Downsizing could simplify your life, improve your mental well-being, and reduce the stress that exacerbates the symptoms of chronic illness.
Downsizing could simplify your life by reducing the pressures of maintaining a large living space. What you may have easily done before your chronic illness diagnosis, may now seem overwhelming with the limited amount of energy you have to tackle the tasks of the day.
Today’s guest post is written by Carol Robson. Carol is a retired social worker who believes in living simply, being ecologically friendly, and leaving a small footprint. For more helpful information for others looking to do the same, check out ‘Tiny House Plans‘.
One of the challenges of living with chronic pain is realizing that you can’t take on as many responsibilities as you used to. Your body may lack the stamina and strength to keep up with household chores, gardening and other tasks that were once a part of your everyday routine.
Even if you can still do these activities, you may find that they take far longer than they used to. The situation can quickly become overwhelming. The frustration of not being able to get everything done can leave you feeling physically and mentally exhausted, while at the same time distracting you from doing healthy activities.
Many people who suffer from chronic pain find it beneficial to downsize. Living in a smaller space removes many of these obstacles, making living with a chronic illness far more manageable.
One of the primary ways that downsizing minimizes pain is by reducing the amount of stress that you experience on a daily basis. According to Devi Nampiaparampil, MD, Chief of Interventional Pain Management at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, stress can worsen pain by interfering with your sleep, disrupting your mood and lowering your overall ability to handle pain.
That means that dealing with the everyday stress of managing a large home can actually make your pain worse. The situation becomes even more problematic when you consider that an increase in pain can lead to additional stress. In a way, it becomes a vicious cycle. The stress of maintaining your home worsens your pain which, in turn, increases your stress.
Moving into a smaller space can help you break free from this cycle. When you live in a smaller home, the amount of work required to maintain your space is significantly reduced. This can minimize the amount of stress you experience each day. Not only can this improve your ability to manage your pain, but it may even result in an overall decrease in the amount of pain that you experience.
Another benefit of living in a smaller space is that it frees up more of your time to focus on your health. When you don’t have to spend all of your time doing household chores, you can shift your attention to healthier activities, such as, cooking nutritious meals, doing gentle exercise, meditating, and relaxing. Having time to recharge your batteries each day can improve your ability to deal with the challenges that come along with having a chronic illness.
Oftentimes, temperature fluctuations can result in an increase in pain. For instance, with illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, the combination of heat and humidity that many areas experience during the summer months can trigger flares. Having a cool space where you can escape the heat is essential.
While large homes are often difficult to cool, maintaining a comfortable temperature in a smaller home is far easier and more affordable. You can keep your house cool and comfortable all summer long without causing your utility bills to skyrocket. The same holds true during the winter months. When temperatures drop outside, a small home can provide a cozy retreat where you can relax and focus on your health.
If you are struggling to keep up with your daily chores, you may want to consider downsizing to a smaller space. Simplifying your life as much as possible can reduce stress and improve your body’s ability to handle pain. This can help transform every day into a joy rather than a struggle. Best of all, downsizing doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice comfort. Many of today’s smaller houses, condos and apartments are designed to be as attractive and inviting as they are efficient. ~ Carol Robson
Thank you so much Carol for showing us how downsizing could simplify your life and reduce chronic pain. Definitely something to think about. I for one absolutely ADORE ‘gembox’ houses. Carol’s website has some wonderful ideas, and intriguing options in the way of ‘tiny homes’.
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