With the cooler temps comes cold and flu season. I’ve already been dealing with a nasty bronchial problem and haven’t had the energy to do much so my house is a mess. It’s depressing to look around and see dishes undone, empty cartons of something, used tissues, rumbled couch and un swept floors. Since surroundings impact how we feel, I’ve been working on creating some sanity without getting wiped out in the process.
Below are some things that have been working for me.
Clean for five minutes when energy permits. This is a short enough time not to be too tiring but sufficient to make a visible difference. Get rid of the trash, clean the surfaces, put dishes in the dishwasher or soak them in the sink and tidy up so you aren’t tripping over junk that you’ve left around. Skip the hamper and put dirty clothes directly in the washer, turning on when you have a full load. Pick the time when you have the most energy. Right after a shower works for me. Five minutes several times a day can make a big difference. Interestingly, if you time yourself, you’ll find that some chores that you dread-unloading dishwasher, emptying compost-takes less than five minutes.
Multi task when possible: You need to brush your teeth for two minutes so with one hand brushing the other can do some tidying, water plants, toss trash etc. Even toes can be put to use straightening an area rug. If you’re getting up to do something anyway, e.g. going to the bathroom, pick up trash and toss en route.
Disinfecting Wipes: Keeping these near my computer and other surfaces required almost no time in helping to keep the germ level down.
Fresh air: I tend to keep a window cracked to get the air circulating. Even when it’s really cold I’ll do this for 10 minutes as it’s not long enough to make an impact on the heating bill but it does help to clear the air. Don’t use air fresheners or burn candles as this can make your situation worse.
Change Linens and Towels: Even if you don’t have the energy to change the bed linens, just replacing the pillowcase gives a lift, as does a fresh towel each day.
Ask for help: Get clear with family that they need to help out and be specific about what they need to do. Pick the items that are going to make you feel better.
Cook Once for Multiple Meals: One-pot meals that can last for several days are ideal. Soups, stews, casseroles that can be done in a crock-pot (slow cooker) save time, energy and taste pretty good. If you live where there is delivery, use it and eat from the containers so you have less dishes to wash.
Shop on-line: Don’t have the energy to shop but need supplies, do it on-line. Sites like Amazon, Jet, or even Walmart allow you to shop whenever and purchases are delivered to your door, overnight if you’re willing to pay the extra fee. Check out Where to Get the Best Deals Shopping online for Groceries
Cold and Flu Season-Be Prepared
• Review Don’t have time for the flu. Take Time to Prevent it.: By doing simple measures- vaccination, covering your cough and washing your hands, you can do a lot to eliminate the flu in the first place.
• Stock up: Take advantage of sales and load up on paper products (e.g. tissues, toilet paper); hand sanitizer; disinfecting wipes (great for cleaning off keyboards, cell phones) soaps; soups, drinks and other easy to prepare food items; disinfectant cleaning products, as well as other items you find useful. Include some fun items to help distract when you feel miserable, such as puzzle books from the Dollar Store.
• Once over the medicine cabinet: In addition to supply levels of pain and fever reducers, decongestants, antihistamines, nasal sprays and other medicines you might need check dates to make sure nothing has expired. Clean humidifier and personal steam inhalers.