This month has been one of extreme ups and downs for me. It’s been hard, but like “the little engine that could,” I keep keeping on, trying to find ways to make it through. There’s still a lot of uncertainties ahead for me and I’ve got a long road ahead, but I have identified seven changes to make my life a little easier now and going forward, and I want to share them with you:
- Find some mobile apps that help you, check in with you. I’m always the first to recommend some form of technology to help manage your chronic life because I think it makes things easier and more convenient. Start importing your schedule to your calendars and share them with your friends and family to keep them in the loop. Include your appointments. I recommend setting up your Medical ID if you have an iPhone to outline your basic health profile should you have an emergency. I recommend Eve and Bedsider for women to keep track of cycles and birth control. I also think it’s important to find yourself a multifunctional journaling app. I recommend Moodnotes, which I’ve reviewed here because it helps you capture your thoughts, feelings, thinking traps and how to avoid them, etc. Find apps like these to help you keep track of you.
- Remember to take time for you. When you live with a chronic illness, it’s so easy to get caught up in all of the things you must keep up with and “should be doing.” But it is important to take time to care for yourself. Watch your favorite show for three hours straight. Go get your nails or your hair done. You deserve it.
- Downsize. Minimize. I’ve found that one of the best things I’ve done is get rid of the excess things in my life, all of the things I don’t need or use – clothes, shoes, purses, make-up, etc. Clearing out all the extra things you don’t need in your life and space saves you time and energy. I find this does wonderful things for my mental health. Get yourself storage bins and give everything a place, beginning a habit of “everything in its place” will be heaven-sent later on.
- Small tasks every day to avoid big projects. Adopt the habit of “everything in it’s place.” Do the dishes right away. Pick up your room or rooms in your house every day or two. Doing things like these right away helps you avoid having big messes to clean up later, again saving you time and energy.
- Find what you love, and its alternatives. This goes for food, clothes, hobbies, etc. Find something you love and alternatives for those things. Can you buy that object of clothing in various sizes in case your body changes? If you love cheese, but one day you get placed on medication that forces you to avoid dairy, what’s your favorite vegan cheese? If writing with pen and paper is your hobby, what are some of your favorite ways to write digitally? Always give yourself options.
- Don’t be afraid to make small changes anytime, to anything. You could make a small change to your diet, your hygiene habits, your hair, your clothes, anything — and do so any day of the week, You don’t have to wait for events to trigger changes. You don’t need a reason.
- Invest in your self-care. Invest in things that feel good to you and help you take care of yourself. Essential oils, technology, foods, medicines, books, clothes, whatever works for you. Be sure to invest in things that care for you, and don’t be afraid!
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.