Whether you are a youngster doing chores, a student that is 'adulting' or you are in full adult mode and this is just part of every day life... Household chores can be mundane at the best of times. I don’t know of many people who jump out of bed each day and think ‘I just cannot wait to get started on cleaning the bathroom, washing my clothes and cooking dinner’. So when you are struggling with anxiety, or depression, or any other mental health issue, trying to work your way through such chores can feel like you are literally trying to move a mountain. In fact, getting out of bed in the morning can be a chore in itself...
So how can you tackle the every day tasks when you are struggling with life in general?
1) Create a list - not everyone is a list maker, but there are two main reasons why lists are great…Firstly, they help you to order your thoughts and de-clutter your mind. It allows you to prioritise things. Secondly, they act as a good success list. It can be deeply satisfying to tick a job off of a list!
2) Be realistic – Don’t plan to do a food shop, clean your room, kitchen, bathroom and iron your entire backlog of clothes all in one day. You will be setting yourself up to fail! Categorise your jobs into big jobs, and little jobs, and make sure that these are spread out over the week/month.
3) Don’t get disheartened if you can’t face anything on one particular day. Some days it’s only just possible to pull yourself out of bed and face the world. On these days, don’t stress yourself out with cleaning the entire house too (unless you find it therapeutic).
4) Have an ‘extras’ list – If you are having a good day/week and you’re on a role, pick a task from the extras list too. These may be jobs that are not quite as important, but do need doing at some point (ie. re-organising the pantry, having a clear out of clothes for the charity shop, organising your diary).
5) Enlist the help of others – If you have children old enough, get them involved. Reward them afterwards… juice and biscuits, a nice wander to the park, a snuggle and a favourite TV programme. Or why not team up with your house mates and take it in turns to do the household chores?
6) Celebrate your successes – When you tick that task off, praise yourself. Reward yourself! Too often we think that we shouldn’t praise ourselves for the things we think we SHOULD do. But why not? Why can’t you say ‘well done me, I did all my food prep for the week and now I’m putting my feet up and reading a few chapters of my book (with a slice of cake!).
And remember, you are only human. Recognise when you can, and recognise when you can’t.