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Tips for helping you balance everyday responsibilities while living with autoimmune disease

51923313_MBalancing life can be a struggle, even without an automimmune disease. Managing the stresses of work, family responsibilities, and life in general can be a difficult task. Then you add in autoimmune disease and everything becomes even more complicated. The symptoms can be distracting and debilitating, making it hard to do anything at times, let alone find balance. So, how do you strive to find this thing that seems unattainable?

Consider your daily and weekly responsibilities

When you have an autoimmune disease, it can even be hard to think straight at times. There may be multiple responsibilities that you’re trying to hold up, but you struggle to even remember everything that needs accomplished. One of the first steps in the process of finding balance is looking over what your daily and weekly responsibilities are.

When you’re feeling up to it, make a list of your responsibilities for the week. What does Monday look like? What are your responsibilities for Tuesday? How does the weekend look? Consider everything, like do you need to get groceries, how about pet supplies, what about cleaning the house? Write a list, including even things that may seem menial. Pace yourself when writing this list. The main point is to help you find balance and to reduce fatigue caused by autoimmune disease. Many of our responsibilities can add up causing us to feel drained due to the autoimmune disease. The importance of this list is to help you find ways to hold onto energy reserves a little longer. Try not to get stressed thinking about your responsibilities, instead think about the fact that this list will help you cut down on the demands of everyday life.

Make your list easier to reduce fatigue from autoimmune disease

Once you have your list, look it over. Cross off anything that doesn’t need to happen. Sometimes we have things on our mental to-do list that after evaluation, we don’t really need to be stressing about. Only keep items on the agenda that are musts, and anything else can go. After that, check to see if there is anything on the list that you can make easier. Here are some examples to consider:

  • Groceries: Skip the trip to the grocery store. If you have a grocery store near you that delivers, opt for that service. You can also order a lot of supplies online via Amazon and FreshDirect. See “8 Sites for Online Grocery Shopping” to learn more.
  • Household chores: Consider hiring someone to handle your household chores. You can also ask others for help. Are there others in your household that could take on more responsibilities or loved ones that would be happy to come over and help?
  • Lawn maintenance: Hire a lawn service or a neighborhood kid to mow your lawn.
  • Other supplies: Shop online for everything you need from clothes to office supplies. You can ease the burden of errands.
  • Working on the computer or texting on the phone: Use voice commands so you don’t have to type.

There is one more thing to keep in mind: it’s ok to say ‘no’ – especially when you have an autoimmune disease. Sometimes we make a plan for the week and then last minute things come up. Sometimes you have to take yourself off the hook.

We can often take on a long list of responsibilities and try to do it all when we’re feeling well enough. However, cramming too much into our schedule can cause us to feel stressed and fatigued, which can also lead to depression. We beat ourselves up because we didn’t get everything done. This is especially true when you have an autoimmune disease. But, instead of continuing this vicious cycle, choose a better way. Give yourself the gift of time. Look over your responsibilities, remove things that aren’t needed, and look for easier solutions to some of the mandatory needs. Even changing one or two of these things can help you hold onto your energy a little longer!

 

About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of AutoimmuneMom.com.  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author.  AutoimmuneMom.com is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes AutoimmuneMom.com available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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