Thank you to our partner, Dr. Jill Kirby, for this content. You can check out her blog for pieces such as this one and more at her website.
Some days, you just don’t want to get out of bed. I know. I’ve been there. For those of us with chronic pain, those days seem to happen more than the good days when you wake up and take on the challenge of a new day.
If you are like me and spend more mornings than you care to admit wondering why or how you can get up, I would like to help. I want to give you 13 life hacks to help make your life just a little bit easier on those “other days” we don’t like to talk about.
1. A grabber:
Do you have a grabber? They are one of the best, cheapest and easiest ways to stop bending over constantly when you’re having a bad pain day. You can get them just about anywhere (I got mine at Amazon – grabber pick-up tool) and they are light weight and inexpensive. It is nothing more than a long stick with a handle and trigger on one end and a claw on the other. I haven’t found anything smaller than my dog that it won’t pick up. Great for those days when your pain makes you clumsy as well.
2. A shoe horn:
I couldn’t get my shoes on without one. I bought a small command hooks and have the shoe horn hanging right by my shoe tray next to the front door. Which leads me to my next hint…
3. Slip-on shoes:
The shoe industry has done a remarkable job putting out slip-on, string-less shoes that don’t look like something your granddad would wear around the house. I have several sporty-looking sneaker slip-ons for those good days when I can walk the dogs. They are right next to the shoe horn hanging on the wall. Even my dress-up flats are slip-on. I no longer have shoes with strings and I do not feel the least bit handicapped (pardon the pun) without them.
4. Yoga pants:
If they are good enough for Kate Hudson, they are good enough for us – yoga pants. I am not saying wear them to the mall (unless you have the body for it, then go for it) but go for it around the house. They do not have zippers or buttons or snaps or anything that you would have to use your hands for fingers to fasten in order to wear them. They come in amazing colors and styles and it can be fun to get a pair or two with your favorite sports’ team’s logo on them.
5. No-button shirts:
If you have shirts with buttons, give them to a charity and purchase shirts with no buttons. Buttons are one of pain’s best weapons and we are trying to curb pain where ever possible. The clothing industry has done a remarkable job making more and more tops look very elegant and (dare I say) sexy. You do not have to suffer to look fantastic any longer!
6. Hand and foot warmers:
They are not just for outdoorsmen any more. Some mornings, I simply can not get warm! My hands and feet are especially prone to the morning chills. I keep a box of chemical hand and feet warmers in a drawer close to me. You know the ones, you take them out of their package and shake them up, so they become warm and then you put them in your slip-on shoes or inside some light gloves or simply just hold onto them as you clutch your morning coffee.
7. Rubberized jar openers:
I tell my husband I keep him around to open jars and mow the lawn. Truth is I love the guy, and I don’t need him to open jars. I have rubberized grippers I keep in the drawer closest to the sink, so I can put that on top of stubborn jar lids in order to better grip and pop those things open. It works on things like household cleaning items with a lid and prescription pill bottles or anything with a child-proof cap.
8. Plastic garbage bags:
There can be days when even the simple task of getting in or out of a car can be a taunting task. One way I make this event a little easier is to put a large plastic garbage bag on my car seat. This enables me to slide easily into or out of my care seat on bad knee or back days.
9. A shoe rack:
I know it seems obvious, keep the plastic shoe rack hung on the back of your closet door so you don’t need to bend over to pick up your shoes. Yes, that is what it is for, but what about putting the plastic shoe rack on the inside of your pantry or laundry room door and put cleaning supplies in them! Now, you don’t have to bend over to look under the sink for your disinfectant wipes or kitchen counter cleaner. It also helps to keep some of these products out of the reach of children. And, you won’t have to child proof your cabinets which we know can be as hard for us to open as the children they are designed to keep out.
10. Use your vacuum as a make-shift grabber for tiny objects:
If you drop your earring or something else small on the floor, and your grabber is just too cumbersome to grab the object, but a sheer stocking over the end of your vacuum tube or dust buster and have the suction pick up the object for you with the stocking acting as a barrier to not let the object get sucked up inside the vacuum.
11. Velcro strips:
I use them for almost everything. But let me give you a concrete example. Look right now, where’s your remote control? What if you put a Velcro strip on the back of the remote and the other side to the side of your end or coffee table next to the couch? You never have to look for it again, you won’t have to bend over or get your grabber to pick it up from the floor ever again. You can also put them on the back of your floor rugs and floor they cover to stop the rugs from slipping and moving around as you walk on them.
Put a glass of water in your microwave and turn it on for a few minutes before you try to clean it. The steam from the water heating up will loosen the hardened food particles on the inside of your microwave. This will make it easier to clean.
Another: fill a dirty blender with a couple of drops of dishwashing soap and water. Put it back on the motor case and whirl away the stuff left inside; simply rinse when finished
13. Electric Drill:
You can put a brush or scrubber into the drill bit part of an electric drill and use that to scrub your bathroom walls or toilets or anything else you need to scrub without using your tired, sore muscles.
I hope these life hacks will help you when your pain is at its worst, but you still need to get stuff done for the day.
Until next time,
Dr. Jill Beavers-Kirby