how do you pace your life when the world doesn't s... - Headway


8,586 members10,997 posts

how do you pace your life when the world doesn't slow down just because we have a brain injury?

deborah27 profile image

things still have to be done. maybe it's because i live alone, there isn't anyone else to do things. i find the mountain of things that gather up, especially after a bad few days or weeks, almost too much to cope with. i am open to suggestions, except the ones when people say ' oh it will all get done eventually' or 'your house will still be there when you aren't'

i mean the basics, like bills and shopping and phone-calls and putting coal on the fire or feeding the cat or lifting stuff or getting organised to go somewhere...

17 Replies
Hidden profile image

Would it work if each morning you sorted the things you really HAVE to do into segments and put an alarm on your phone to remind yourself. Things that are not important can be done when you feel like (maybe one extra thing a day).

Try breaking things down I struggle as well to do well like food shopping, tidying

Half the stuff we think we have to do are not that important, so with little steps just do what is required eg paying bills. On-line shopping if you have it, is useful and delivered to your door. Ask who or whatever you believe in for help. Just do your best and somehow things can get done. May you be blessed with a fellow human being who can be of help to you.

youve had 3 sensible replies. its recommended that if people with a brain injury work in the morning, they relax and dont do any work until the following afternoon and so on.

that doesnt mean they sleep for that period, but see friends, take part in activities or hobbies.

i hope that helps.

I will be interested in how people answer you. I had my tbi 23 years ago and my husband was around to help. Now he has divorced me so I am now in the position where I have to do all the jobs. Being physically and mentally disabled I have no idea how I will cope. But I am a strong women and will accept and get on with my life. Like you it is going to be hard but we will do it. I have a cat who keeps me going. She does not answer back.🤔.

So I will be looking at your responses any suggestions please share with me we can support each other.



I also live alone - I was always such a busy person - now my body will not let me. So slow down - first - keep yourself safe. I was going to bed and leaving all the doors unlocked - so now have post it notes to remind me. second - make sure you take your tablets - the chemist can put these into a daily box for you. Third - you need to eat - some ready meals take the worry away - just keep it simple.

The rest I am still working out - some days I feel ok and start to do things - then realise I am not that strong so need to pace myself - I always sit down in the afternoon - watch tv for a couple of hours - have a coffee and chill out. I spend some time with my cat each day - she is such a comfort - sitting in the garden and relaxing is also good.

So take life at a slower pace - then you will feel more able to tackle all those pesky jobs and chores.

If you need to go somewhere - start getting ready ahead of time - take the pressure off - it will make it easier.

Hi Deborah, A few thoughts -- no magic, but maybe useful.

Happily there are ways of doing some things is the help of automation.

Paying bills: Most can be set up on an automated payment system. Check with your bank or local senior center for help in setting this up.

I don't know what your financial situation is. If there is room in the budget, hire some help. Just once of twice a week may be enough to get you feeling more on top of things.

Make sure that you have a list and that you mark the most critical things with an "A" and note when they need to happen. Best to have the list be big and visible. A dedicated notebook or a white board on the wall, for example. Do not rely on your memory or will to determine what gets done.

Regarding the actions that absolutely require your action: Research shows that things that are thought of as optional are unlikely to be done. If people ask themselves "Do I feel like going to do exercise at the gym?" they usually do not go. If they set the schedule that says that, for example, on Monday Wednesday and Friday they go to the gym at 7 am, they do it. The lesson from this is: Set and stick to a timetable for doing the truly critical things regardless of how you feel. This may sound unrealistic or harsh given how badly you feel sometimes. I do not mean to minimize your constraints at all, but you may feel better overall if you find a way to get more of these things done.

All the best to you. Tell the cats to cheer you on as you take on these tasks. They want you to be happy. We all do.

I forgot - keep a pen and pad to hand - when you think of something that needs to be done - write it down - then you have a list - do one thing every day.

Hidden profile image

Ps...I'm now chuckling to myself as I walk past a pile of unopened post and struggle to close my overflowing washing cupboard! Mmmmm :) I really need to start doing this again!!!

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Pps. This approach doesn't work for me when I'm on a full time contract - am in pure survival mode then trying to get through the work day without collapsing - everything else falls apart. Not found a strategy to manage this yet.

steve55 profile image
steve55 in reply to Hidden

a case of practice what you preach eh neverdidmind hahaha x

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to steve55

I know! If I recommended Ben & Jerrys, a box set of House, and a cleaner, I'd be onto something! ;)

steve55 profile image
steve55 in reply to Hidden

hahaha. i recommended what i was told by carers support (0300 028 88 88 ) whether she chooses to take it is up to her.

ive left the number for you,just in case you wish to contact them for any further advice.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to steve55

Thank you!

deborah27 profile image
deborah27 in reply to Hidden

I am same. I have kept going constant for three weeks at work, crashing when I get home. Nothing else done, dishes and cleaning and even care of me. Just not well enough to go today, pain and trembling.

Tough isn't it? I have to pace myself but I get panicky that I'll fall behind and not be able to catch up. I try to 'pick my battles'. I'm going back to bed today as I have overloaded. I have a Traffic light system for organising my ToDo notes.. Urgent goes in the red pile, not so urgent in the Amber pile and 'as and when' in the green pile. It helps me. But it isn't a complete cure to the problem. I lived alone for years so I do know how difficult it is. I wish you well

The honest answer....You don't. All you can do is prioritise. Also admit to yourself you can't do as much or as effectively as you once could.

If you know you have a busy day coming up allow yourself rest before and after the day. Yep easy to say but not always practical in the real world.

So it comes back to accepting your new level of what is achievable. You may not feel happy about it but there's little choice when fatigue sets in.

Not much help I know but it's all about letting go what you can't do and celebrate what you can. Oh and to he'll with what you can't change...yep that helps as well.