How to Have A Productive Day While Living with Chronic Illness
Living with chronic illness may be life-threatening, but it’s never the end of life. There are many people in our society today, that have been diagnosed with chronic diseases but are still productive, because of how they are living their lives. A chronic illness does not connote achieving your goals or objectives are impossible.
Have it in mind that, trying to be productive is challenging enough on a good day, let alone trying to accomplish anything when you can hardly clear your mind off from the fog you are living. But I’m assuring you, you can do it. You can still be productive even when you’re living with a chronic illness.
Living with a chronic illness, whether it’s cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, chronic migraine e.t.c has its portion of challenges. Daily survival turns to triage and it becomes a significant battle to get things done. But it doesn’t have to be infeasible.
However, in this post, we will be discussing ways to have a productive day while living with chronic illness.
Ways to be Productive While Living with Chronic Illness
1. Evaluate your task
To have a productive day while living with chronic illness requires you to evaluate your daily task. Have you heard of Christine Miserandino’s Spoon theory? This theory is an ideal way to start to help you have a productive day. In summary, the theory states that anyone who is chronically ill has 12 spoons each day (each one stands for energy) and these spoons are in exchange for tasks.
However, the number of spoons used as an exchange for the task will depend on factors such as the length, and how energetic the task is. The point here is, to avoid burnout; the spoons are to be used wisely, and therefore, execute your task by its importance and urgency. You can also identity what needs to be done day-by-day and start planning. On the norm, executing a plan successfully is not always possible. However, the spoon theory gives you a view on how much you can get done in a day.
2. Break large tasks down into manageable chunks
Another way to be productive while living with a chronic illness is to divide your tasks into smaller pieces. For example, if your task is to tidy up your entire bedroom, you should not start with the “entire” bedroom. Start with a small task like first putting in place your nightstand.
This can even be done while you are in bed! Then proceed to whatever length you feel you are capable of and makes you feel comfortable. Once that task is complete, compliment yourself for making such progress. In the end, it doesn’t matter if it took you many days to tidy up your bedroom, all that matters is that you got it done in a way you deem fit.
However, you can apply this technique to any project you have in hand. Whenever you want to execute a task, but the task seems strenuous, and practically impossible; set up a daily schedule, and execute your task one after the other as your capacity carries.
3. Take breaks
Taking breaks is another way to have a productive day while living with chronic illness. This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Most people that struggle to tackle chronic illness does not do that at once but rather taking breaks in between. So forget about that ableist mentality, and “cut your coat according to your size.” You can do some laundry at night, and complete the task by drying in the morning.
You can substitute one chore for one episode of your favorite show, switching back and forth until all your tasks are completed. The point here is, listen to your body, and don’t overstress yourself. If you feel your body need a break, give it one.
4. Get enough sleep
Another vital tip for being productive while living with chronic illness is getting enough rest and sleep. Try to let your sleep schedule develop organically. Go to bed whenever you start to feel tired and don’t be up from bed until you feel rested or satisfied. Over time you should be able to describe the hours of sleep your body needs and when it likes to get those hours.
If you therefore have a job that requires you to getting up early, you can go to bed some minutes earlier every night to get the maximum hours of sleep your body wanted. A well-rested chronic illness warrior is a productive chronic illness warrior — if you get enough rest, your chances of being productive while living with chronic illness is high.
5. Ask for help
Asking for help is another way to have a productive day while living with chronic illness. Although asking can be incredibly challenging. It means admitting you cannot get something done by yourself. However, it is not something new. In reality, you can not do everything all by yourself, and asking for help is never a crime.
There are things you are not capable of, but need to be done. When this happens, you are advised to call on someone to assist you in executing the task. For example, if you don’t have the strength to do laundry, your friends or any relative can come over and help you with the dishes, and even help you to prepare a meal that can last you for days.
You can also consider a non-human helper, but firstly, try to investigate whether you qualify for an assistance animal. If you are qualified, you can proceed in getting one. Some dogs are trained to help with dishes, laundry, opening doors, and many other tasks. You can adopt for one.
However, being productive while living with chronic illness may be challenging, but it is practically achievable. Some people are chronic illness warriors and you can be a warrior while living with chronic illness. So, try not to rush things, get enough rest, break down your task, and ask for help when necessary. All these will help you to have productive day in the end.
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