Having my son changed my life.
I know every mother says that, but I think specifically having an ASD son has significantly improved my life in many ways.
Before he came along I tried to be easy going, let life happen, but was constantly experiencing low level stress, feeling like everything happened to me and there was just chaos everywhere. I'm a messy person by nature. My bedroom was always horrific and my poor mother tried to help me clean it on a semi-regular basis, but I think it was a difficult task, because I just had too much stuff, and I couldn't cope with it all (another person who changed my life is the unclutterer, but that's another post).
After my son was born, there were definitely teething problems, but I quickly worked out that he thrived on routine, and so did I.
Even before he had a formal diagnosis of autism, we started to alter our every day lives to make them more predictable for him, and as we did so, my stress levels dropped dramatically.
I really believe that routine is the basis to saving time and money, but also that you can't do it all at once. In Exodus 23:30 God promises that he will drive the Israelites enemies out 'little by little' so that they don't become overwhelmed, and I believe this is true in our lives too. Little by little we can take control, without becoming overwhelmed.
With that in mind, here are some little habits and routines that you may want to start adding into your life, to make things run a little more smoothly and give you a little more breathing room. Remember, don't try everything at once, but maybe pick one or two to work on, and when you have it nailed, add another.
- Make a double portion of what you are cooking and freeze half for another day when you don't have the time or energy to make a nutritious meal
- Empty or run the dishwasher before you go to bed. Nothing worse than not being able to add your breakfast dishes in the morning!
- Keep small tupperware and decant half eaten packs of biscuits, crackers, crisps etc... into them. They'll stack neatly in your pantry and keep your food fresh
- Keep a to-do list
- Set a reminder (phone or email) to pay bills before they are due
- Prepare fruits and vegetables (wash, cut, dry etc...) so that you have snacks ready to hand
- Join the HelloMornings Challenge - it will make you so much more productive
- Create and use a storage system
- Exercise at least three times a week - as your fitness levels improve, you'll find every day life so much easier to manage
- Make caffeine work for you