If you could save even a few spoons a day & get more done, would it be worth reading yet another blog? If you said yes (& hopefully not: “YES!” since that would waste a spoon!) here are a few more ideas to hopefully make all your spoon banks a little richer!
CALL ME MAYBE: If talking on the phone wears you out, consider buying a pair of earbuds with a mic attached. There is something about hearing the persons voice directly in my ear that keeps my brain from having to… work as hard? Sort out background noise? I don’t know, I just know it helps. I also don’t have to hold the phone up to my ear the whole time so they are a 3 point shot every time!
EMAILS: On the really bad brain days writing an email can use more spoons than we ever want to count! Here are a few habits I use to help me stay in touch with more people, more often.
THE DRAFT: Don’t underestimate the draft folder! Start the email, write what you can & save it in your draft folder. You can write a few sentences at a time.
COLOR CODING: Replying to a long, complicated email is truly a nightmare when you have brain fog or severe memory issues. Don’t even try to remember! Just hit “reply” & then write under their paragraphs in a new text color. This really works well!
blah, blah, blah, blah
reply, reply, reply, reply
BULLETS: I run down someone’s email & figure out the few things I need or want to reply to & make them into bullet points;
MY DOG: Yes, Fido recently won the ugliest dog competition! We’re so proud.
MY HAIRDO: Thanks for the compliment about my photo, I ended up shaving my hair off on a whim! Blah, blah, blah…
You can go back & erase the bullet points if you want but I just leave them in. I find other patients will reply the same way, which makes it easier for me to read & follow along if an email gets a little rambly (as many of us tend to do!)
GROCERY SHOPPING… ONLINE?: Whether you do it yourself or have to rely on someone else (& take your chances with whatever they happen to get you) food shopping is a huge issue for many patients.
AMAZ-ING: Amazon.com to the rescue (yes, again!) I never thought to check Amazon for food but they have an entire grocery section with everything from protein bars to tarot chips. (Much of it ships free w/ their “super saving shipping”). When you are looking for that seemingly impossible to find item another patient has raved about (that is actually on your diet plan & you could eat!) check the internet before searching local stores!
Which only leaves the perishables…
MY FAVORITE TIP: Did you know Walmart.com now delivers food & perishable items? (It’s FREE if you order over $45 of “selected items”. I looked & it seems to me it wouldn’t be hard to get to $45, especially if you ordered everything you need for a week or two!) They have milk, eggs, bread, fruit, not to mention all the usual supplies Walmart is known for. They aren’t nationwide yet but they are growing all the time! (You can give them your email & not only does that “vote” you want that feature in your area but they will notify you when it’s available).
Mini Tip: If you order more than $49 of anything, enter E-Voucher Code: K7-H3-M4-X6 & your first delivery is FREE!
Mini Tip 2: Don’t forget Walmart has expanded their food selections drastically & they offer electric carts you can ride! You can do your shopping in the store & save spoons!
TIMING: If you do the shopping yourself, go when the store isn’t as crowded (avoid around 5pm or on paydays if you have the choice) & go a little later at night. If you tend to have more energy later in the evening (as many patients do) this might be helpful because it’s less overwhelming /noisy.
ASK: Ask the cashier if someone can help you get the bags into your car (that alone saves a few spoons at least!)
MAKE IT COUNT: You got to the store, you bought all the food, you lugged it to the car & then from the car to your home (even if someone did all that for you) you still might have to put it all away! Put the perishables away first (I know, duh!) but really then you’re done. You can put the other stuff away as you go throughout your day. Going past the pantry? Bring the spices. Reaching into the cabinet to get your gluten free crackers? Grab the box of rice you just bought & put it up there as you reach! Make every move count!
GLOVES (This is a life saver!): If you have Raynauds or your hands just get ice cold easily, put on a pair of winter gloves when you put the food in the fridge & freezer. It will save you the spoons your body would use to try to warm you up again!
OPEN SEZ-ME: Whether it’s food, clothes or towels, when you have to put things away, consider leaving the doors, cabinets or drawers open until you are done. It saves the effort of constantly opening & closing them & as funny as it sounds, it really does help a lot especially when putting food away!
The order in which you do things can make a huge difference & shockingly save a lot of spoons! I used to save washing my hair for last. Why? Isn’t that the most important part? Wash your hair first, you get the most exhausting part accomplished & the shampoo (soap!) runs down your body. If you hit the wall & finishing the whole shower will keep you from being able to make dinner too, you can probably stop if you need to. Unless you were out mud wrestling that day, you’re probably clean!
Mini Tip: Waterless shampoo or spray (you put it on dry hair, no water or rinsing required) is a
great option if you are too sick to take a shower.
Mini Tip 2: Pull the bath mat up & then leave the shower running for 20 seconds after you get out. It will rinse your shower/bathtub, prevent mildew & make it much easier to really clean later.
LAUNDRY SEPARATION: Sorting laundry is just 1 more step you have to do! Get 2 laundry bags; as you take off your clothes sort them right then & there (even turn them right side out). It easier to do a few things at a time & it saves a lot of bending & reaching later on. (Make a pile of the clothes that will need to be stain treated, that way you don’t have to inspect every item later).
HANG ON: Leave a pile of empty hangers near the washer/dryer. When you take the clothes out of the dryer put them right on the hanger. 1) This saves having to fold them & then hang them up later anyway & 2) this usually prevents ironing!
GOOD D: (saying No)
How often do you say yes to something & then regret it later? Now I play good defense (my dad would be so proud!) Anytime anyone says or asks anything, I give myself 24hrs to think about it before I offer or agree to do it. It’s amazing how well this works. If I am put on the spot about something, I will just say I have to let them know. 24hrs later if it’s something I want or can do, great. If not, I’ve dodged a huge spoon draining bullet!