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STEVIS78 SparkPoints: (916)
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1/8/18 3:17 P

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Thanks to all of you for replying. Lots of great advice and things I can implement for both myself and my mom.


--Steve

NIRERIN Posts: 14,450
1/7/18 9:28 A

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Start by taking fifteen minutes today. Lay out the clothes that you will need for tomorrow along with anything else that you will need (lunch, briefcase, shoes, whatever). Pack or plan your lunch and breakfast, possibly even your dinner. Figure out the three things that you have to accomplish tomorrow. Just three things that you can accomplish, not a giant list, or three with five sub items, just three things. Let's pretend you need to visit your mother after work, do laundry and make a casserole for the day after tomorrow. If you know you need to do laundry, make sure that you start to corral the load that you need in the laundry room. If you still have some of your fifteen minutes left you can round things up, or you can just wait until you naturally pass by the spots that collect random laundry and bring them along to the laundry room as you go by. You can also make sure that you have all the ingredients that you need for the casserole and if you don't you can plan on stopping by the nearest grocery store while you are going between work and your mother and home. Diverting while you are already out means you save the time it takes to make a special trip.

Tomorrow, again take fifteen minutes. Lay out your clothes, gather what you need for the next day, pack your lunch, plan (or reevaluate) your meals, and pick the three things that you are going to get done the next day.

Yes, three things doesn't seem like a lot when your to do list is a hundred things long.. But when you focus, in advance on what three things have to be done you can prestage some things like you did with the laundry or the ingredients for the casserole. Three things you can accomplish and you often have the time to knock off a few other items while you are at it instead of wallowing in the giant list try to find anything you can possibly accomplish. When you plan out in advance you can group errands together and save yourself repeated travel time to go to places that are right beside or on the way to each other. You can also map out your route so that you are taking as many right turns as possible and making a loop instead of zig zagging all over the place and retracing your steps. Whole Foods, my bank and Trader Joe's are all nearby, so I try to hit them all in the same loop. There is also an easy access Walgreens if I need anything there. The library is on the way home from my produce place, so I always try to make sure that I take anything that I need to return on the same trip. I am smack dab in the middle of three Publixes with two more just a little farther on, so I pick which one I go to based on what other errands need to be run and which one is closest to that task. Each place is only five to twenty minutes away, but you save that each way for every errand that you put in on the same trip.

Besides taking out fifteen minutes to plan the next day, take five minutes to ask yourself what you could do right now to make tomorrow easier. Then do that thing. It could be meditating. It could be cooking up a batch of rice or hardboiling eggs or doing a load of laundry while you are already doing something else in the house. It could be spending a small, set time sorting through your mother's papers. Accept that a lot of the things that you need to do need to be broken into small, actionable items because you don't have the time to just devote a huge hunk of time to straightening them all out at once.

-google first. ask questions later.

LADYSTARWIND's Photo LADYSTARWIND Posts: 5,431
1/7/18 12:16 A

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You'll feel MUCH better if you take a morning and semi-organize that paperwork.

Make a list of about 6 categories and get envelopes or file folders. I'd suggest: Banking/Financial (Social Security); Insurance; Medical; Assisted Living for starters.... On your first pass...don't read everything---just separate it into related stacks or folders. then over the next week: simply grab one topic each day, and put it into chronological order. You don't need to read them all---but you can now find them all. If you need sub-folders (like for pharmacy, doctor, Physical therapy) then make them when you sort, and put them in the master Medical folder.

For keeping track of incoming bills and things to do like appts, I've found this setup very useful: We used to use this system at work...and could ALWAYS find the minutes, meeting reminders, projects, etc... You'll need 43 folders total. Make a folder for each month, and a folder for each day. (12 months, 31 days) If a bill comes in that is due in March, put it in that folder.... If Mom needs a Doctor appt in April, write it down and put it in the April folder..... At the end of this month, get out next Month's folder, and sort the contents into the 31 "days" folders. Then, each Friday, be sure to look at what is coming up in the next week...!!

Be patient...it will get easier if you keep at it. Its never easy to suddenly deal with another person's "life" stuff while you are also feeling your own emotions about the situation. Take care of yourself, and if needed, don't be discouraged to ask for help. There are some agencies out there who do "Senior Counseling" and advocacy work who can help you deal with the myriad of things coming up. A good meeting or even a telephone conference might get you some assistance, practical ideas, and emotional support.
patti


Patti
"The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
Gandalf: Lord of the Rings


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ARCHIMEDESII's Photo ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (208,459)
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1/6/18 4:20 P



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Stevis,

It's tough to stay focused when you are under so much stress. I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

A relative of mine is also in a similar circumstance, so I do understand that you're being pulled in a dozen different directions. But you do need to set aside some time for yourself even if it's only 5-10 minutes to listen to your favorite tunes or sit and eat a piece of fruit. Stress can weaken a person's immune system, so it's important to take care of yourself so that you can be there for your mother.

That's why you take things one step at a time. Set aside a little bit of ME time each day even if it's only 15-30 minutes. You also want to set a side time to exercise. A regular exercise can help reduce stress. You don't have to do a lot, take a 15-30minute walk each day. Walking is not only great cardiovascular exercise, it's a great way to reduce stress too.

Some simple things you can do to keep yourself on track would be to take a daily 15-30 minute walk, drink plenty of water (stay hydrated in this dry weather), try to eat 2-3 servings of fresh fruit and veggies and set aside 15-30 minutes of ME time.

ME time could be listening to music, reading a magazine, taking a hot steamy shower. You can do anything you like because this is your time. no hubby. no mom. no kids. no work. It's all about being selfish for that time. Because you do need to take care of yourself if you want to be there for your mom.

And do your best to stay away from the junk. I've found this to be true,"If you eat crap, you feel like crap". If you're in a bad mood, eating too many treats will make you feel worse. That's another reason you want to try to eat right as best you can. When you eat healthy foods, you feel good inside and out.

Take baby steps literally and figuratively. Set aside some ME time. it'll help keep you sane during this high stress time.



STEVIS78 SparkPoints: (916)
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1/6/18 1:58 P

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I've been struggling lately. Dealing with stuff at work, home, and with my mother who's now in assisted living--and her affairs.

I find it's impossible to stick to a routine.

I lose stuff all the time now. My mom's paperwork is a mess. I'm constantly being pulled in different directions. Day by day, minute by minute, hour by hour.

I feel rudderless, like a ship just bouncing in the waves, banging against rocks, other ships.

I have to get some sort of organization in my life.

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