Think of the energy you need to get through your day as coming from one big battery. Each time you struggle through a task without the right supports in place, it drains your battery—sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot. The good news is that your battery can be recharged by finding ways to make tasks a little bit easier. Take time to figure out which parts of your physical health are draining your battery and to find the strategies that work for you. You can use this downloadable worksheet to make notes for each area in this roadmap.
Your physical health impacts every part of your daily life. When you are unwell, it can feel like your battery is never fully charged. You might have a health condition or chronic illness that requires medical treatment or another disability that requires accommodations and services. General health-promoting behaviors like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet are also key to staying well.
Think about the things you do on a regular basis to take care of your health. This might include doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, treatment for a chronic illness or meal planning and preparation. Some of these activities can be draining, but working with your team to get supports in place can help.
What drains you?
Consider the things you do for your physical health and wellness in your daily life.
- If you have to take prescription medication for a health condition, you might find it hard to get the prescription filled and take each dose on time.
- If you have a physical or sensory disability (i.e., blind or low vision, deaf/hard of hearing), you might need to engage with multiple doctors and other service providers.
- If you live alone, you might find yourself eating a limited diet if you find shopping or cooking overwhelming.
- If you have a chronic illness, your symptoms or energy levels might move up and down from day, making it hard to plan ahead.
What recharges you?
These are tools, strategies and behaviors that make challenging tasks a bit easier. Think about the things you already do as well as some new ideas you might want to try.
- If you have trouble refilling and taking prescription medication on time, you can set up a mail delivery service, use a pill organizer or set alarms or reminders.
- If you receive services or therapy for another disability, you can keep a binder with all of the important information, like treatment plans, phone numbers and a schedule.
- If you find yourself eating a limited diet, you can try weekly meal planning and shopping with a support person, or you could keep healthy pre-made meals in the freezer.
- If you have a chronic illness, you can plan for rest times or days as part of your schedule.
What are the risks?
Physical health issues can be a major drain on your battery. This makes it much harder to manage other areas of your life. If you have other health conditions, not taking care of your physical health can quickly become dangerous. Even if you are in good health, general health-promoting behaviors are key to staying that way in the long term.
- Do you have any physical health conditions, disabilities or other challenges that impact you in a way that could make you unsafe?
- Are there any general health-promoting behaviors you need to establish?
- What behaviors, thoughts or body cues signal that you are escalating to the point of a safety risk?
What is the plan?
What are some new everyday behaviors, strategies or tools that you want to put in place?
- Do you need support to put these ideas into practice?
- Who can help you in this area?
- What do you need to say or do to get that help?
When your battery is running low, seeking help can feel overwhelming. One way to prevent this is planning ahead for these times.
- How do you know when you need to ask for help balancing your needs?
- Who can help you in this area?