There’s nothing better than walking into a squeaky-clean and well-organized home. While most people don’t love doing the work it takes to get a house into tip-top shape, it’s nice to have the option. When living with chronic pain, keeping up with essential chores like cleaning can be very challenging. Studies show that messy or cluttered home environments can lead to emotional distress and anxiety. For chronic pain sufferers, this anxiety can be compounded by social isolation, which often comes from feeling too embarrassed to invite guests home.
Take it easy
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important to listen to your body and find creative ways to tackle cleaning chores. Honor the limitations of the time and energy you can expend, and change your cleaning habits in a way that’s sustainable for you. Most importantly, ask for help if you need it. Paying someone to come in and do a “deep clean” once a month can make a world of difference. If that’s not an option, consider asking a friend to lend a hand for an hour or two a week.
Keep it simple
If you want to keep household tasks from feeling overwhelming and prevent yourself from experiencing pain flare-ups, there are a number of things you can do:
- Make a list- Write down everything you need to do and rank them in order of importance. Color-code your list into “easy” and “more difficult” tasks, and choose which ones to tackle depending on how you’re feeling on a particular day.
- Clean one room at a time- Focus on one task a day and choose the time of day when you have the most energy. Remember, there are many tasks that can be completed in a non-traditional way, such as sitting down.
- Take frequent breaks- Set a reasonable pace and take breaks often. You might want to try 20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break. If that feels too taxing, do what you can, even if that means 5 minutes of cleaning followed by a 45-minute break. Progress is progress.
- Get rid of clutter- Eliminate clutter so you have less to clean or dust. Throw out stacks of old newspapers and magazines, pare down closet and cabinet items, and get rid of knickknacks.
- Break up laundry tasks- Laundry is easier to get done if you focus on doing only one load per day. Use folding laundry as an opportunity to do some stretching!
- Invest in a good vacuum- Try using a lightweight vacuum cleaner while sitting in a chair with wheels. This technique also works well for mopping floors.
- Put it on wheels- While you’re at it, put wheels on everything you can. A laundry basket on wheels can make doing laundry easier. And if you put some of your furniture on wheels, it becomes a lot simpler to move a piece when you want to clean around and under it.
- Store cleaning supplies in more than one place- To save steps and time, purchase multiple sets of cleaning supplies so you can keep them in the kitchen and in each bathroom.
- Make every day garbage day- Whenever you leave the house, take the garbage with you. This way, you’ll always only have small loads to carry.
- Play music- Go ahead, whistle while you work. Studies show that when you sing to your favorite tunes, it relaxes muscles and reduces your pain.
We’re here to help
At Pain Management and Injury Relief (PMIR) Medical Center, we understand the many challenges that go hand-in-hand when living with chronic pain. Our goal is to give you tips that will help you get through your day. We focus on the latest technologies, use the most advanced equipment and innovative procedures to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your pain. To learn more about other options for managing your chronic pain, call PMIR Medical Center at (877) 724-6349 to make an appointment today.