Household Tips Part 2: Daily Routines and Planning
If you find yourself struggling to get things done around the house, here are some things I do to help myself so I do not feel overwhelmed.
Start with making a routine! I know it sounds simple and obvious, however, it truly makes a difference.
Making the most of my morning energy
When I wake, I take my medication that I keep on my nightstand as I am getting out of bed. I always have water that I have provided the night before. This prevents me from forgetting to take them!
Before I sit and drink coffee, I do the same thing morning after morning. I let the dogs out, open the blinds, turn off nightlights, pick up anything I missed the night before, shower or get dressed, and then I can sit down. I do this because I have a spurt of energy when I wake.
I do not know how I will feel around noon. I might have a bad narcolepsy day and take 3 naps, so I do things when I know I have the ability.
Don't push things off to later
I try to plan dinner early in the day. What can I do when I feel like I have energy? Can I prepare some ingredients beforehand, so I have fewer steps later? I might not be feeling 100 percent when it gets to be dinnertime!
Pick items up as you pass them! If I am going to walk to my bedroom, I will pick up anything that needs to go there on the way. If I pass the sink and there are any dishes in it, I will load them. The goal is to never have dishes in the sink and to always have the dishwasher emptied so dishes do not pile up.
Easy evening routine
While cooking dinner, have that dishwasher open and empty! Load as you go, and before you sit to eat, have everything ready to clean after dinner. I absolutely loathe the idea of getting up and doing dishes after dinner. However, I dislike waking up to a sink full of dishes even more!
When I am done eating, I will knock out cleaning up as quickly as I can. I know darn well I am going to sit down after doing so and not feel like getting up for a while with my full stomach!
A final pass before bed
Before I go to bed, I will do a walkthrough of the living room and kitchen. I will pick everything up and make sure it is clean for when I wake in the morning. This prevents me from getting morning anxiety. I make sure to bring my bottle of water to have for the following morning medication.
Setting myself up for success
This process has allowed me to give myself a break when I have an off day. If I need to skip a day on cleaning or even getting dressed, then I do not feel the guilt since I have been so good at setting myself up for days like those.
Make sure you have alternatives to cook! I do a lot of home-style cooking, and for days I do not feel like cooking, I have frozen lasagna or items like that, which require minimal effort. I am lucky to have a spouse who understands and can roll with the flow. He likes his home-cooked meals, but he never complains when I serve him something easy. He understands this is not an everyday thing, and I am doing my best.
I do not work out of the house anymore. And this is how I must do things, so I do not constantly feel tired or defeated. I used to work full-time, and I still did things similarly, except I would plan my dinners a lot around my slow cooker. I would do a lot after my family would go to bed to make it easier in the mornings. Packing lunches, setting food out for breakfast, preparing dinner for the following day, etc.
Less stress in my life
Now when people stop by unexpectedly, I do not panic. I know I have done what is needed, and I have prevented that whole stress-filled moment!
To some people, this sounds like an obvious thing to do; however, as a narcoleptic, suggestions like these can make a huge difference in our daily lives. Little bursts of stress can cause a domino effect on our day as a whole!
How important is following a daily routine for managing your narcolepsy?
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