It’s hard enough to manage a household under normal circumstances, but many people deal with added complications from energy draining medical or emotional issues. If that’s you, you can still manage your household successfully – you just have to approach it a little differently.
We’ve all read the usual practical steps for increasing energy level and the steps are definitely valid:
- Get plenty of rest.
- But don’t rest too much.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Be careful with caffeine consumption.
- Listen to uplifting music.
- Try to think positive thoughts.
- Don’t overload your schedule.
- Wind down before bedtime.
But the steps work best for the average person and have limited value for the homemaker dealing with low energy that comes from medical or emotional issues. That homemaker needs to do things a bit differently. Here are some practical strategies for the energy challenged homemaker:
- Don’t marathon clean. You might get a lot done, but you’ll pay the next day when you get nothing done. Unfortunately your house will still get messy but you won’t feel like doing anything about it, and the next day, after you’ve recovered, you’ll have a mess on your hands. So do a little each day. Pace yourself.
- Set up routines. Decide what things need to be done each day. Sometimes half the battle is deciding what to do. If you already have “goals” for each day, you won’t have to make those decisions. Plus it will help with scheduled extra activities because you’ll know what basics need done that day and whether you have time for extras.
- Lower your standards, if you can. You may still be thinking you can do more than you really can. You can only do what you can do. Maybe at this point in your life you’ll have to let some things go. Decide what things are non-negotiable and build those into your routines. Don’t worry about the rest or you can try to find a creative way to get them done – like hiring someone to help once in a while.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Once in a while, comparing ourselves to others can have positive benefits, but most of the time, it just makes us feel bad or guilty. But if you have energy issues, you should definitely not compare yourself to others. Your situation is different and you don’t have the ability to do as much as others. That’s okay. Those are the cards you’ve been dealt. Compare yourself to yourself. Are you doing the best you can? Are you doing as much as you can?
- Create an environment that’s easy to maintain. Lots of furniture, knick knacks, clutter – all those things make it harder to clean and require MORE cleaning. Have you ever tried to clean an area that’s filled with knick knacks? It’s much harder than an area that is less cluttered. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have any knick knacks but the fewer the better. So go through your house and see what clutter you can get rid of. If you have a lot of special items, maybe you could just put them away for a while. Keep out the ones that are really meaningful but put the rest away. Eliminate as much as you can. Make it easy to clean!
- Do you have a big, heavy vacuum cleaner? Maybe it’s time to get one of the light weight models. They make a huge difference when you’re vacuuming. And every little bit helps.
- Do you open your curtains everyday? The first thing I do each morning (after I shower and dress) is open all the curtains in the house. I love being able to see outside and having sunshine fill the house. I’m surprised, though, at the number of homes where the curtains are never opened. If you have low energy, open the curtains. It will help!
- Do you keep your cleaning supplies gathered and in a central location? When you’re ready to clean, if you have to round everything up, you’re going to be exhausted before you ever get started.
- Do you have a planner or calendar? It’s important to know what your appointments and responsibilities are so that when you have a new opportunity, you know if you can handle it. If you see that you have stuff going on three days in a row, you probably should say no. And it’s okay to say no. But if you don’t write it down, it’s hard to remember and you might end up overcommitted. You should never say yes to anything without looking at your schedule first and really thinking about whether this is something you can handle.
- Track your energy level to see if there’s a pattern. Often there isn’t, but if there is, you can structure your life to work around it (as much as possible!). For example, if evenings are hard for you, figure out what you can do to make them better. Or maybe weekends wear you out. Try to figure out a pattern so you can plan accordingly.
If you’re an energy challenged homemaker, don’t get discouraged and don’t give up! You can be a successful homemaker, too – you just have to set goals that work for you and then find creative ways to accomplish those goals. But never, never, never give up!