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5 Ways I Keep Up With Chores

Daily life with narcolepsy can be difficult. There are many ways in which symptoms can impact us, including sleep attacks and brain fog, that can make it harder for us to complete tasks. Personally, I struggle with keeping up on household chores. With experience, I’ve learned a few ways to make it a bit easier on me.

1. Utilizing insomnia

Not only do I struggle to stay awake during the day, I also struggle to stay asleep at night. Most every night finds me drifting off into sleep only to wake up an hour or 2 later. Being severely sleep deprived, with your body not allowing you to sleep, is frustrating and even painful.

Instead of laying in bed, awake, it can be helpful for me to get up and complete tasks that I otherwise would struggle to find the energy to do during the day. For example, last night when I couldn’t sleep, I just started scrubbing the kitchen sink full of dishes. Once I found myself getting tired, I hopped back into bed. When I woke up in the morning, I was relieved and grateful to find that I had clean dishes to eat breakfast with!

2. Breaking up tasks

It can be helpful to break up regular tasks into smaller ones. For example, washing half of the sink of dishes is better than not washing any dishes!

I have to recognize my progress rather than focus on perfection. It’s important for me to remember that I have more limitations than the average person. When I break up tasks, it serves me better in the long run. And if something really needs finished, I can simply take a nap and come back to it!

3. Listening to music

Listening to upbeat music helps me stay awake and motivated longer while completing chores. I have to make sure that the music isn’t too slow, or it will lull me into a sleepy fog! Other options that might help include listening to podcasts or watching videos.

4. Asking a friend for help

If all else fails, I know that if I am really struggling with household chores, I can call up a friend and ask for help.

It is important to know when to ask for help. Some tasks can even be regularly assisted with by professional caregivers or housecleaners, although not everyone has access to these kinds of resources.

5. Being KIND to myself

Ultimately, simply living with narcolepsy is difficult. It makes sense that completing physical tasks on top of living with this condition is hard.

That being said, I can get frustrated with myself and end up with negative cyclical thoughts about being "lazy" or "dirty." It’s important during these times that I remind myself that it’s not the end of the world that there are a lot of dishes in my sink. It doesn’t affect the kind of person I am or how much love I have to give. Making it through another day with narcolepsy is a win in my book.

Do you struggle with chores due to your narcolepsy, too?

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