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    I just wanted to thank you for letting me know about and getting me to the CAN DO program. My husband and I had a great time. We learned so many things and enjoyed the activities, meeting the people and chatting with experts. I will never forget it and hope to get to it again some day. I enjoyed a nice day recently with a bike ride (with training wheels).

    Kelly, CAN DO Program Participant

    by Deborah M. Miller, PhD, LISW & Linda Walls, OTR

    Learning how to manage the physical changes you may experience as a newly diagnosed person living with MS can be a major challenge.  

    An important key to handling these changes is to develop the right mindset. Your mindset helps you deal with the changes in your life and your lifestyle.  A component of developing a good mindset includes understanding the importance of keeping a balanced lifestyle.  While looking at the various activities that make up your day or your week, you can make choices about which activities you want to include in your life.  Making reasonable choices will in turn help develop a sense of control of your lifestyle, despite a diagnosis of MS.  

    A healthy lifestyle also requires you to look at your social network, and how you value your relationships which keep you connected to family and friends.  What strategies can you develop to help you keep those relationships strong? As well as staying connected with your current relationships, how you communicate your diagnosis in new relationships is another important issue you need to develop a response to.  Staying connected and developing a plan in which you reflect on your responsibilities, needs and realistic accommodations will help you deal with these relationships.  Having a social network is an important component to a balanced lifestyle.

    Finally, with all these issues and concerns that may impact your life, a person needs to take time to develop coping skills that will help maintain their physical, social and emotional health.   Key coping skills to help manage the cycle of stress, such as maintaining emotional flexibility and learning to communicate appropriate “help seeking” behaviors is important in managing the challenges of MS.  These coping mechanisms will help you develop a sense of control, even when you have no control over your life or your MS. 

    Accounting for the physical, social and emotional issues that help develop your well-being is an important component to managing your diagnosis of MS.  Though all of these situations may not be current problems for you, gaining the knowledge and developing a plan will help you manage your life with MS.   

    Click here to get even more great tips on this topic by viewing our recorded webinar on Managing MS Early: Get Ahead of the Disease.  

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    PO Box 5860 Avon, CO 81620 Phone: 970-926-1290 or 800-367-3101 Fax: 970-926-1295 Email:
    MS Coalition Charity Navigator Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Independent Charities of America Humane Charity

    Can Do Multiple Sclerosis™ is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Charitable Organization Number: 74-2337853

    Formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis | Founded by Jimmie Heuga

    A national nonprofit organization, Can Do MS is a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs
    that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life.

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