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Finding a Work-Life Balance with MS

Finding a work-life balance can be a challenge, especially with the new norm of working from home. You may find yourself checking your emails before you've even gotten out of bed in the morning, logging into work at all hours of the day, or finding that you have no days off. When you add in fatigue and other symptoms from MS that may add interruptions to your day, you might find that you're never getting a moment to yourself. Moyna Johnson, a multiple sclerosis advocate and freelance blogger, wrote an article for Healthline about how she finds a work-life balance while prioritizing her health with MS.

Check out the first couple of tips here:

Create a dedicated workspace:

When working in an office, there’s usually a designated space for you to work. Whether it’s a cubicle or an office, there are supplies for you to accomplish your daily duties.

But when working from home, you may not have access to the equipment, tools, and devices you need. It’s essential to tailor your dedicated workspace to suit your needs.

I bought a small corner desk, lamp, and computer chair for my home. The desk is large enough to fit my laptop and some other knickknacks. I needed a space I could associate with work since working on my couch was no longer cutting it.

Creating this space has helped me establish a separation between work hours and personal time. My son and fiancé respect my new “office” and allow me to work there uninterrupted (well, sometimes).

Learn how to say no politely:

The word “no” can be challenging to say in the workplace, but it’s important to set boundaries.

The first step is to be specific regarding your reasoning. It could help to reference what you currently have on your plate and why you can’t complete another task.

Pushing yourself past what you can handle will only make matters worse — opening the door to a possible flare.

In the past, I’ve felt anxious when explaining why I couldn’t complete an assignment due to an MS flare or my symptoms. But I was open and explained how my symptoms affected my ability to work. I was also fortunate to have an understanding boss.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide how open you want to be with your boss about your health.

I also make use of the term “bandwidth” when explaining the capacity I have for work assignments. “I don’t have the bandwidth” is my favorite bit of corporate-speak.

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