One of the many things we do in Occupational Therapy is talk about Energy Conservation and how using these related techniques can help one increase their overall independence. Basically, when we talk about energy conservation, we are not talking about saving gas, electric and other related forms of energy. Instead, we are talking about your energy to live and be functional. It involves doing your daily deeds sort of speak with the least amount of effort in the most efficient way. Of course, this means you can use short cuts, energy saving devices or good body mechanics. The hope is that by doing so you can avoid getting tired quickly, decrease your chance of getting hurt and even prevent pain. The idea is by doing these things, you can be more active so that you can do what is purposeful and meaningful to you. I hope the main things you like to do is take care of yourself. Once you've been able to dress yourself, bathe yourself and do other self care tasks then you can move to house or yard work and eventually other activities you enjoy doing. In the end, the hope is that there is some kind of balance between work rest and play without depending on others.
Sometimes, the only thing some people need to do is organize and plan their daily or even their month's schedule. Try to balance rest with activity by alternating light and heavy workloads.
Try to plan your schedule to use about the same amount of energy each day
Here is a great link to free charts and calendars:
I like to first put all the things you can't change on the calendar like holidays, birthdays and special events (kids sports, band concerts, parent teacher meetings, baby showers etc). Then add your work or volunteer schedule that can't be flexed. When are the prescriptions due for refill? Now attempt to set your doctor appointments around them. Once all that is done, you can attempt to figure out how to spread out yard and house work as well as when you can shop for groceries etc. It's a bit of a challenge at first but once you get in a habit, it isn't too bad. Remember not to load yourself up with responsibilities around the same time. It's ok to say no.
Avoid Needless Steps
If you plan to cook something, plan ahead and get all your ingredients and supplies organized on the counter to avoid too much back and forth to the pantry or fridge. If you are going to repair something, plan ahead to get tools or other items ahead of time.
Sit To Work As Much As Possible
There is so much that you can do in sitting to save energy. Gardening, feeding a baby, folding laundry, playing musical instruments, taking a shower, combing hair, brushing hair, shaving or even preparing a meal are just some examples. It may seem like no big deal but at the end of the day all the little deals do add up. As the old saying states, "work smarter not harder".
Arrange Storage Or Work Areas
Stay organized. If you use an item frequently, try to store on the counter or the top of the bottom shelves or the bottom of the top shelves. Don't change where you put the items. Basically, keep items in an easy to reach consistent place.
If you use the same item in multiple places, then you might want to consider having more than one of them. For example, if I need cleaning items then you could have one set upstairs and one set downstairs. You could keep cleaning soaps in one bathroom, the other bathroom and even more in the kitchen. If you have a centered closet then of course that would work too.
If you have room, a rolling cart is a really nice way to transport laundry or items when setting a table for dinner etc.
You can slide pots, skillets etc during cooking related tasks instead of picking them up. You might want to consider light weight pots and pans etc instead of iron etc. Obviously, paper and plastic will be lighter than glass and iron etc.
Use Long handled Dust Pans
It's okay to hire people to help! There are several businesses that deliver!
Remember to schedule regular rest breaks. About 10 minutes out of each hour should be spend resting.
Will be updating periodically for more cool stuff! Many just quick adds from my powerpoint! Stay tuned!
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