March Favorites 2016 | Health, Lessons & Inspiration

As every month, I wrap up the one that just ended and draw the line to see what it has left me with. Let’s get into what this March had to offer.


SMart Choice is a lifestyle blog. Health is an essential part of it so is usually the thing I start these articles with. Living with an unpredictable illness like multiple sclerosis leaves space for all kinds of happenings and changes.

This March was good to me. The major issue was around feeling emotionally tense and suffering consequences like muscle tension, numbness and headaches. All this lead in turn to feeling fatigued and at times mentally exhausted, as I was also brainstorming new content ideas and plans for the blog. But I went on with all that and did my thing. I strained. And so I had to suffer.

Imagine a roller coaster curve: going up, higher and higher, pausing a bit at the top and then letting go and calming the ride. This is what happened with my symptoms, as my hormones were doing their monthly fluctuation, I experienced pressure, fatigue and sensory issues.

Let me tell you what I’ve learned. There are two things that worked for me and did their job perfectly:

  • Take time to relax during the day and sleep at least 8 hours per night. For a person with MS this should be like prescription medicine. Sleep has proven to be anti inflammatory, it promotes cellular repair and recharges our energy supplies (plus is sooo comfortable and cozy! :)) ).
  • Exercise helps the body to be strong and well. It has anti inflammatory effects and encourages cell growth. This month I focused on my core strength, while getting the extremities (arms & legs) more flexible. I got my whole body to be balanced inside and out.


The word that defines this March is “balance”: balance hormones, effort & rest, sleep & wake, exercise & sitting. All leading to a more harmonious lifestyle based on smart, healthy and creative choices that improve your mental and physical health. That help keep them in balance.

Work on having less stress in your life. You need to heal. Make space for that. I’ll say it once more, tend to the body, tend to the mind.

Focus on relationships. Go on living life as it is. Have empathy for people. Be compassionate. Simplify. Take breaks. Stand up for what you believe in. Keep moving everyday. Train for life. Have faith in yourself; believe you can do it and you will suceed. Have self-compassion. Be aware of your thoughts. What you think is what you become.


As always, the list is full of motivational and creative things and people. I love learning from like-minded people who have more experience than me. This March also brought some very interesting Tweetchats: #MSworkability,  #MSminds and #ChatMS (on cognition). Read all about them here, here and here.

Marie Forleo brought encouragement and many more insights with her videos on YouTube (here). This month's biggest outtake from them, is about starting before you’re ready. We plan so much, we fear that we are not prepared well enough and so forth. But the fact is we are never 100% ready for doing anything. There will always be something that takes us off-guard and that makes us to adapt as we go along. Striving to be perfect gets you nowhere. Do an excellent job at the best of your abilities and modify as needed. Life isn’t waiting for you to be on your best day. Live now.

Amy Shmittauer (SavvySextSocial) has a penetrating and insightful YouTube channel, podcast and business, all built around social media and helping people do and be their best through digital storytelling. She also motivates and points out where one should make improvements in their online self-expression in order to succeed at business and human relationships that come from it. I've been watching Amy's channel for almost a year now, and I formed a habit of comming back for more. Take a peek at her videos and see what you can learn from them. Way helpful.

On the same topic, Gary Vaynerchuk has once again proved of real value in providing insights on how to best convey messages through social media. I resonate with his idea of storytelling natively to each platform, adapting the content so that it expresses your message in the best way possible at a given time. Go check out Gary here.

The EMSP (European Multiple Sclerosis Platform) provided ongoing motivation to continue having a voice in the multiple sclerosis community. I draw so much inspiration from people with or without MS who advocate and stand up for the wellbeing and a higher quality of life for the ones living with multiple sclerosis. Their stories are helping me raise back up when I think I can’t do it no more. If a person who went through so many things is able to stand up and go on living, I can do that too.

Shift.MS launched a new tool for managing mental health in dealing with multiple sclerosis. Thought Sort is the kind of online, interactive way to literally sort out your thoughts and see where they came from and what can be done to shift your mindset to a more positive one that suits your lifestyle. Go check it out here and while you’re at it, make sure you subscribe to the Shift.MS community. Lots of feedback, support and encouragement from the network's members.

The "Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. An Evidence-Based Guide to Recovery” book by professor George Jelinek. I always say that education is key. Reading all you can about your disease and about ways to manage it is the best thing you can do with your spare time. Some of us have the need to be informed and some don’t. I accept that as well. So, do as you choose. Just remember this is a great resource to a better understanding of multiple sclerosis and how you can become an active part on your way to recovery. And mind you I’ve said recovery, not cure. The goal is to maintain the state you are in now for as long as possible. To improve and stabilize. To be healthy in spite of MS. Physically and mentally.

Lori Schneider made me cry with her TEDx talk about overcoming our limits and fears by having the courage to determination to become a better version of ourselves. Dare to confront our fears and we will be surprised at what we can really achieve if we put our bodies and minds up to it. 

An international speaker, author, Everest and "Seven Summits" mountaineer, advocate for those living with neurological disorders and disabilities, she is also one of this year's speakers at the EMSP 2016 Spring Conference taking place in Oslo, Norway. Find more about her here and here.

This was my month and all the things that got me a little forward than I was the one before. Little by little, we all evolve, we all change and grow. The more you resist it, the more you strain your mind and bring anxiety into your life. Straighten your back, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
I hope you enjoyed this month's favorites. Leave a comment down below and let's talk. 

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As always, transformation starts from within.


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