Saving Energy Around The Home - Energy Efficiency Tips
21 Energy-Saving Tips to Ease Life With Chronic Illness
Conserve Your Energy for the Important Things in Life
The first thing you need to learn is how to pace yourself. You can do this by planning ahead and organizing your daily schedule with a balance of strenuous and easy tasks. Leave ample time to complete your tasks so you don’t feel rushed and under pressure.
For example, I suggest to my patients that they avoid early-morning doctor’s appointments as the pressure of getting up, bathing, eating breakfast and getting to the doctor on time can create a stressful scenario. Rather, try to get the first appointment following the staff’s lunch break as they won’t be running behind schedule yet. This gives you plenty of time in the morning to get everything done and still get there on time.
Work Simplification: Sit Wisely, Prioritize, Delegate
The principles of work simplification include sitting to work as much as possible. When you're sitting, choose a firm surface with arm rests. Soft couches and chairs, although tempting, are hard to get out of. Organize work areas so the bulk of activity occurs at waist height and close to your body, so you can avoid bending, over-reaching, and stooping. Instead of lifting heavy objects, slide them. Avoid strenuous arm motions. If you must pick up objects, bend your knees or squat rather than bending from your back.
Prioritize important tasks, and delegate to others whenever possible. Remember to save your energy for things you most want to do. Get to know your own activity tolerance, and stop if you feel symptoms of fatigue such as muscle stiffness, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Try These Strategies to Save Time and Energy
Use the following organizing tips to conserve energy and complete daily tasks and self-care in the most effective way:
Self-care activities in the bathroom:
- Sit in front of the sink for hair care, makeup, and shaving.
- Use a long-handled bath brush for your back and feet.
- Wrap yourself in a terrycloth robe rather than using towels to dry yourself.
- Sit on a shower bench and use a hand-held shower hose.
- Keep your hair in an easy-to-care-for style.
- Use a raised toilet seat and/or toilet safety rails.
When you're dressing:
- Gather all of your clothes before you start getting dressed.
- Sit on a bed or a chair to dress.
- Dress your lower body first as this takes more energy.
- Put your underwear on, then pull it up to your knees; put your pants on, then pull them up to your knees; stand once and pull both up at the same time.
- Choose front-opening, loose-fitting clothes.
- Choose clothes with elastic waistbands because they're easiest to manage.
- If you can’t use slip-on shoes, consider elastic shoe laces. Bring your feet up to your tie laces; footstools are helpful for this. Use long-handled shoe horns to avoid bending.
- If a limb is sore, weak, or otherwise compromised, put that arm or leg into the shirt or pants first and take it out second when you're undressing.
In the kitchen:
- Store items according to use, putting most-used items at waist level or above and less-used items below waist level.
- Consider leaving your most-used items out on the counter.
- Plan one-dish meals, consider using a Crockpot or other slow cooker, and try prepared mixes and frozen foods.
- Use a wheeled cart for carrying food from the kitchen to the table and cleaning up after.
- Slide filled pots, mugs, and other containers along countertops or the stove rather than lifting them.
- Ease food prep using electric appliances.
- Use disposable paper goods and utensils to minimize clean-up.
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