How to Ease Future Multiple Sclerosis Flares with 7 Healthy Habits - #SMartWednesday

Hi there and welcome to a new episode of the #SMartWednesday weekly series here on SMart Choice Lifestyle! Today I want to talk to you about the importance of creating new healthy habits and action-plans in order to lessen the impact of a possible multiple sclerosis flare.


I think we all agree on the fact that the better the management of this illness, the better the outcome or at least our coping mechanism, be it physical or emotional. You need to have a healthy lifestyle, as healthy as your own condition will alow you. I encourage you to personalize the way you do this, as it needs to come naturally and feel comfortable to you in your daily life. Less stress, less trouble.

You and I both know that is better to prevent than treat. And if we were not able to prevent multiple sclerosis, we might as well prevent or ease its effects on our lives. You wouldn’t like a relapse to catch you unprepared, would you? It generates enough trouble by itself. Thinking that “it’s never gonna happen to me!” and “I will never get through this!” are both unproductive and damaging ways of thinking.

Start by having an action plan. Think what needs to be done in case a relapse might happen. Take into consideration all the details that might need attention into your life. For example, if you are employed, have a colleague you can call and ask to help by taking over some of your tasks untill you get better. Or maybe you are a mom and you have a support system in place, like asking a friend or a member of your family to help you with all that needs to be done.

Either way, planning beats the go-with-the-flow attitude. It gets rid of the fear or the angst you might have, it clearly states what, when, how and by whom needs to be done. I will have a more in depth article about this topic in a future #SMartWednesday episode.


My personal experience with the fear of relapses is sometimes still an issue, but it’s gotten less and less scary because I simply faced it, looked it into the eye and wrote down an action-plan.

One evening I was writing in my MS Journal about the fears and anxieties I had that day. As I had some tingling and numbness down my left arm and some eye blurriness, the first thing I thought about was “fear of relapse”. I looked at what I have been writing for the past month or so, and the same fear kept repeating at different intervals, depending on my symptoms.

I was scared sh****s of a possible relapse. Mind you that I have changed my lifestyle to a healthy way of living, but the fear of the unknown was still there and reactivated with each and every little symptom I might have experienced. Stressing multiple sclerosis!

And so I took charge. I got up, went to the bathroom, looked into the mirror and asked myself what made me so afraid. Was it the relapse itself? No, because I had no power over it. Was it a certain type of relapse? No, because I can’t decide that. What kept me anxious was not knowing what to do next and not having control. Although I basically knew what it needed to do, I did not have an action plan. I did not have a strategy in place for my war with multiple sclerosis.

In today's article I will give you guys the essential insights I had that evening. I will make a separate article on the topic, as it needs more attention than I can give it here.


Note down all the people you need to call in case a relapse might happen. That includes your neurologist, your MS nurse or GP. Be informed on who you can call, when and what for. Be prepared to ask the right questions and be prepared for streroids and/or taking days off for rest.

Know that the relapse WILL end. Your life will get back to normal or to your new normals if that’s the case. You may be left with new symptoms or issues, but you will overcome each challenge as it occurs. No need in stressing about that now.

Allow your body to heal. Have patience and take care of yourself. Drink plenty of fluids, rest and basically take it easy for some time, untill you stabilize and begin recovery. Once you start that, focus on getting your strength, balance, flexibility and coordination back, as much as you can. Focus on healing and getting stronger.


Further on, let’s get into the 7 points I constructed this article around. Their common ground is improving the quality of life and making you stronger in order to cope better with… whatever!

  1. EXERCISE - it keeps you flexible, balanced and strong, plus it helps the nervous system rewire faster after a flare. The body overall has a better shape and tonus.
  2. EAT HEALTHY - clean up your diet of any food allergens (check what you are allergic to, but mostly, avoid gluten, dairy and processed sugar as much as possible, as they increase the imflammatory state in your body). As a general rule: eat lots of fiber (more vegetables than fruit) and less fat (focus on healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, flax seeds, coconut oil). All food must be eaten in moderation and only until you begin to feel full.
  3. REDUCE STRESS - as a major MS antagonist, it has to go, and it has to go fast. Of course, in our modern lifestyles getting rid of it is pretty tricky, but not impossible. Relaxation techniques (ex: meditation) and deep breathing can have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Also, declutter your mind by starting a journal and venting all issues.
  4. TAKE VITAMIN D3 - it helps your immune system stay healthy and on the right track. The best form is the natural one, as it’s easily processed for the body, but as MSers have notably low levels, a supplement would be advisable. You can find it in salmon, eggs and sardines. Have your levels checked and see how much you need to supplement, as to not overdrive the body uselessly and get to the healthy amount needed.
  5. STAY MENTALLY ACTIVE - keep your mind occupied. Take notice that I said occupied not busy. Putting strain on it is like adding stress uselessly. Make puzzles, read, write, watch an interesting documentary, download a brain training app. Whatever is comfortable and that you enjoy doing.
  6. GET QUALITY SLEEP - get to bed at the same hour each night. Have a bedtime routine where you unwind, relax and leave all the day behind. Include whatever makes you feel at ease and comfortable. Keep it simple, light and stress free. Take time in preparing for sleep. It has to relax you, not aggitate you.
  7. TAKE MEDICATION AS DIRECTED - whether you are on DMDs, symptomatic treatments or on no treatment at all, take good care of your health and adress any issue immediately. Resolve any infection, cold or other problem as quickly and as better as you can, in order to avoid further damage or a nasty relapse.

Last, but not least, here’s an extra tip that you can easily add to your day: be gentle with yourself. Take it easy and gradually let go of worries. Focus on what you enjoy doing and what your abilities still help you with. Grow on those and find ease in whatever you do all day.

Make small choices, decide on what’s best for you at your own pace. Don’t procrastirnate but instead have an action plan ready, have a schedule and goals you want to achieve. Stick to that plan and make modifications as needed. Only you can make yourself better. If you don’t help yourself be, feel, act better, no one will. Take responsability for your life and plan wisely.

To sum it up, you need to take charge of your wellbeing and make the right choices that best fit your lifestyle. You want to get healthy, strong and relax your mind in order to better cope with an eventual relapse. Have an action plan devised especially for this matter and most of all: TAKE IT EASY, SMILE and LIVE YOUR LIFE TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES.

This was all for this week’s #SMartWednesday! Thanks for being here!

What’s your action-plan going to be like? I am here to help you craft it. Tell me all about it by writing a comment in the box below. I would love to hear your story and help you in any way.

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With love,