CreakyChats Spring Forward

As spring arrives, many take the opportunity to declutter, organize, and deep clean their homes, welcoming the warmer weather and a sense of renewal after the winter months. However, for those living with chronic conditions, this annual tradition poses additional challenges, serving as a reminder of the limitations they face daily.

In a recent #CreakyChats session titled “Springing Forward: Balancing Tasks and Energy with Chronic Illness,” our community members explored the seasonal impact of cleaning and organizing tasks at home. They shared how they prioritize tasks based on energy levels and discussed the tools and mindset that aid them in their spring-cleaning efforts. Read their responses below — and think about what can help you navigate spring cleaning and chronic illness.

Recurring Traditions or Experiences

“Spring usually brings rainy weather (U.K.) so I don’t enjoy it much. But it’s less cold so less painful on my joints. Traditionally. I celebrate Easter, then my birthday is in May so it’s usually a season of new beginnings, gratitude, and checking-in with my goal.” — @PainWarriorCode

“This year, it means a new opportunity to get out on the trails. I haven’t been able to walk the local trails and see beautiful waterfalls in two years now. I’m very hopeful this year.” — @elisa_comer

“Spring reminds me to reevaluate a few things, clean up things I’ve been putting off, finish projects that I started in the fall…plant new flowers and veggies…it can add stress if I’m not careful to take it slow.” — @Dividivigirl

Challenges of Cleaning and Organizing

“My former therapist suggested I pick one small area to clean or organize, and then stop once that’s done and pick another section on a different day. This helped avoid overloading myself and I still felt a sense of accomplishment.” — @TiffanyAndLupus

“My three Ps: Prioritize, Pacing, Patience.” —  @Catheri58232231

“The biggest thing for me is reminding myself it doesn’t have to all be completed in one day. I’m using a planner this year to plot out which weekend I spend cleaning different areas. If I don’t get to it, that’s still okay. It will still be there tomorrow.” — @migrainesallday

Prioritizing Tasks Due to Limited Energy

“If I’m in a flare and things are piling up, I try to parse out what I need to do and things that give me the most return on investment. Lower priority tasks can wait.” — @beth_morton

“I clean/organize based on how I’m feeling at that moment. Afternoons are usually better on my body. My rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups tend to happen early morning. I’m able to function better after a few hours of stretching/frequent movement. Plus, I’m more motivated when I’m feeling ok.” — @authorjpsummers

“I don’t like the term ‘priority.’ Everything is a priority. The real question: How can I problem-solve to get it done? If it’s a day where I can climb Everest, I go for glory. If it’s a day where I cry putting on socks, then I must be smarter than my list.” — @abrewi3010

Rewarding Yourself After Accomplishing a Task

“A nap. That’s so sad, lol. Cookies, I guess? No, a nap.” — @elisa_comer

“A nap is the best reward for me; can’t go wrong with a nap.” — @PainWarriorCode

“It doesn’t matter how you accomplish a task; that’s ego. What matters if you created a solution. Any solution is a win that should be enjoyed.” — @abrewi3010

Join Our Monthly #CreakyChats 

Our monthly, patient-driven X (formally Twitter) discussion, #CreakyChats, explores topics that are important to the chronic disease community. During a one-hour moderated chat, we provide a space for people to discuss pressing issues facing the arthritis/chronic disease community. You don’t need to be an X-pro to join.   

During #CreakyChats we encourage everyone to share their strengths, challenges, and experiences — that is how we can help and support people as they navigate life with chronic disease.   

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