Written by Julie Taylor
28 Tips for Saving Energy – the Health Kind…
#1 Tip: Get a Computer (and maybe try it even if you hate the very idea… )
The first tip of all – an absolute ‘must’ – get a light laptop computer with an internet stick… There is so much you can do online and it saves a ton of energy. Apart from the obvious like online banking, grocery shopping and clothes shopping you can email with your kids teachers, apply for jobs, work from home…
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With my computer I’m productive even when I can’t get out of bed. I have a friend whose myelopathy means that some days she can’t even stand or speak – but we can always prop her computer up for her and she can type – and think! Computers rock! Get a new Macbook for under $1000 complete with software – these are the lightest, coolest (they don’t get so hot) and the slimmest!
For some comic relief, watch this Jack Lalanne video about pooped-out-itis…
Around the house:
- Don’t stand when you can sit.
- Make sure your vacuum cleaner is really light and efficient
- Plan your activities and assemble everything before you start – and make lists.
- Order prescriptions online and have them delivered
- Schedule regular rest periods each day – and fun…
- Send real birthday cards – mailed with a regular stamp – online (someone else does the legwork) – you can also send giftcards, chocolates, subscriptions, home-baked brownies, selections of nuts or teas and a whole lot more.
- Use a basket to carry things from one part of the house to the other – and leave it by the stairs to gather things in.
- Move things you use often to low-accessible shelves.
- Phone SilverThreads (or other seniors associations) who link energetic students and housekeeping work
- Use power tools and labor saving electric appliances.
- Delegate tasks: ask children or other family members to help.
- Put a stool in the kitchen and sit when doing chores
During personal grooming:
13. Sit on a stool in the bathroom while shaving or applying makeup.
14. Prop elbows up on counters etc if you can.
15. Allow enough time to complete grooming in less exhausting “phases”
16. Use warm, not hot water for baths or showers. Hot water increases muscle fatigue.
17. Have help laying out your outfit for the next day
18. Use magnetic clips to easily fasten jewellery
19. Get a handicap sticker for your car and park close.
20. Shop when you are at your peak energy.
21. Get help chopping and peeling fresh produce and store it in fridge
22. Make large batches of sauces etc and freeze them in ice cube trays
23. Shop by yourself for light items. Give a healthy family member your grocery list
24. When shopping alone, ask a grocery clerk to carry out groceries.
25. If you arrive home tired, put away only the perishables then ask for help
26. Have help to cook a whole weeks’ meals and freeze them or put them in fridge
27. Shop by phone or online whenever possible.
28. Avoid peak shopping/traffic hours – grocery stores are empty and peaceful at 10 pm.
There may well be a big part of you that wants to laugh at and mock these tips. It was my first instinct too. Get my kids to help? Good luck…
But reality is that everyone – you, your family and your friends – is going to have to make some changes. Talk to your spouse or your parent or a trusted friend and get them to help you explain and get everyone on board to help. It won’t be easy. It took me years – I would dissolve into a puddle of frustration at times. At other times I would just try to do it all myself. In the end, I gave in… They gave in. It wasn’t easy.