6 Stress-Management Tips for People With CIDP

It’s important to consult with your healthcare team before making any decisions about your overall health. Check with your doctor to make sure they approve of any holistic adjustments that you plan to make in your life.

Managing a chronic condition like CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) can be stressful, with symptoms and treatment burdens that might impact several aspects of your daily life. A holistic approach may help promote the body, mind, and spirit and can be incorporated to manage stress. Talk to your doctor about these 6 holistic healthcare practices and whether they may be right for you: physical wellness, proper sleep, meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, and social wellness.

1. Prioritize your physical wellness

When diagnosed with CIDP, it’s important to build a healthcare team that can help determine a treatment plan tailored to you. It may be valuable to have a consistent primary care physician who thoroughly understands your diagnosis and symptoms. Scheduling regular checkups with your healthcare professional can help ensure you are up to date on annual screenings and vaccinations as well.

2. Get proper sleep

Receiving adequate, high-quality sleep has several health benefits, including helping to reduce stress. Experts recommend that healthy adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, those with CIDP may often experience poor sleep quality, so taking steps to improve this can promote your well-being.

Here are some tips aimed to help enhance sleep health:

  • Maintain a consistent schedule of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning
  • Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, peaceful, and at a comfortable temperature
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bed
  • Engage in daytime physical activity, as able

3. Practice meditation

Meditation involves slowing down to focus on the present moment, releasing negativity, and calming your body and mind. Studies show that mindfulness meditation programs may have an impact on anxiety, depression, and pain.

Here are some common steps to get started with meditation right at home:

  • Find a quiet place to relax where you won’t be interrupted
  • Sit in a comfortable position
  • You can meditate in silence, but some find that guided meditation or listening to meditation music is helpful (there are free mobile apps available for this)
  • Try to focus on letting thoughts come and go without dwelling on anything specific or passing judgment

Like anything else, meditation takes practice. You can start by engaging in meditation for 5 to 10 minutes a day and increasing the time if you wish. Consult your healthcare professional before starting meditation practices.


4. Consider incorporating physical exercise

Partaking in physical exercise may help improve your quality of life, but it can be challenging if you’re experiencing symptoms like fatigue and impaired motor and sensory functions. If you would like to incorporate more activity into your routine, work with your healthcare team to determine what kind of physical exercise is suitable for you. You may want to ask them about aerobic exercises or resistance training, which have both been linked to helping improve fitness and strength in those with CIDP.

If you get the okay to exercise, please follow your doctor’s guidance. They may suggest plenty of rest and listening to your body for signs that you may be pushing yourself too hard.

5. Eat a healthy diet

In general, there are a number of benefits associated with healthy eating patterns in adults. A healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy, whole grains, and lean protein and limits added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. Remember to discuss any diet changes with your healthcare provider before implementing them.

6. Invest in your social wellness

It can be hard to predict how you will feel each given day with CIDP. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with family and friends who are understanding of your condition—people you can confide in and discuss daily challenges and triumphs with. When you are up for it, it can be helpful to spend time with those who can offer you support and encouragement.

If you are extroverted, either in-person or virtual support groups can serve as excellent ways to express your emotions and hear others’ stories. If you are more introverted, you may benefit from journaling or making art as creative outlets for your thoughts and feelings.

Personalize your de-stress methods

Everyone has their own interests and preferences, and CIDP symptoms may vary in each person. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to managing stress, but you can use these tips as a guide and take note of what works best for you. Then, try to incorporate those stress-relief strategies in your daily life to help promote a happy and healthy balance to your body, mind, and spirit.


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