Research and experience have shown that one of the easiest ways to retain a sense of normalcy while living with a chronic disease is to plan and prepare.
That being said, it’s not all that easy to do. We associate Sunday with downtime, relaxation, and family time. But we know (sometimes begrudgingly) that it’s also a time to reload for the upcoming week. If we can spend just a little time getting ourselves ready for the week ahead on a Sunday, we might be able to make the rest of the week a little smoother, which will lead to less stress, better health, and subsequently, a better life.
We’re not saying this means you have to put a full day of work on a Sunday into getting ready for the week. Even just a little time can change things!
Here is a list of productive Sunday activities that might help. Don’t try to start by doing everything at once. Dedicate yourself to making a habit of these slowly over time. We suggest adding two or three to your routine at first. When they feel a natural part of your day, try adding another! Before you know it, life may become productive - and better, too! You can track these and much more by using the Better Life Patient Journal to track your health and productivity at the same time.
- Get Your Shopping Done - Notice what times you feel good and have energy during the day (we know this isn’t always entirely consistent). Center activity around these times, and make it a practice to use this time to accomplish tasks, big or small. Get your shopping done for the week out of the way when you feel your best.
- Do Your Laundry - Laundry, sometimes the bane of our existence, is even more of a task when it’s done at night. We know this. So starts early! Maybe you don’t have the energy or strength to leave the house to get shopping done first. In that case, get another crucial task like laundry completed. When it’s out of your hair early, you can move forward with the week.
- Make Lists - Literally, plan out what you can for the week. Write that list of things to do. What do you need to get done this week that you put off last week? What needs to be done around your home in the next seven days? What activities are coming up this week that you need to be ready for? Start with a few lists like this, and you’ll be prepared to take on anything.
- Meal Prep For Energy - Let’s be real. Food is not natural these days. The phrase “you are what you eat” needs to be taken a little more seriously. That doesn’t mean we had to berate ourselves for that burger yesterday - it was delicious - but preparing healthier options for during the week will help us feel better and, maybe, encourage us to change our habits so instead of that burger we naturally reach for something more nutritious. Don’t forget, cooking at home is a money-saver too!
- Get Planning - Many productivity experts say that every human has a certain amount of decision making actions they can have in a day or week. Once you reach that limit, choices might suffer, and poor choices happen. Sit down and plan out anything you can for the week: outfits, meals, activities, and more. Save brain cells for the important stuff that needs your thinking.
- Be Gym-Ready - They say you need to spend money to make money. It’s the same for energy. You need to expend energy to make energy. It’s hard to start and tough to keep going but getting moving is worth it. Keep a gym bag in your car or at your desk so fitness is always in your awareness and you’re always ready to get a sesh in.
- Clean Up Your Life - Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford that maid who cleans up after us 24/7. Our homes, cars, bags - they get disorganized after a week of living in them! Cleaning is an uphill battle for anyone but we know that a neat living or workspace has calming results. Try to start your week on a soothing note by getting things in order and getting the clutter out of the way.
- Don’t Forget the Fun - Make time for the things that make you happy and feel alive. This is critical to recharging your mental battery and not get burnt out during the week. Schedule at least one or two fun things you can do by yourself or with friends during the week. Your mind, body, and soul will be beyond happy that you remembered to show it the love.
We know making new habits is a process that sometimes feels taxing. But taking care of these tasks on a Sunday, when you’re not already stressed by a draining workday, should make things a little easier. Beyond that, in a short amount of time, these habits will become normal and you won’t even notice them. Stay the course! Your health and happiness are worth it.
We hope you are feeling well today and on your way to becoming a Chronically Better You.