Guest blog post from Henriette in Denmark - How to celebrate exercise success

24 March 2021

How things have changed

Going through this strange time during Covid-19, I think most people reflect on how things have changed. What are the pros and cons of it all? I personally often think about how BMSTC has changed. Luckily, the centre still manages to reach out to you and offer support if required (although in a different way than before). But things have certainly changed.

The users of BMSTC are now trendier

We grew to enjoy online exercises along with the rest of the world. Did you know that online exercise is the number one trend in 2021, when it comes to exercise? The BMSTC of course did and still do its best to keep you all very trendy by offering you a great supply of online exercise opportunities. PS. Congratulations on the awards in connection with providing this service.

We all exceeded our limits

We sat down even more than we ever thought possible – talk about exceeding limits! Those, who took part in the I-step research study along with the physio team, will remember the surprise when confronted about the exact number of hours spent sitting. However, sitting down too much is common in our society in general - and especially now. We are all in on it!

Expansion of vocabulary

We all expanded our vocabulary in unexpected ways due to Covid-19. Some of you will remember having your vocabulary expanded a little, when I tried to teach you Danish to challenge your cognition and balance during the online exercise classes.

In Denmark they go on about the new hype word “samfundssind” (collective/social spirit), which might be a sharp contender to “hygge”. It is fair to say that the community around the centre also do practice “samfundssind” very well by caring for everyone else. I heard examples of this numerous times, when phoning some of you at home to offer support during lockdown.

A word, I came across recently, was monthsary or monthsaries.  Some people try to keep up their spirit by celebrating the little things in life during the pandemic. The concept of monthsaries is usually about celebrating love between two people, making each month an anniversary. But this concept could be used in other ways too - for instance to help with exercising.

Time for your reflection

  • Do you feel more trendy? Or are you yet to join in with the online classes?
  • Do you feel you have exceeded your limit a bit too much when it comes to sitting down? (I think we all have)
  • Are you tempted to take on monthsaries?

If you feel you might be sitting too much - try to add some little, reasonable, and achievable goals into your daily routine to reduce time spend sitting. (E.g. I will do a stretch before I watch the news.)

Depending on your goals you could work towards a time scale.

Read on if you are not sure of how to use monthsaries. You will soon see how it may help you stick to your goals.

Be your own best friend

When it comes to following an exercise goal, we sometimes go astray and loose sense of direction. This could easily happen when you have a variable condition like MS. Try not to make yourself feel guilty about this - as this will not solve anything. A method to avoid feeling guilty could be to act like your own best friend. A friend will not be too hard on you, if things go a bit wrong. Equally a friend will spur you on and praise you when things go well.

Throw in some positivity

Why not try and praise yourself more, when things go well! This could help you keep up your motivation to keep going with your exercise goal. Perhaps you can adapt the idea of monthsaries and use it to celebrate your monthly exercise goal and achievements. Throwing in monthly celebrations may give you a boost of positivity in your mood too. This might spur you on even further to keep going with your goals.

Monthsaries are just one way of rewarding yourself when you do well with your exercise goals. The concept can be used in a basic or a bit more extravagant way (Go simple e.g., by plotting your monthsaries in your diary. Go a bit further by e.g., telling your friends or throw an online party.)

Weather you go for my tip of monthsaries or you think up other ways to celebrate your success, try to make it personal and have fun with it!

Most importantly: Do not stress yourself about exercise as we are already living in a stressful time.

Lastly, I would like to thank you all for teaching me so much about MS. I am trying to make good use of the knowledge by writing a blog about MS.

I miss you all and hope you are well. I found it so difficult to resign from the BMSTC without saying goodbye in person to you all. When travelling is back on the agenda, I hope to come and visit the centre again.

Take care. Stay safe.

All the best from Henriette

You can read Henriette's blog here: MS Ideas and Exercise

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