Paring Down My To-Do List

If nothing else, living with a chronic illness requires ongoing flexibility. It frequently requires that we scale back our plans for any given day, based on how we’re feeling. Many times, I have found myself needing to pare down my to-do list.

The severity of my symptoms will only allow me to do so much, after all. I’ve learned to accept this reality of living with multiple chronic conditions. Nevertheless, my internal acceptance doesn’t negate the practical consequences of needing to cross some items off of my daily agenda.

Obviously, tasks that remain undone on any given day still need to be accomplished. This creates additional stress related to completing the necessary tasks of subsequent days.

Consequently, you may find that your overall stress level simply snowballs! There are ways to better manage this situation. We can decide to eliminate some tasks, if at all possible. This rarely proves fatal. (Does your vegetable bin truly need to be alphabetized? Asking for a friend…).

Also, we can delegate task completion to others. This does involve letting go, to a certain degree, about how any given task will be done. If we tend to be perfectionists, we can allow ourselves to recognize that doing a good job is good enough.

Perfection is not mandatory. (These words are being written by a recovering perfectionist, in fact). As a result, I can personally attest to this truth. Just some thoughts on how to better manage the increased stress that results from not being able to get everything done that we initially set out to do.

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