I have been doing everything differently the last couple months. It has worked so well, that I can’t help but share.
I’ve been really working on staying positive in every moment of my day. I’m so sensitive, everything in my environment affects my emotions. People, places, music, atmosphere, things I’m reading or watching; You name it and it probably has an affect on how I’m feeling. I start out my day with music that makes me happy, makes we want to dance or makes me want to sing. If I feel a little blue, I don’t examine those feelings. I’ve noticed, that if I get all up in my feelings early in the morning, it becomes more difficult to get out of them. Setting the tone for the day as one for positivity and accomplishing goals has been the most important change I’ve made in my life.
I recently read an article (http://www.weather.com/health/why-its-better-be-morning-person-20140407) on The Weather Channel about how morning sunlight can affect your body. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I open the shades, curtains, and if it’s warm enough, the front door. I’m less likely to stay sitting on the couch when the sunlight is shining in. I’ve been keeping to a schedule of waking up at the same time, even on the weekend. No sleeping in for me. I take less naps and have less fatigue during the day. If I do get fatigued, I need less rest before I can get going again.
I have been spending less time on the couch and lost in the internet. Accomplishing this is easier than it seems. I started with the goals that I wanted to be off the couch by 10 am and showered by noon. In one month, I am off the couch by 9 am and I feel guilty if I haven’t showered by 11 am. I think I am most proud of this achievement. Yesterday, I wasn’t on the couch, but I was on the internet for 3 hours in the morning. I had such a hard time getting going after that, and while I made my goals for the day, I did little else. Today, I decided to start things off positive and to limit my internet this morning. It is almost 11 am and I’ve already done dishes (what little there was, I’ll go into that later), started laundry and showered. I’m resting on the couch now, but blogging, which is okay, because I know I’ll be up after I finish this post.
The next change I’ve made has to do with time management. This is so important for me, because I have a deep need to feel like I’m contributing to my household. The more time I spend accomplishing tasks, the less time I spend on the couch. I used to get fulfillment in this area from work. Since I can no longer work, I have to find other ways to contribute. I do this through housework, being there for my kids and my hubby and sewing. If I try to examine in my head what I’ve accomplished during the day, I get stuck in my head. Other thoughts pop in that are unnecessary, hurtful to myself and I forget a lot of what I’ve done. To combat my bad memory and my negative thoughts, I’ve started to keep an accounting of what I’m doing during the day and how long these tasks take me. My system is very simple. I write down the time I’m starting an activity and what it is. When I start a new task, I write down that start time. Sometimes I combine activities or make notations in the sidelines if I forget to write down a time. That’s it. I don’t examine this later. There are no judgments later, no in depth study of what I’ve done. I just keep track and that helps me to recognize that I’m accomplishing more than I think.
I’ve been able to get more accomplished in my day and have added more goals. My daily goals in the previous year have been to shower, journal or meditate, hug/kiss my kids and hubby and tell them I love them, and work on dishes or laundry. I have since realized that there is more to most of my days than just that. I feed my cats and clean their litter every day. I straighten my bed and straighten the bathroom every day. Just having those little things done, gives me something to be happy about. I sew or look for inspiration for my sewing every day. When I do get on the internet, I spend more time on Pinterest and less time on Facebook.
I’ve completely changed my philosophy on housework. With housework, the more frequently you do something, the easier it is. In the past, I let laundry pile up, dishes pile up, dust pile up. I didn’t sweep or mop until the floor was so dirty and sticky, that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I wrote before of trying to do laundry every day, but that was just too much. I had the right idea, but the wrong plan. Now, I try to do laundry as soon as the hamper in the bathroom is full. This is the hamper that fills up the fastest and the one I see all the time. Since the other hampers aren’t full yet, I end up with smaller loads. Smaller loads are easier to haul, take less time to fold and take less energy all together, thereby making it much easier to pace myself while doing them. It was kind of a “DUH!” moment for me when I realized how much easier it was to get laundry done when my loads were smaller.
I’ve been loading the dishwasher after meals and soaking pans right away (most of the time). It takes about 5 minutes to scrape and rinse the dishes and throw them in the dishwasher. Then, when the dishwasher is getting near full, I make a note on my daily accounting to remind myself to start the dishwasher after the next meal. I also put the dishes away the same day they finish washing. Then, I’m not tempted to let dishes pile up in the sink. Soaking the pans make washing them so much easier. That sounds like a no-brainer, but I had a hard time with pots before because I would try to scrub them like I was my pre-fibro self. My cast iron skillets get scrubbed with hot water right away or they get boiled first. I also wipe off my counters every day. Seeing a clean counter, like having my bed straightened and my bathroom counters clean, give me a little boost of positive energy.
I’ve also been keeping up with my kitchen floors. If I sweep a couple times a week and mop at least once a week, it takes me half the time that it used to. I wipe off the toilet if it’s getting nasty and do the same thing with the bathroom counters and sink. Spending 5 minutes of straightening each little part of my house, even resting in between, I can keep my house looking almost decent. I’m still working on the vacuuming. Our vacuum went kaput from all the long hair getting tangled in the roller and my hubby couldn’t fix it, which turned out to be a good thing. We started using our old vacuum instead. It is lighter and easier to push across the floor, so I can vacuum small areas. Last week, I dusted for the first time in months. I’ve always hated dusting, so I’m hoping I can keep up on this. I’ve accepted that ceiling fans will never be something I can clean. The hubby will have to do these and I will have to be persistent but patient in getting him to do these.
I hope you stuck with me through this post. I know it’s long, but I hope it helps someone. You can do this. I know you can. Keep positive, smile and be awesome. I love you all.