Riding Out the Lag Time

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by Dagmar Munn |

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Yup, it’s that time of year again — lag time!

We’re in that weird space in time that’s just after all the holiday hoopla and before the “next big thing” comes along. It’s a time to catch up, reflect, and take a well-earned breather. And for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a time of waiting for the welcome signs of spring!

But for many of us living with ALS, lag time can last all year long.

ALS puts us in a kind of permanent pause mode from our formerly active lives. The pause can be overwhelming and often leaves us feeling empty and alone. It’s as if we’re stuck in our own mental ALS waiting room.

Maybe you have January lag time all under control and can successfully dodge and weave your way to springtime. But just in case you need a little help, let me share my tips. Together, let’s push back the mental walls of ALS and take on the new year with an action plan!

Focus inward

  • Practice being present. Practicing mindfulness is easier when there are fewer distractions pulling at our attention. As I recently wrote in “The Power of One Resolution,” active mindfulness has both psychological and physical benefits for ALS patients.
  • Try a few of the “5 Things That Keep Me Motivated,” which include keeping a positive mindset, taking frequent breaks to move your body, and surrounding yourself with bright colors.
  • Or check out Rachel Doboga’s recent column, “Trying the Self-care Power Hour.” She shares a unique and easy-to-do method that breaks down one hour into three 20-minute segments — one each for the body, mind, and soul.

Focus outward

  • Research ways you can become more involved with groups in your area. Follow your interests or look for opportunities in your community, hobby, church, or special interest clubs.
  • Contact your local ALS Association care coordinator and ask what projects they have planned. They will certainly welcome your perspective, suggestions, and participation.
  • Consider joining or starting an ALS Facebook group. Meeting other patients and caregivers online will broaden your circle of friends and help to keep you informed about advances in ALS treatments.

 Focus forward

  • Use this time to set new goals for yourself. Discuss with your caregiver, family, or friends their suggestions as to how you can reach your goals together.
  • Start a bucket list, or revise an old one. Again, enlist the help of your caregiver and family to brainstorm fun ideas.
  • Maybe you just need to revive your daily routine. Returning to normal eating, sleeping, and exercise habits will help bring balance to your overall well-being.

Finally, make happiness a daily priority. Begin each day with a positive thought and end the day with gratitude.

We can ride out this lag time together, and together, we can live well while living with ALS.


Note: ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ALS News Today or its parent company, Bionews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ALS.


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