Having any long-term health condition can sometimes make daily life difficult. If you are experiencing fatigue, pain or digestive problems, even the most mundane household tasks can seem daunting. So we’ve come up with some practical tips that could help reduce the time and effort spent on life admin and jobs around the home – for people with CML and their families and friends.
Getting your paperwork in some sort of order can be a massive help. If everything important is in the same place, it not only makes it easier to find those important documents when you need them, it also helps you stay in control and minimise problems caused by things like insurance lapsing or bills going unpaid.
Get a file or folder to store paperwork. You can divide into sections to get even more organised, or simply use a box – but at least you’ll be able to find things like insurance policies or bills within minutes
Have one place where every important letter and document always goes. If you can go straight to ‘the paperwork place’ rather than hunting through various rooms and storage places, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress
Store bedding sets in one of the pillow cases – this saves a lot of space in a linen closet, and also means you have everything you need to hand – sheet, duvet cover and matching pillow cases
Lots of us collect belongings over the years, and suddenly you realise that you’re swamped with ‘stuff’. It can be incredibly freeing and stress-relieving to go through your possessions and get rid of the things you no longer need.
Donate or pass on good quality items that others might use, e.g. to friends or to a local charity
Bin old items you no longer need, use or want. Keeping something for sentimental value is fine, but many of us are guilty of hanging onto things ‘just in case’. If it’s not contributing to your life in any way, think seriously about getting rid of it
Delegate and automate
You don’t have to do everything yourself. If you’ve got friends and family nearby, they may well be willing and able to help you out with e.g. travel to and from appointments, looking after children, getting shopping in etc. If you’re able to afford it, you could look into paid helpers coming regularly for e.g. cleaning, housekeeping, personal care or gardening.
However, nearly everyone can take advantage of the convenience of internet services like banking, grocery shopping, bill paying and subscriptions for e.g. TV, regularly used items and many common prescribed medications.
Knowing that these things are taken care of can relieve the mental burden of trying to remember what needs doing when, and trying not to run out of essentials.
Modern life is crazy busy – with work, children, family, a social life, hobbies, household chores, exercise, paperwork, shopping and cooking, it’s a wonder we have a moment to ourselves. Having CML might be an opportunity to slow down, and have another look at everything that’s going on in your life. Ask yourself:
Do I enjoy doing this?
Do I need to do this myself or could someone else help me?
Could I do this less often and still get something out of it?
Thinking through what’s happening in the next day or two can help you get prepared. It’s useful to have, say, a small kitty of cash available including plenty of change which you might need for hospital carparks or taxis and buses.
Make sure you’ve got everything you will need for the next day: do you need to have any particular documents or letters with you? Have you got enough cash? Is your phone charged up? Will a pen and paper be useful? Have you checked what time you need to leave the house?
Have a large, visible calendar
Write all appointments on a large calendar that everyone in the house can see. This way, it’s not one person’s sole responsibility to remember what’s going on – everyone can look, and remind each other what’s coming up.