Tips and Tricks to Stimulate Your Mind
- by Teva's Lift MS® Team
- October 03, 2016
Do you ever mistake your words? Or have trouble remembering things that you swore you knew? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Cognitive changes, such as short-term memory loss or divided attention, are common symptoms for those living with relapsing forms of MS. We’ve heard from many members of our Lift MS® Facebook community that they’ve often forgotten things or experienced other cognitive issues. In fact, both the National MS Society and the MS Association of America report that nearly half of all people with MS will develop problems with cognition during the course of their disease.
For that reason, we thought it would be helpful to provide some tips and tricks that could stimulate your mind. Our ideas are simple, and just may help you find ways to help address cognitive changes. Don’t forget to also discuss any questions about symptoms with your healthcare provider at your next visit.
- Rest. Take naps when you are feeling tired and try to get a full night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should sleep between 7 and 9 hours each night. Keep in mind that resting won't fully address the symptoms of MS, but it is one way to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Eat well. Try to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. This may help support your mind and body. You can find a few healthy recipes on our blog or watch recipe videos on our Facebook Page.
- Play brain games. Do puzzles, play cards, or fill out crossword puzzles. You can find a variety of brain games in books or online!
- Combine modes of learning. Instead of just reading something—read it, say it, listen to it, write it, and do it! You’ll be more likely to remember something if you combine a few of these learning techniques.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself, or ask others to do the same. Repetition will help you verify what you heard and may help your attention span and memory.
- Make associations. Remember names by associating a person with a place or something that sticks out about their personality. This technique may also work to help you remember objects, lists, or places.
- Use a calendar. Map out your upcoming plans on a calendar! You can use a paper version that’s large enough to store everything, or find a mobile app that’s right for you. If you decide to use a digital calendar, you can set reminders to help you keep track of everything on your schedule. If you’re in need of a tracking tool to help manage your COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection), check out our COPAXONE iTracker® 2.0 app.
- Record your thoughts. Write down the things you need to remember or use a hand-held recorder. Some mobile devices have talk-to-text functionality that does all the work for you!
- Remind yourself. In addition to using calendar alerts, you can also use sticky notes or make checklists to keep yourself organized and your thoughts top-of-mind. You can also use mobile apps to alert you when it’s time for an injection. Learn how the COPAXONE iTracker® 2.0 app can help you track your injections and site rotation.
- Take a break. We understand that it can be frustrating when you forget things, but take it easy on yourself. Don’t get flustered, just take some time for yourself, relax, and try again later.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to do too many things at once. Focus on the task at hand before switching to a new task.
Interested in reading more tips? Check out our tips to help you gain more traction on your shoes, give your eyes a break, and save time in the kitchen. If you prefer watching videos, watch a few of our tips on the Lift MS® Facebook Page.
Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comment section below! We are always interested in learning new ways to give our community a Lift. You never know, we may love your tip so much that we feature it in a future blog post.
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Marie | October 03, 2016Great stuff. Thank u
Ann Hoppe | October 04, 2016I use just about all of the above...all suggestion are great,
Phyllis | October 07, 2016Thank you for the tips
Janine | January 05, 2017Make 'To Do Lists' ; and
Check Calendar every day, first thing in the a.m.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | January 06, 2017Great suggestions, Janine!
Phyllis Tyson | January 07, 2017Thank you
Lex | January 24, 2017Ask your spouse to repeat what he or she said. Often when my husband and I get into an argument it is because what I heard (or my braid processed) is not what he said. I hear words so clearly, but sometimes my brain will process the wrong word. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it causes conflict. Just ask them to repeat, if it sounds out of character or just does not make sense.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | January 25, 2017It sounds like you’ve found something that works for you, Lex – kudos for your efforts! Please keep us posted, and be sure to check back for more tips from the community.
Frank | January 27, 2017information is helpful and comforting!!!
Michelle | January 27, 2017Thanks, I have found out that these tips really work for me
Faith | January 30, 2017I have found using a "backpack" style purse makes it easier for me to carry a purse around. 1) it frees up my hands for other things and 2) it distributes the weight more on my back so I don't get muscle spasms as often.
Donna | January 31, 2017My desk calendar and my phone alarm are now my best friends. I was constantly forgetting to take shot till I put it on my alarms
Sharon | February 03, 2017Thank you. This information is appreciated. It is comforting to know someone out there understands.
Maggie | February 12, 2017Thank you for the tips and, I read all of the terms and agree. Also I am newly diagnosed, Thank you. Maggie Coughenour
Teva's Lift MS® Team | February 13, 2017Maggie, it’s great to hear you enjoy the community we’ve built here! We welcome your contributions to it.
Kathy | February 13, 2017I have found that not only do I need sticky notes and 3 calendars (phone, wall and pocketbook!) to keep me organized and focused , I have found my phone camera indispensable. If I am learning a new skill, I film it or take pictures or both.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | February 13, 2017Great suggestions, Kathy!
donna jean | August 31, 2017When food shopping pack all cold items together in a soft sided zippered cooler with handles and couple froze ice packs. Once home place it next to refrigerator . This eliminates repetitive steps and frig entry's. Wasting time and energy.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | August 31, 2017Great suggestion, donna! You can find other tips at https://www.liftms.com/education/ms-friendly-home.