Home Health 5 fun things to do during an MS flare-up
jesse ace
Jessie Ace, diagnosed in 2013, shares her go-to list of activities that make an MS flare-up feel more productive and manageable.

5 fun things to do during an MS flare-up

Jessie Ace’s go-to activities to feel productive during a flare-up.

by Jessie Ace

Let’s face it. Multiple sclerosis flare-ups are not fun. They often come out of the blue and can last for days on end. When you’re feeling super wiped out, it’s hard to do anything. Is there a way to have a little fun and feel productive when you’re experiencing a relapse?

I’m the kind of person who always has to be doing something, whether I feel well or not. In my years of having MS, I’ve experienced the debilitating fatigue that often comes with a relapse. If you’re not careful, these relapses can stop your plans for living life to its fullest.

So, what can you do during this time? Here are my top five go-to activities to feel productive during a flare-up.

  1. Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present with yourself. Use this time to meditate and connect with your spiritual side. Sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and recall how you feel on a good day. You also could try quiet activities like drawing or playing a game.
  2. Reading. In the past, during my flare-ups, I found that moving images and bright screens were too much for me. Instead, I read. When I experience a relapse, my mental health can suffer. I start to feel frustrated and angry because my body is not able to do what I want. Reading books helps me kick those negative vibes and focus on the positive.
  3. Podcasts. A flare-up is often the perfect time to listen to podcasts. You can build your knowledge, laugh at stories or listen to inspiring interviews. Podcasts are a great way to feel productive, and you can even listen while sleeping! Alternatively, you could listen to your favorite music to give you feel-good vibes.
  4. Marathons. Not the energetic, running kind! I mean the movie/TV series binge kind. If your flare-up makes you feel super exhausted, treat yourself to a movie or TV series marathon. Giving yourself a focus takes your mind away from how you are feeling. Is it possible to watch all the Harry Potter movies in one day? Find out! When you are feeling well, you have something to discuss with others.
  5. Journaling. Journaling allows you to get all the words, thoughts and frustrations out of your head and onto paper. Once they are on paper, they become tangible. Come back a few hours later and reread what you wrote. You might be surprised at how differently you feel. Moreover, you can look back at past journal entries to see how your thinking has changed.
Jessie Ace is an illustrator, author of the “ENabled Warrior Symptom Tracker,” host of the “DISabled to ENabled” podcast, and columnist for Multiple Sclerosis News Today. She lives in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, with her husband and dog, Lucy.

Learn more about MS relapses.

Hear more stories about relapses and ways to cope with them from people with MS in “Managing MS relapses.”

Tags: Summer 2021