How to Handle Hectic
I manage my RA best when I utilize routine as my foundational principle. I like to try to stick to an exercise regimen, eat healthy, etc. I successfully manage my RA when I go about my daily activities with little variability. My morning routine, my sleep habits, when I take my medications, how I distribute my chores, travel planning and execution, etc., are all best done with the singular thought of routine. It is my guiding principle to approaching life with RA.
So how, then, do we deal with hecticness and the inevitable intrusion of chaos into our lives without potentially inducing a flare? If routine is my key strategy, how in the world can I manage my RA when it is not available to me? Tough question, but it is altogether possible, as long as you hold onto the principles of routine as you consider how to deal with hecticness.
Handling an unexpected emergency
Let’s take the example of an unexpected need to travel for a family emergency. This is something almost everyone has faced or will face at some point. Not only is there the stress of the news to deal with but now, suddenly we need to prepare for a trip and all that entails.
We could succumb to the chaos and simply race around scrambling to gather what we need to travel, arrange transportation, cancel or reschedule appointments or meetings we would miss, etc. OR, we could take a step back, take a deep breath, gather our thoughts, and make a list of what we need to do. From that list, begin to do the necessary tasks, one at a time, with precision, patience and calmness.
Having an emergency plan in place
It is so easy, in the face of chaos to just “start doing”, with very little thought of order. Yet, proceeding is best done with order and a sense of routine about how to go forward. This is where the underlying principle of routine comes into play.
An emergency travel kit
I have a “travel kit” always ready to go. In it are all of my basic personal items that exactly duplicate what I use daily. With that done, I can pack a suitcase in less than an hour. This dramatically alleviates the stress of having to consider every item I need to pack. Additionally, I have my medications in weekly containers and I always have 2 weeks done at any given time so that if I need to take off suddenly, I am ready in that department as well. As to changing appointments, etc., I can do that on the way out of town, or while waiting at the airport, bus or train terminal.
Accomodations for emergency childcare
Assuming all of these things are on a list I carry with me, I can methodically handle almost any chaotic circumstance thrown my way. If you have children, talk to a neighbor about sharing the responsibility for one another’s children should an emergency arise. It need not be just about having to leave town, but rather anything that might require your immediate attention. I had a very good friend I knew I could call on if I needed to, to help out with childcare. It was a huge relief to know that was an option.
Maintaining routine through an emergency
You may notice if you look back through these suggestions, that the underlying theme here is planning which, by extension, means sticking to a routine for dealing with chaos! It all circles back to that underlying principle of establishing habits and routines to cope with whatever life throws your way. You will find that there is nothing you cannot handle with a little planning. Even life’s hectic pace.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?