The Charity for Environmental Illness

Ways to decrease stress

Living with a life-changing condition like environmental illness is incredibly stressful. It can impact every area of your life.grief

In turn physical, mental and emotional stress can also exacerbate food and chemical sensitivities setting up a vicious cycle. If you have identified one of the sources of stress in your life see if you can do something about it. Finding out information about an illness can help to allay fears and taking some action to improve general health can give you some semblance of control over your condition. Consider meditation, yoga or relaxation therapies, which can be practised daily even if you are bedbound. Here are some ideas to help cope with everyday stress.


  • Eat healthy foods and avoid sugary snacks
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Don't watch the news, try a comedy or something that makes you laugh.
  • Write in a journal
  • Meditate
  • Practise mindfulness
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise (where appropriate)
  • Get a massage or try reflexology
  • Sing
  • Listen to music and dance round the kitchen when nobody's looking
  • Get enough sleep 7-8 hours per night, but don't worry if you can't. Yoga Nidra can help you manage sleeplessness, 20 mins of this meditation can be the equivalent of 3 hours sleep. Look online for audio versions like this.
  • Avoid computers, TV and mobile phones before bed time. The EMFs and the blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Have a relaxing bath with epsom salts, the magnesium helps relax the body.
  • Set realistic goals and break them down into manageable pieces. Don't dwell on the things you can't do and don't blame yourself.
  • Listen to your body and emotions
  • Speak to a friend
  • Speak to a counsellor experienced in trauma and chronic illness
  • Get in touch with other people who share your condition. Try the MCS-Aware forum or join the support group to receive the PenPal Directory by post.. There are also lots of Facebook groups for MCS.

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