I Just Can't Catch Up: Managing Life with Psoriatic Arthritis
Life with psoriatic arthritis feels like a vicious cycle filled with too much to do, not enough time, and certainly not enough energy to ever get caught up. Ever.
The stress of that, predominantly caused by my psoriatic arthritis, is enough to send me straight into a flare. I find myself, at the end of every day so frustrated and tired at the same time because I just can’t catch up!
The struggle of daily life with psoriatic arthritis
There was a time, many moons ago when I could go to bed thinking I gotten everything finished that I wanted for that day. I checked all the boxes and felt that I was actually in control of my life and pretty much-accomplished anything I set out to do. Of course, this was before the beast of psoriatic arthritis attacked.
Now, at the end of the day, I leave most of what I wanted to do, undone. No boxes checked and I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve had that glorious feeling of accomplishment of anything beyond swinging my legs over the side of the bed and forcing my feet to touch the floor.
I know that most people without PsA feel this way from time to time too. That’s just the nature of the world we live in, we cross one thing off our list and three more things pop up.
Tips for daily life management with psoriatic arthritis
With psoriatic arthritis, it’s different. Things that should take an hour, take three. Errands that should all get finished in one day, take us a week because we can only handle one “outing” a day.
While I haven’t totally managed to get off the merry-go-round of life with PsA, I have developed a few tips that I like to remind myself of when I start to feel overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done. This is what I do when I feel like I just can’t catch up.
When it comes to managing a literally, never-ending list, the best way to do it is to become a master of prioritization. I make my list, then put a star by every “must do.” I do my best to keep in mind my pain levels and energy levels when I prioritize my list.
But most importantly, I’ve learned to be realistic. All you will do is set yourself up for feeling totally deflated and defeated if you constantly set yourself up to fail.
I like to do this in the morning, over a cup of coffee, ideally, when I’m feeling at my worst, then I will be less likely to overwhelm myself for the day. If things brighten up and I can tackle a little more, then go, me! If not, it’s no biggie. This also allows me a little extra time to allow my body to wake up before the day gets away from me.
Ask for help
I know it is difficult to swallow what is left of your pride and ask for help. But if your absolute “must do” list is just too much to tackle that day, it is always good to have a few key saints in your support system that don’t mind picking up a little of the slack. Just keep in mind not to take advantage of them, or they won’t be around for long.
If your most needed thing is a deep clean on your bathrooms and your body just can’t manage it, see if your budget can. Scoot a few things around and if you can hire out some of the bigger jobs, I say go for it. Your body, and your mental health, will thank you for it.
Don't overdo it!
Heavens to Betsy! This one is a biggie. If you overdo it and overwork yourself just one day- one single day, you will pay the price for an entire week. Do you want to be back a whole extra week on everything that needs to get accomplished? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I’m sure by now you are intimately aware of just how far you can push your body. You know that and I know that. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but don’t overdo it!
Managing to play catch-up
Try and do “just one more thing,” and you run the risk of putting yourself out of commission for a week. Which of course, causes an even bigger backup of epic proportions. There quickly become not enough hours in a day, enough days in a week, or enough weeks in a month. Round and round we go, playing a never-ending game of catch up.
It’s frustrating and leaves us feeling like we're constantly walking around with a weight around our necks that has nothing to do with the oppressive fatigue PsA is also known for.
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