Thursday, April 17, 2014

10 Creative Ways to Clean House and Motivate Yourself to Get Going

Instead of a blog post that goes deeply into getting your motivation going, I want to make a list of creative ways to get it going.  Hopefully, this will be a reference list that will help you (and me) on those days you don't feel like cleaning.  Warning:  this list is for days you feel well enough to work or for low motivation days, not for days you need to give your body a rest.

  1. Cleaning and getting rid of clutter can be fun by making a game out of it:  i,e., ( FlyLady Bingo).
  2. Make a daily list of 3 to 6 things to do -- nothing is too small for the list if you need to do it.  You don't have to do the whole list if you fade.  Listen to your body.
  3. Get dressed  in comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes and work for 15 minutes.  If you need it, take a break after getting dressed.   
  4. Put relaxing music on if you feel stressed or anxious.
  5. Put dancing music on if you would like to make some smooth moves as you work, and the upbeat music should help you be in the mood to move.
  6. If you are watching television, how much can you get done during a commercial?  Start working around the room, cleaning off hot spots that fill up with clutter.  
  7. Other things you can do during commercials is clean off a book shelf, dust, run the vacuum in one area of the room, go through a box of papers, put away some of the laundry in your laundry basket, and make picking up the toys in the room a game for your kids or grandkids.
  8. Wear your blue tooth on your ear and talk to a friend:  you could clean at the same time. 
  9. Fill one trash bag.  Joshua Becker says that this could be a bag that you fill with trash or for giving to Goodwill.  I don't recommend mixing trash and give-a-ways, so I would let it be one or the other.
  10.  Dana Byers says when you are done with one area, you should stop:  then, celebrate the victories.  Does this sound familiar?  Make a list of rooms you need to clean.  Underneath each room list some of the things you want to get done.  If your house has been cluttered for a long time, you do not have to do everything in one day.  Choose what you think is sensible to do in one day for your energy level.  Also, consider that you could be using muscles you have not  been using.  Start in the easiest room to clean or start in the room you use most often.  Do not over-do.  i.e., (clean out one or two drawers in your dresser; clean off one table; dust the room; vacuum one room or vacuum half a room)  The key is baby-steps or breaking a big job into smaller components. 
Don't use all these ideas in one day.  Pick one that appeals to you;  then you can say, "On my mark, get set, and here I go!".  We have variations to work with, and I think we can come up with more.  In fact, sometimes, we just have to come up with more to get ourselves going again.  Don't forget to use your timer.  Whee!

Your Loving Cheerleader,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finding Balance Again

Courtesy of [Salvatore Vuono]/

Five days have gone by since I published the last post about Looking for Balance.  My mission for the last week has been to fulfill the plans I made for getting back on track;  and, I have especially payed attention to taking my medicine and my supplements as directed.  For me, this is probably one of those habits, for which I need to continue to pay close attention, because I am already feeling the results.

For those of you that get muddled about whether or when you took your medicine, I recommend using a container.  And, keep it close to where you eat if most of your meds are taken with meals.  Of course, if you have children in the house, medicine should be out of reach, but I am sure most of you know that.

One of the things I have discovered in the last couple of weeks is I do better if I load my weekly medicine container biweekly.  It is one of those things I tend to put off if I leave it for the last day.  Having to fill fewer containers at a time has been less aggravating for me.  

Finally, I want you to know I did not do everything on my list perfectly, but I can see a difference in my mood and my motivation to get things done.  If you have an off day, don't feel like everything is ruined and you have failed.  You have not failed:  you just had an off day.

We can only live a few seconds, one minute, one day at a time.  Baby steps work and they add up to feeling better about ourselves and what we can accomplish.

Have a blessed week.



P.S.  I am going to keep taking my Omega 3's in the Fish Oil.  I do better with it than without it.  Remember, you should always check with your medical practitioner before adding supplements or medications to your regimen.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Looking for Balance and Saying Bye to the Moody Blues

I chose this picture, because it reminded me of balance.
I have let my life get out of balance, and I am ready
to truly work on me.  I need to work on me.
It's alright to take the time to concentrate on yourself,
because caring for one's self when you have a
chronic  illness can be a full-time job.  
Sometimes, it takes a special effort to get back on track.
{ Image Courtesy of  [Ambro] / }

Do you ever get so tired of doing something for yourself, you only do it half-heartedly or not at all?  I hope you are saying yes, because I don't want to be the only one sluffing off on my duty to care for myself.  Oh dear, I just realized how awful that sounds, because I don't want you to stop caring for yourself either.  Forgive me for the misery loves company bit:  if you are doing everything right, I am so pleased you are doing better than me in this area.

For the last few weeks, I have found my depression getting worse.  Usually, if I am patient and wait it out, I get back on the right track;  however, my lack of motivation has been affecting me in enough ways, that I know I am depressed.  This is common in chronic illnesses, and it is sometimes surprising that we fair as well as we do.  However, I think with proper medical counseling, as well as mental counseling at sometime, one can find a way through the emotions of loss and frustration.  I have done both during the years I have struggled with being ill; but this time, I have had to take responsibility and look at my situation, even though I wanted to ignore it.

The other strong support is spiritual support, which is something I have been avoiding the last few weeks, except for brief forays into reading my Bible and praying.  Of course, I also believe in praying without ceasing, but that is hard to do when you bring a cacophony of noise into your life through computer, television, and novels, and you ignore the truly important things.  Why I do that is something I do not understand, unless I am trying to hide from the things I really need to look at.

So, what is my revelation?  It is simple and I had not even considered it over the last month.  I had considered my lack of care for myself.  I had grown lazy about taking my meds and supplements.  I was non-compliant and tired of swallowing pills, so I constantly put off making this important in my life.  Therefore, this weekend I filled up my pill containers, and I am taking them at meal times.

However, today I had the big revelation.  I had quit taking my fish oil. For some reason, I had read something online saying it did not really do anything;  and, I found that a wonderful excuse to stop swallowing that capsule.   However, I have found many more articles that support taking fish oil for depression.  And, I know I was doing better before I stopped.  So today, I am starting with 2 capsules containing 2400 mg. twice a day.  I will let you know if I feel any improvement in a few weeks.  I will be your guinea pig.  If I forget to let you know the results, remind me.

When living with chronic illness, it is extremely important to care for yourself.  How can you do the things you want to do for your loved ones and take care of your home, as well as other things you desire to do, when you do not care for yourself?  I don't need to answer that one, do I?

I am adding a simple list to encourage anyone that is in a low place right now.  Perhaps, you need to make your own list.  Your goals may be different than mine.

Things I Want to Work On
  1. Prepare medicine and supplements for the week ahead of time.  Keep them by the place you usually eat.
  2. Brush your teeth daily and take a shower at least every other day, depending on necessity.
  3. Dress in clothes everyday.  I know I said it is ok to have pajama days;  however, many people do not truly feel  ready for working in pajamas -- even doing housework.  It is too easy to sit, because we relate pj's with rest.
  4. 1 - 3 jobs a day minimum for those that are able would be a good goal.  1 one of those jobs can be getting out of the house.  I know I spend far too much time in my home.  Later, maybe we can explore things to do when we get of the house.  I am aiming for 3 jobs a day, because I have felt physically ready for a couple of weeks.  
  5. Plan a treat for finishing your chores.  And remember, we are aiming for done -- not perfect.  After all, we live in our homes:  they will not continually look like a magazine page, if they ever did.  Enjoy your home.  (Your home may or may not look like a magazine page, but somehow magazine pages are always a little too perfect for how mine ends up.  Sometimes, some smart person will add something to make a house looked lived in, but I am betting most photographed houses do not stay that way.)