Let’s face it, even on a good day, no one wants to do the washing up or laundry. So, I know that on a bad day, it is even more important I do these tasks. Why? Because they offer some structure and, for me, structure helps.
On a bad day, I often don’t have the energy to make my bed or do the tasks that have been ingrained in me since I was a child. Showering, brushing my teeth, combing my hair – all the ‘getting ready’ chores I have done since I could remember suddenly seem very hard and tiring. All my body wants to do is lie in bed for longer, scroll through social media and ignore my responsibilities such as cleaning last night’s dishes. And sometimes this does happen (and that is okay! Sometimes our bodies need the break to reset).
Personally, what helps me is trying my best to avoid this. When I know I have things I have to do and I am not feeling great, I write down my priorities for the day. This gives me an overview of what the day might look like at its best. This could mean moving tasks around so that some get done the following day, or delegating them out to other people for a while. Once I figure out what I need to do, I take it one task at a time. I start by literally getting out of bed (and making it!) that is task one, done and dusted. I often find this is my hardest chore because my body is telling me to do the opposite. When I have made my bed, it usually gives me some motivation to do the next task - showering. The feelings of achievement I get from ticking off these ‘basic’ chores, fuel my motivation to carry on. If I can do one thing, what’s stopping me from doing the next?
Eventually, I have made my bed, showered and brushed my teeth, made breakfast, put a load of laundry on and even done last night’s dreaded dishes within the space of a few hours. Then, I give myself a break. It’s still important to listen to what your body needs. It’s a bit of a balancing act – hence setting out your priorities of what you can realistically do.
If you struggle to create a priority list for these days, perhaps keep a list of ‘every day must dos’ so that on a bad day, you don’t have to think about what the core tasks you need to do are. It’s already set. Perhaps you have to feed your dog, or take your children to school. A structure or routine can really help to set you up for your day, and the best thing about them is that they can be adapted, depending on how your day looks.
Sometimes the basic tasks we are expected to do can seem really overwhelming but try not to put pressure on yourself to do them. Do your day at your own pace, set expectations for yourself that are realistic and listen to what your body needs if it needs a few more breaks. I find a structure can really help me find the motivation to do these tasks and make them seem less overwhelming.
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