March 20, 2018 at 11:00 am #11352Kevin SchaeferKeymaster
Stress can overwhelm anyone, but it can be especially difficult for SMA individuals and caregivers to manage. Between transfers, physical therapy, getting from place to place, managing things like work and school and scheduling appointments, SMA often brings an abundance of stress to patients and their families.
In this post, five SMA patients share their tips for stress management. Please note that the advice here is strictly the views of these individuals. For serious consultation related to mental and emotional health, please seek out a medical professional.
“Throughout my life, stress has been a factor that I’ve mostly dealt with by humor. Over time, I have developed a bit of a twisted sense of humor about SMA and the trauma that comes with it. Some call it a coping mechanism; I just call it living my life with a smile.” – Melissa Milinovich; Amelia, Ohio
“Growing up it was easier for me to deal with stress because I always had something to work toward…like getting into college. Focusing on goals was a great distraction from the frustrations of having a disability. It’s a little harder to be distracted as an adult because friends have careers and families, so it’s more difficult to spend time with them. Reading, sports and movies are great outlets, but the biggest help to me is my faith. It allows me to focus on the bigger picture and that I am a part of God’s plan. It makes me focus on what I can do and pay less attention to what I can’t do.” – Jonathan Greeson; Pikeville, North Carolina
“I’ve managed to control the unexplainable worrying and anxiety with nutrition and mindfulness. That way, I can handle the real stressors (caregiving, equipment, work, and life) with logistical tenacity, over-planning, and a twisted sense of humor. I try my best to put a spin on stress and use it as a motivator to be productive.” – Christine Getman; Portland, Oregon
“Prayer and relaxation get me through the stressful moments of living with SMA. If the stress becomes unmanageable, I know I just need to get out of my own way and give it to God.” – Collin Pollock; Garden Grove, California
“Life is complicated and life with a disability is even more complicated, but you learn to roll with the punches and even learn from them. Whenever I am stressed, I like to zone out for bit and do some self-reflecting. This can involve listening to some good music with the volume blasting, or reading a good book. It can also manifest itself into a good TV binge on Hulu or Netflix.
“The key is to create a good support system for yourself and to know when to ask for help. Also make sure that you create positive outlets to get bad energy out of your system and not fall into bad habits.” –Hugo Trevino; Chicago, Illinois
What are your tips for managing the stress of life with SMA?
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