Stress factor?

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Stress factor?

Postby MattB » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:01 am

Many people mention stress as a big factor in how their MS affects them. I trade emails with a woman who had her worst flare up when she was away on a business trip and she has tried to stay stress free since then, which has helped. I was just wondering how you try to stay un-stressed(for lack of a better word)? I'm a third year college student and things are really starting to ramp up, I live on my own, and hold down a job working at least 30 hours per week. Add that in to stress from my diagnosis and some other things that happened to me this year and I get pretty stressed out. My only stress relief, I run, could possibly be threatened by my MS and/or the soon-to-be-started treatment. What methods can I use to relax?
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Postby robbie » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:32 am

My only stress relief, I run,

Thats beautiful.
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Postby BioDocFL » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:08 pm

MattB,

Since you are a runner you probably know how relaxing your hands helps you stay relaxed all over in your running. Tense your hands into fists and you lose energy quicker. I've found breathing control can help in a similar manner in dealing with stress. When I was in college I was in an experimental group that was taught to do deep breathing to lower my blood pressure and stress. Inhale counting slowly to 3, hold it counting to 3, exhale counting to 3. Seems too simple but it does work. My problem is when I get stressed I am too pre-occupied to remember to do it. I've never gotten into yoga much but it probably has that benefit as well as giving you more flexibility. Might help in running too. As far as college work, read ahead so the lecture isn't the first time you hear the topic. That's a simple suggestion too but it's another one I didn't always do and found myself scrambling to catch up on reading just before a test.
You don't say how much of a runner you are but it can become too much. I used to run daily. If I did 3 miles in the morning it perked me up for the day. If I did 5 miles or more in the morning, I got sluggish later in the day. And if I was training for a marathon and tried to speed up my mileage per week too quickly, I would sometimes crash, feeling like I was getting a cold or the flu, from loosing too many vitamins, minerals, or something. So pace yourself. That's my two cents worth.

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Postby Rudi » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:26 pm

Meditation...
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Postby MattB » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:06 pm

I'm really into it. Before my tap I was running around 40 miles a week, or around 6 miles a day, sometimes 9. I'm back up to running some 7 mile runs. In high school, and even now to some extent, I was fairly a fairly competitive runner. So far the only thing that has affected my running, other than slacking off, has been my spinal tap. I think I will try that method and I am definitely going to start reading ahead, I typically procrastinate and I know that's very stressful.
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Postby jimmylegs » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:49 pm

man do i hear u re: college matt - when i got diagnosed i was having a really stressful time and now it's 4th year, wow even better! good that you're still running, i've been a slack-ass since classes started back in in sept.
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Postby BioDocFL » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:15 pm

MattB,

That's a lot of running. You've probably learned from experience regarding hydration and electrolytes. I've run marathons with little water (crazy, don't do it), with water only, and with Gatorade and it really is a night&day difference with the Gatorade. If you haven't already, you should probably get yourself familiar with the chemistry involved in running: steady glucose levels needed for the brain, the stress on the liver in converting ammonia to urea, and the strain on the heart and kidneys. If you go out for a long run and come back smelling like ammonia, that's a good sign you're overtaxing your liver and that can start effecting your brain, with confusion, anger, blacking out and worse. I've seen people like this towards the end of a marathon when their bodies just can't handle anymore running that day.
All I'm saying is just double check your running habit, that it stays a positive thing for you. I know how much more relaxed I was when I was running regular and I know how addictive it can be.

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Postby missvicki » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:06 pm

I think the procrastination has to do with either cognitive issues or depression from MS. I too have the same issues with procrastination.

As for stress....meditation, get enough sleep, yoga, antidepressants, exercise.

Keep up your running!
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