14 Tips for Household Chores to Avoid Fibro Flare

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Doing household work is really tough job to do, and if you are chronically ill, then its a nightmare. Household Choresis quite tiring for people with FM syndrome, but unfortunately, it is inevitable. Here are some tips on household chores and FM in order to get your housework done without over extending your body and causing a fibro flare. Comment if you agree with this statement, i know you will agree 🙂

I’ve been doing this for years, so I thought I’d type it up for you, in case it helps someone

  • -> Gather dishes and take them to the kitchen.
  • -> Gather laundry and put in hampers. Sit and rest. 
  • -> Empty out sink(s), scrub sink(s), run pure HOT water with soap in sink, put a load into the sink to soak. Sit and rest.
  • -> Sort the laundry *as you put it into washer*. Fill the load, add the soap, adjust dials, start washer. Sit and rest.
  • -> Wash dishes in sink, rinse, put on drain rack/towel. Squirt toilet bowl cleaner into toilet, set timer for 10 minutes. Sit and rest.
  • -> Timer dings, scrub toilet. Spray antibacterial stuff on outside of toilet; wash hands. Set timer 10 minutes. Sit and rest.
  • -> Timer dings; wipe outside of toilet with rag, put rag in laundry hamper. Wash hands. Sit and rest.
  • -> Wash 2nd load of dishes in sink, rinse and drain. Put really nasty/greasy cookware/pot into sink. Put load from washer into dryer, add dryer sheet, turn dryer on. Sit and long rest.
  • -> Pull yucky dish out of sink, rinse big chunks off. Drain sink and rinse it; put fresh water in. Put new load of dishes in to soak. Go to bathroom and remove everything off counter. Sit and rest.
  • -> Put load of laundry into washer, add soap, start washer. Spray antibacterial stuff onto bathroom counter/sink. Wash hands. Set timer 10 minutes. Sit and rest.
  • -> Timer dings, wipe down bathroom counter/sink. Put rag in laundry. Wash hands. Sit and rest.
  • -> Wash load of dishes in sink, rinse, drain. Put new load into sink. Sit and rest.
  • -> Replace the counter items onto the bathroom counter. Remove clothes from dryer. Put washer clothes into dryer, add dryer sheet, start dryer. Sit and long rest.
  • -> Put dry dishes away. Sit and rest.
  • -> Fold dry laundry while sitting down; stack ‘hangable’ items in one pile, laid out like they were on a hanger. Grab handful of hangers, flip through the collars and insert hangers. Sit and rest.
  • -> Hang items in closet. Sit and rest. Put items in drawers. Sit and rest.
  • -> Finish washing dishes (including that previously nasty pot you already soaked). Wipe down counter(s). Sit and rest.
  • -> Take laundry out of dryer. Sit and rest.
  • -> Wipe down top of stove (the range). Put away dry dishes. Sit and rest.
  • -> Fold laundry as above. Sit and rest.

This covers about 4-8 hours, depending on how long you can stand, and how long you need to rest. During that time you washed, dried, and put away 2 loads of laundry; washed the inside and outside of toilet, and bathroom counter and sink; and washed 4-5 loads of dishes and wiped down the sinks.

Related Article: How to support your partner in Fibro Flare

And without keeling over! (Ideally) I normally need a full rest day the day after this- BUT I’ve found I need a full rest day after doing about HALF this much, so in for a penny, in for a pound (my opinion about MY work). Hope this helps.

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14 Tips for fibromyalgia and household chores

1. Dust without Stretching or Bending

Stretching and bending to dust can cause havoc with sore joints and muscles. To keep from straining yourself or having to climb or reach, look for a duster with a telescoping handle. ​A long one can help you dust everything from chair steps to cobwebs on the ceiling without reaching or bending.

If dust really troubles you, try wearing a surgical-type mask. They are easily available at drug stores or in the pharmacy section of grocery stores.

2. Do online shopping instead of going to stores.

Shopping can be quite exhausting even for people who do not have FMS. Try using online shopping services where with a few clicks of the mouse and the groceries and other household products can be delivered to your doorstep at a convenient time of the day.

3. Plan ahead for expecting visitors and special occasions.

Planning commitments and appointments can help people with FMS cope with tiredness, for example, when you know you have company visiting or you are having a special occasion taking place in your home, plan ahead for those dates. Arrange the chore list in stages, day by day. Do one chore a day until you have completed your list. Use these to-do pads to keep you systematized and track everything you achieve! Seeing your accomplishments day after day will encourage you to keep going!

4. Get the whole family involved.

If you are not living alone, ask the others living in your home to assist you with the housework. Make sure that everyone in the house does their part, each family member should be responsible for keeping her or his room clean, and take a share of other errands around the house.

5. Do your work earlier in the day.

As the day goes on and more stress is placed on your body, the less you will have the motivation, energy, or ability to complete any cleaning. Try to do your housework earlier in the day when you have less pain.

6. Try To Reduce Clutter

Reducing the clutter around the house cuts down on the number of things that need to be scrubbed. Make sure that the house has enough room so that things can be put away, and try to get into the habit of putting things away the moment they are finished with. Keeping on top of the tidying up reduces the need for long and tiring ‘putting away’ periods. Organize it that things that are used on a regular basis are close by and things that are used occasionally are in less accessible places.

7. Do your chores over the course of a week instead of a day.

Doing all your housework during a day will definitely cause a flare up of your symptoms. As an alternative, spread the chores over the week. Like, vacuum on Mondays, clean the bathrooms on Fridays, and so on. Get a calendar like a large one, to keep track of which chores are need to be done on what days.

8. Take breaks.

Even when your housework is spread over the course of a week instead of the day, the body still needs breaks throughout the day. Try working in short bursts with rest periods in between. Also, vary your tasks so you are not using the same muscles for too long a period. A quick nap, or even just a simple rest, during the day can help you with the tiredness linked with FMS. It does not have to be long. Even a few minutes with eyes closed and some calm music on could make a huge difference.

9. Turn up the music!

Put on a music with some cool gadgets while you clean to take your mind off your work. Adding music will also uplift your mood and increase your motivation.

10. Drink plenty of water.

Do not forget to drink water while you are working. Drinking plenty of water will reduce cramps and keep you hydrated when you working.

Related Article:

How to handle Fibro Flare up: 5 tips

11. Keep Supplies Where You Need Them

A simple time saver when it comes to cleaning is to have the supplies you need in the room where you use them. Let’s just say, instead of keeping all of your cleaning supplies in the laundry room.

This could mean keeping all kitchen-cleaning supplies in the kitchen, and bathroom-cleaning supplies in each bathroom. It may take up more space, but it can be worth it. And for those coping with FMS, might end up making the difference between cleaning a room, and letting it go another day.

It’s not just the gathering of supplies which is exhausting. After gathering supplies and cleaning, many people with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia syndrome have had enough, and the supplies remain spread around and on counters indefinitely, at least until your energy is restored.

12. Reduce your laundry load.

Invest in a dishwasher to reduce the amount of washing up, and instead of doing multiple loads of laundry each day, wash one load per day so that things do not build up too much. This is a good tip for laundry, wash little and often, rather than having to do two or three loads in a day, and consider buying clothes that are minimum iron to reduce ironing time. Iron sitting down if possible.

13. Set a timer.

Choose a reasonable time to complete a certain task, like in 30 minutes, and set a timer. Once the timer indicating the end of the allotted time, stop your work. This is similar to taking breaks, but use this technique for the shorter tasks.

14. Take days off for fun!

Even when we want to have an organized and clean house does not mean we have to spend every day organizing or cleaning. Leave some days dedicated to no housework. Just relax and give your body a chance to recover.

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