When chronic pain took over my life 12 years ago my life changed forever. I had no ideas things would change physically, mentally, emotionally, and practically. I took so much for granted when I was well, *insert hindsight cliched platitude here*
Over time I began doing things in my life differently. I didn’t do anything that would be, perhaps, sensible for an able-bodied person. I’d like to share 5 particular changes I’ve had to make and why;
- I pick my battles, if I’m going to see a Dr or visit a friend I keep my cleaning tasks for light that day. Leaving the house is just as important as sweeping the entrance ways and kitchen and it’s ok if I only dust a couple window sills and do the dishes on a day that includes an outing.
- I strategize about everything before I do it to make sure I’m tackling every task as efficiently as possible. For instance, If I’m going to watch tv in the basement, I will gather all my drawing things, a snack, meds, my phone and whatever else I think I might need, into a basket and I carry that downstairs rather than making multiple trips and this is important to me as the stairs are often tricky as my ankle frequently is so painful that limiting trips is best.
2. I break up cleaning tasks. For example, if I have groceries coming one day I try to clean up the fridge the night before. I needn’t add that extra task on grocery day as, even with delivery, it’s still a lot of work carrying everything into the kitchen and putting it away. If I could rely on my cat to help with these tasks perhaps I wouldn’t find it so tiring but he never agrees to help. He’s kind of a jerk when it comes to assisting with household tasks. At best he only agrees to supervise when I clean his litter box.
3. I try to set certain and reasonable standard cleaning tasks for each day. EOne standard task is making sure the majority of the dishes are done or loaded into the dishwasher.
4. If I’ve put a load of laundry in I make sure to fold it as I take it out of the dryer. This ensures that the majority of items won’t need the extra step of ironing. If there are clothes that need to be hung up I place them on top and hang them up right away. If I run out of juice to do anymore I know everything is folded neatly until I find the energy to put them away.