It’s been over a year since I got diagnosed with severe depression and with that, for me, comes short-term memory loss. I struggle coping with the demands of everyday life. I’m a stay-at-home parent and self-employed, so it’s safe to say that I have my hands full. If I’m not washing clothes or changing nappies, I’m working. I’m a freelance writer so my job involves a lot of research, time management and organisation – something that memory loss only makes ten times more difficult.
So, here are some of the tricks that I’ve learnt along the way that help me get through the day by being productive and just coping with daily life:
Whether it’s brushing my son’s teeth twice a day, attending various appointments or completing simple tasks, I struggle remembering. For these types of things, I often schedule an alarm on my phone, with a note attached. This ensures that I’m aware in advance and complete it.
Whether I make notes in my phone or in a physical notebook (I have 4!), I write down everything as soon as I think of it. Whether it’s a piece of housework I suddenly remember that needs doing, something work-related or even during conversations, I write it all down in my notes. I tend to forget either whole conversations or bits of what was said, so I need to jot down all the important bits of information as someone is telling me.
I either use post-it notes or scrap pieces of paper, trust me when I say my home is littered in the things! You can’t step foot in my kitchen without seeing scrap pieces of paper scattered around or post-it notes hanging on the fridge or cupboard doors. I use these when it comes to the little things that I need to remember, whether it’s phoning to make an appointment or something I need to tell my partner when he gets home.
I have a calendar in my sitting room where I put all important appointments, preschool holidays, birthdays, celebrations and other events. It’s displayed in perfect view of my sofa, because in typical MS fashion, I often forget to even look at my notes!
Displayed on my fridge is a big to-do list. I use this to tell me what I have on that day, whether it’s a piece of housework I need to do, dinner planned for that day, Jamie writes a note reminding me to do something for him or somewhere I’m going, it’s all written there.
I have two corkboards in my home, both in the kitchen as it’s usually the first room I go to in the mornings. I have one for all things home-life related and a work one, so things like important letters, preschool newsletters and business cards go on there.
By using various ways of keeping track of the demands of daily life, I have found it much more manageable. I literally forget practically everything, so I cannot function without a way of making notes. These have all worked and helped me, so I hope they can give you some ideas on what may work for you!