Thursday, 17 January 2013

Tackling housework when you are ill

I had another post planned for today, but I decided this was more pertinent, so please forgive me!

As you may know from my previous posts, I've been rather ill this week. I've never been off work so long and I keep having to go back to the doctors. It is generally very miserable.

One of the worst things about it all, is that when I'm not asleep I'm bored. I'm too exhausted to concentrate on anything, including a good book or meaningless TV, and it is taking me forever to write anything, but I'm still bored. Add to this that the house has gradually descended into a disaster and I got really irritated yesterday and decided I had to do some housework.

Now, I am not a doctor, and by no means is this medically advised, but if you must, like me, do some housework, here are my hints for tackling these things when you are not 100%. I would also suggest that this is only something you do when you are on the road to recovery!

1. Moderation is everything. Small, tiny little tasks are key. Pick one thing that will make the biggest impact to improve your mood. For me it was clearing the kitchen and filling the dishwasher. it made me feel great that 10 minutes had the kitchen looking (nearly) as good as new. I did have to sit down for a good cup of tea afterwards.

2. Set yourself a time limit. Accept you are ill and realise you are not going to have the house looking perfect by the end of the day. Set the kitchen timer for 5, 10 or 15 minutes (depending on how you feel) and see what you can achieve. You'll probably find you achieve a lot less than you normally would in this time, but it means you don't burn yourself out by setting unrealistic goals.

3. Get help on board. You are ill and you are not perfect (however much we might all want to be). Don't be afraid to ask for help. One thing that has really struck me with this illness is that Mr PTC does actually want to help me but he isn't a mind reader. I actually have to ask him to do certain things, which he is then more than willing to do. It is not his fault that he has a different set of priorities than me. If you have loved ones around believe me they want to help look after you, and if that means picking up the cleaning products, then they will do that. Again, don't be unrealistic.

4. Pick ONE thing that is really bothering you and settle at getting that done and nothing else. It is true that by seeing mess and clutter it may well effect your ability to get better, so pick the one thing that will make a big difference to your peace of mind. Tackle it in SMALL doses, or ideally get someone else to do it for you.

5. Take a long rest. Once you have accomplished your task, please don't rush onto the next one. Take a good rest, cup of tea, biscuit, in fact a nap wouldn't be a bad thing either.

Of course, the best advice is to not do anything and concentrate on getting better. But well, we are all too busy for that right?

I'm off to bed now.

Thanks for stopping by,
Let me know what you think... leave a comment or send an email to passthecaffeine {at} gmail {dot} com


  1. I popped in and read your post and you say it perfectly. I have had a number of surgeries over the last 2 years and with a full house it was stressful not to be able to stay on track. Thank you for the first post I have ever seen on this and it has made me feel better just knowing I am not a bad mother, bad wife if I just physically could not "Get there". Moderation is key to recovery.

    1. I'm glad this was a little bit of help for you. If you have any thoughts on how to cope during a longer term illness then I would be glad to hear it. I hope you are recovering from your surgeries. I wish the best of luck with your recovery.