When you have a mental illness to deal with or any other struggles, life is already hard enough. Just functioning is difficult enough at times, just getting through everyday life. There is no shame in making life as easy as possible for yourself when you can.
Making cooking easier
It can be tough enough when you are unwell to remember to eat, never mind to eat right. Making things easier for yourself by buying things that you can just pop in the microwave; buying in food that is ready to eat or takes very little preparation or making food in advance can make things so much easier for you and can still be healthy if you make the right choices with this.
My husband and I recently started a food prep journey, preparing our meals for the week ahead at the weekend so that they are ready in containers to just pop in the microwave during the week (you can read more about my food prep journey in my personal blog, the link is in my information at the bottom of the page). Whatever works for you is more than ok.
If you are working or doing things around the house, doing any activity really, there is so shame in doing it in stages, in taking your time and taking breaks when you need them. The end result will be the same, you don’t have to rush through things or put too much pressure on yourself. I find it easier to focus on doing things a step at a time, only focusing on what needs to be done next so that I don’t get too overwhelmed or stressed.
Asking for help
Support doesn’t just have to be in the form of talking or reaching out when you are upset, you can ask your support system for help to do things around the house, to take you to appointments, to help you out with specific jobs if you feel able to. Anything that can make life easier when you already have so much on your plate is something you can seek help for if you have those people available and around you.
If you don’t feel you have people that you could ask for assistance, there may be support services out there that can help you with day to day living. An internet search is always a good place to start and asking your mental health professionals what resources there may be available.
Taking it easy with housework
People don’t often talk about how tough it can be to keep up with housework when you have a mental illness, it can be overwhelming at times. I’ve always taken the attitude that some things are more important than housework in life, your mental health is one of them.
There’s nothing wrong with focusing on the basics, the main things that need to be done to maintain hygiene, and if you can’t do any more than that, then life is too short to worry about some dust or untidiness. Asking for help with this to maintain things can be a good move, and doing things in stages can be a good thing. You don’t have to get it all done at once. You can do bits and bobs around the house when you feel able so that it doesn’t feel like such a big job.
Keeping up with your personal hygiene
Another topic that isn’t often talked about is the struggle to maintain your personal hygiene when you are struggling with your mental health, especially if you are going through a depressive period. It can feel like the most impossible task and you can have absolutely zero motivation to do so.
Making things easier for yourself with this can do wonders: dry shampoo for unwashed hair, baby wipes for a quick clean; a nice body spray to keep you smelling nicer; taking a bath which you can just sit in instead of a shower, all of these things and more can be great ways to make things a little easier to keep up with your hygiene until you feel able to get back to maintaining a proper routine. This is something I will be sharing more tips on in another blog post.
Only doing what you feel able to
When you are having a difficult time, it can be easy to push yourself and to feel frustrated because you can’t keep up with your usual routine and the things that need to be done. Things can pile up and you can feel anxious, worried and even annoyed with yourself for not being able to get them done.
I feel this way a lot of the time but the most important thing to remember is do to what you are able to, and not pressure yourself to do more than that. Things in life can wait, chores that need to be done can wait, you can deal with it later. You can only do your best and that is more than good enough. You and your health are what is most important.