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8 Ways to Reduce MS Flare-Ups While Working Remotely

By Daryl H. Bryant (896 words)
Posted in Living with MS on October 13, 2020

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8 Ways to Reduce MS Flare-Ups While Working Remotely

Nothing about 2020 has been predictable. COVID-19 changed the world in unforeseen ways and caused the majority of the professional world to move from an office setting to working remotely from home. As we navigate through the new normal of working from home, it’s critical for those with MS to understand how to manage flare-ups that may arise. 

Anyone with Multiple Sclerosis knows how crippling flare-ups can be, with symptoms that range from numbness and fatigue to depression and difficulty walking. The first step to dealing with flare-ups is understanding your triggers and making an effort to avoid them. Managing MS symptoms and reducing the severity of flare-ups can be extremely difficult, but with an optimistic mind and the determination to take back your life, you can face flare-ups head on and overcome them. 

Here are eight of the best ways to handle MS flare-ups while working from home: 

1. Pick up a stress-reducing activity. 

Stress can be a huge MS trigger, so picking up a new activity that actively works to combat stress can be extremely beneficial in reducing MS flare-ups. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, or mindfulness exercises, setting aside some time at the beginning of your day or on your lunch break for a stress-reducing activity can be a powerful tool in reducing the negative effects brought on by stress. The nice thing about working from home is that setting aside some time during your work day for this is easier to do from home than if you were in the office distracted by coworkers. 

2. Keep it cool. 

For people with MS, heat can be a trigger that is often hard to manage when working in an office where you can't control the temperature. When working from home, you can keep your working environment as cool as you need to reduce the effects of symptoms brought on by heat. Utilize ceiling or desk fans and if you’re working in a room with windows, avoid direct sunlight that could trigger a flare-up with the use of curtains. 

3. Avoid getting sick.

Easier said than done when working in an environment surrounded by people and germs, viral infections associated with MS flare-ups are much easier to avoid when working from home. Keep your body strong by taking vitamins, regularly washing your hands, drinking ample fluids, and getting plenty of sleep. 

4. Get moving.

Aerobic exercise is extremely helpful in reducing MS symptoms by improving your strength, balance, bowel control, mood, and reducing fatigue. While overdoing it can ultimately do more harm than good, getting moderate aerobic exercise regularly is especially important for those with MS. 

5. Follow a healthy diet.

A proper diet low in processed foods and high in healthy proteins, fats, and complex carbs goes a long way in reducing MS symptoms and avoiding flare-ups by providing your body with the nutrients it needs. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are key to reducing your symptoms, while gluten and dairy do the complete opposite. Gluten and lactose have been linked to increased inflammation in MS patients, so removing them from your diet altogether can go a long way in improving your overall health. Be proactive in avoiding the foods that make your symptoms worse and adding superfoods to your diet that help to reduce them. 

6. Take your vitamins.

When paired with exercise and a healthy diet, vitamin supplements can significantly help to reduce your MS symptoms and avoid flare-ups. Not just limited to vitamins in the pill form, supplements like curry powder, turmeric, ginger, and chamomile are great for reducing inflammation in the body and helping to increase your mobility. Starting your day with an herbal tea each morning and seeking out new recipes that utilize turmeric or curry powder can be powerful steps in reducing your MS symptoms. 

7. Find people to connect with.

When working from home, it’s easy to feel cut off from the world and like you’re dealing with this on your own. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, over 400,000 people live with MS in the United States alone. Getting emotional support and feeling connected to people who understand what you’re going through is more important than many people realize, so joining a local group or an online forum can be a tremendous help in improving your mental health. 

8. Pay attention to your body.

Fatigue is extremely common in patients with MS, so listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard. Paying attention to what your body needs rather than pushing yourself harder when you’re exhausted is key in avoiding a flare-up. When you’re feeling tired, allow yourself to slow down and get the rest your body needs. Pushing yourself too hard will only make recovery more challenging, so listen to your body and be kind to yourself. 


The symptoms associated with MS can be daunting, but you can continue to live a happy and full life long after your diagnosis by taking the steps necessary in reducing your symptoms and avoiding flare-ups. Change can be scary, but working from home doesn’t have to make managing your symptoms any more difficult. On the contrary, working remotely can actually make MS symptoms easier to deal with. Keep a positive attitude and work with your body to promote physical and mental health. You have the power to decide how you live your life, so take care of your mind, body, and spirit by listening to your body and providing it what it needs.

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