Tips for Daily Living
Because MS varies s from person to person, no list of tips can include it all. The tips offered here, however, have been helpful to people with chronic illnesses over the years, not to mention people who don't have health issues to deal with. These tips focus on conserving energy.
You've been meaning to do this anyway, right? Get the kids or other family members involved in chores. Make up a new list and hang it on the refrigerator door, breaking down chores and who's responsible for doing them.
Post-It notes are the miracle cure for busy people. Staying organized is your greatest time saver. Have shopping lists, chore lists, contact lists — and keep them all together in the same place. A large three-ring binder can be your best ally. They've got ruled paper for diaries, note keeping, and Post-It collections, pockets for notes and loose papers, and more than one section to keep different subjects separated. The best ones zip up and can be carried with you.
As much as most people try, it's never been possible to do it all. Now is a good time to let go of any perfectionist attitudes and settle for less. What can you let go of? Does the house really need to be vacuumed three times a week? Can the car wait another week to be washed?
Clean the Clutter
Nothing takes up more time and energy than looking for things. The new buzz word for organization is “simplify.” Buy large plastic containers at discount stores and use them to store things around the house that you're not using. Label them with their contents, such as “crafts,” “financial paperwork,” “Christmas decorations,” and “photos.” Then put them in an easy place to access, such as a storage closet or a basement. Purchase inexpensive shelving to get books off the floor, a filing cabinet for important documents, or a cabinet specifically designed for movies or CDs. Declutter and simplify! Clean out your drawers, give those old sweaters to a charitable organization, and throw those old coupons away. It's a good idea to tackle just one room at a time. Set a timer and commit to just fifteen minutes per day.
Not everyone is gifted with organizational skills, and if you fit that category, rally the troops! Perhaps you have a friend who can help you declutter. If not, hire a professional organizer. The number of these professionals has grown over the years. Depending on the size of the job, they can be in and out in a matter of days.
Part with the Old
Most people aren't particularly fond of change. Agree that you are eager to begin a new way of living — one that will simplify your life. As much as it hurts to part with your things, create piles of importance. One pile can be labeled “Haven't looked at in ten years,” the next can be labeled “Still use occasionally.” The trick is to be honest about how important something is. Be willing to part with those things that aren't used and are just taking up space.
Learn the Art of Zen
Zen cleaning involves agreeing to discard all the items in your life that have no use. While that might seem a little over the top to most people, it is a useful way to approach your decluttering task. It certainly eliminates those objects in your junk drawer that you cannot identify but are sure you might need one day. Zen cleaning ensures that everything in your life serves a function.
Create a Sacred Space
Everyone needs a place they go to for rest and relaxation, whether it's your bedroom, your garden, your workshop, or a corner of your kitchen. A sacred place is one where you can be yourself, and a place where MS is not allowed to venture. Have your earphones ready, your favorite music playing, or your tools handy. This is a place where you can catch your breath and be yourself for at least a few minutes every day.