switch it around and try to actually help myself. This involved accepting that MS is a part of my life and listening to my body, but to also allowing myself to enjoy every single nano second that life has to offer.
Changing my diet and my mindset
I then decided to change my diet and go vegan. I'd done a lot of research into the lifestyle change and decided that I wanted to give it a try.
Six months later and I’m still loving it! I wanted to start by filling my body with goodness and nutrients to help me manage this disease. I also changed my mindset when it came to resting. Whenever fatigue hit in and I needed to take a nap or rest, I’d always beat myself up...
Saying that I need to do something and that I’m wasting time. Now if I get tired or fatigue sets in, I am a lot more relaxed and I know that once I’ve rested, I’ll be able to tackle the rest of the day. So, when New Year's Eve came, I decided to write myself a list of goals for 2018.
Instead of writing big, probably unrealistic goals, I decided to write personal ones that are achievable to me so that I can tick them off with ease. I also decided to create a new motto for myself for 2018 and that’s called 'Not my problem'.
In the past, I'd get myself worked up and stressed with other people’s problems and I didn’t need to at all! It only affected me, it only brought me down... so... no more! I’ve been living by this motto and I can honestly say that it has really turned my life around and made me more positive and happy with myself and life!
Being mindful and finding motivation
Let’s talk about mindfulness. I remember my doctor telling me that I needed to become more mindful and grateful for the little things I have in life.
At first I was like, “Erm, I don’t think so.” However, I was going through quite a bad time and wasn’t in the right head space to be grateful or mindful with anything.
Now, I take five minutes in the morning to write down what I am grateful for, this always sets me up to have a good day! I also write an MS achievement in my bullet journal every day to show myself how far I’m coming along this journey. I
also LOVE listening to inspiring videos on YouTube. Just search 'Motivational Speeches' on YouTube and so many will come up - they have really made me become more positive too.
This word and I used to be real enemies. I used to HATE exercising, however now I have started doing a little bit in the mornings (5-10 minutes) and I really do agree that it makes you happier throughout the day! When I haven't done my daily little exercises, I definitely feel more sluggish and fatigued.
I never thought I’d ever say that! Having gone through January and actually feeling content at the end and happy going into February, I finally feel happy to say that I have found my positive streak and will be embracing it throughout the months, using the techniques I’ve mentioned above. I really hope this has helped any of you reading this and I write regular posts on my blog about remaining positive.
You can read more from Hannah by visiting her blog, An Ordinary Girl With MS.
Please note: Hannah uses coconut oil in some of her recipes on her blog. We do not recommend coconut oil for people with MS as it is a saturated fat. Find our more about coconut oil here.