Oh boy. Who here struggles with feeling unmotivated? Raise your hand! I just raised both.
The other day I was texting with my best friend Sue and I asked her if she struggles with motivation; because not only is Sue full of energy, but she’s also healthy. I feel like I often forget what it was like to be healthy. That life is so far behind me, often times I can’t remember how I lived or what I did. Sue kind of laughed (via text, if that’s possible) and said of course! All the time. This reverberated what my Therapist often tells me: “Stace, even healthy people have lazy, down days or spend the day binge watching Netflix”. So as much as I write this post for all of you, these are some of the reminders I need on an ongoing basis. Gosh, why does it seem everything is such a herculean battle when it comes to living with chronic illness?
So okay, without my further carrying on, here are 17 tips that I use for beating “the lazies”:
- Try doing one easy thing to get yourself going. I typically start with cleaning the dogs’ bowls or emptying the dehumidifier. Often times, I find if I just get moving, it seems less daunting. Remember Newton’s First Law: “A body in motion stays in motion”.
- Break things up if they seem too daunting or you’re having a tough day. Do one thing and sit. Do one thing, watch one episode. Do one thing, nap. You get my drift.
- If you can’t do a big chore, try doing something little like making a phone call, scheduling an appointment, paying a bill online or watering the plants.
- Determine your priorities. What can wait?
- Ask for help and carry out bigger tasks together. Often times, when Bri starts cleaning the house for me, it helps kick start my motivation. Even when it doesn’t, having company always makes tasks better.
- Take a time out and do something you love. Stop and go for an ice cream or do something you like to do, first, to get the blood moving.
- Allow yourself the day if you can’t get going. Chances are, your body is trying to tell you something. And your body knows best. There’s always tomorrow.
- Remind yourself that if it were that easy to be motivated or productive, you’d likely be working. There’s a reason it’s called “dis-ability”.
- Make plans to tackle bigger chores or projects so you can work your way up to it or plan accordingly. The same applies to medical testing!
- Break up larger projects (like cleaning our 32 windows!!!) into smaller, more manageable tasks. Like cleaning one window per day or washing one room’s worth of curtains per week (quick tip on that: hang them, still wet, to avoid ironing).
- Plan accordingly. Do what needs to be done according to when you feel up to doing it. Pushing too hard will only backfire.
- Try to simplify your tasks. I keep laundry baskets in various places of the house to eliminate lugging heavy laundry. Try a Swiffer Wet Jet for mopping. Consider investing in a Dyson (love my Dyson, I couldn’t clean my house without it!!). Check out a previous post of mine here, that focuses on ways to make cleaning easier: https://fightingwithfibro.com/2019/07/30/too-sick-to-clean-17-tips-to-make-cleaning-easier/
- Try making a “done list”. Often times, we focus so much on what we haven’t done, we don’t consider all we have done! Try listing what you have accomplished today! I bet you’ll be surprised!!
- Make/keep a list. Not only will this help prioritize, but it helps with the dreaded brain fog that most of us are often afflicted with! So okay, admittedly, I’m a list fanatic, but, by listing the things that need to be done, I can better plan and prioritize my tasks. Especially when I can’t get to anything that day or have a lot of appointments in a week.
- If the impetus strikes, run with it!!! Well, okay or hobble slowly-you get my drift. I had “wash the cabinets” on my list for I swear, two years. One day, last month, lightning struck and I had the motivation. While I never imagined doing all of them, that’s exactly what I did. Whew! Glad that’s finally done! (While I did throw caution to the wind and cleaned all my cabinets, this was a rarity. Beware of overdoing it!)
- Stop aiming for perfection. It used to drive me crazy how Bri folded the towels. Really?!?! Seriously, who cares. Now, if Bri does laundry, I’m grateful. Who cares how it gets done, if it gets done. Same as my cabinets; they aren’t gleaming and don’t look brand new. But I did them!!
- Celebrate, pat yourself on the back and take that pride with you. The next time you’re struggling, remember getting here.
Life is a trial. Especially this life we all share sick. But life is also precious and fleeting. We all need to celebrate and take pause more and dwell on negativity less. While it’s certainly easier said than done, I do hope you’ll try with me. Now that I’ve shared my ways to beat the lazies with you, I’m off to cook that Eggplant that’s been staring at me from the fridge all week. Who knew eggplants could glare?