Step 12

Written By: JoJoisms - Nov• 13•17

Just a few more weeks to go on our 18 Steps to Getting Out of Survival Mode series!  This week is step 12.  Here’s what I said in the article:

“12. Spread out outings

Have a few days when you don’t go anywhere to recoup and regroup.  Don’t try to go too many places in one day.  Even if you aren’t the one driving, it can zap your energy to do the shopping, look for a car, meet up with a friend for dinner and pick up your prescription on the way home.  Ask me how I know.”

If you’re struggling with health issues, you’ll find that going out, running errands, and visiting friends can be draining.  The best tip I have for you on this issue is to spread out your outings.  If you’re like me, you’ve got a bunch of doctor appointments scheduled. Maybe some physical therapy, a lab test, and maybe an ultrasound or two…  

This in and of itself can be draining, but to add food shopping, a department store to buy a gift, and a three hour drive to mom’s for Thanksgiving and you’ve got a recipe for a week in bed if you do it all in one day.

Spread out your outings or consolidate them if you can.  This helps keep the traveling and walking to a minimum.  Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  1. Buy what you need for gifts online.  Amazon is FABULOUS for this!  We use it for birthday and Christmas gifts because we don’t need to go anywhere and they’ll ship it so we don’t need to go to the post office.  They’ll even include a card from you so you don’t need to buy and send a card!
  2. Have family help with the errands.  During the time I’ve been in a cast or boot, I’ve not been able to walk much so my dh and son have been doing the grocery shopping.  (By the way, soon and very soon, Amazon will be able to help with perishables as well!)  This cuts down on the errands/outings I need to have in any given week while my foot is taking its sweet time to heal.
  3. Ask Aunt Alice and Cousin Fred to come to you instead of you having to travel to each of them.  This cuts down on the traveling you need to do and you can even ask them to bring pot luck so you don’t have to prepare as much.
  4. Discuss, if you can, with your family where Thanksgiving or Christmas will be hosted with yours (and possibly other family members with health or financial issues) in order to minimize the traveling for all involved.  Make sure to do this way ahead of time, especially if there is a long distance car ride or plane fares to be included in the decision.
  5. Seek out rides where you can.  I have no family nearby and my church family and friends have moved to other states or are 30-45 minutes away.  So I’ve recently found a ride program that helps people get to their physical therapy appointments for just $5.  Maybe there’s someone willing to ride share with you or maybe you can find something similar in your area for where you need to go.
  6. Work around your main appointments for other outings so your travel is less.  While you are in the area for your doctor’s appointment, you can stop by the grocery store which is on the way home, maybe? If you have enough energy left after that appointment??
  7. Ration your energy you have for outings.  If you know that the Thanksgiving trip will be quite draining, you may want to put off a trip to see your friend until next month.

When you have to ration your energy and time, you need to make the tough decisions on how many outings your body can handle.  Hope that helps as we head into the holidays.  Let me know!


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  1. Wonderful and compassionate advice, JoJo–this venue for your creative talents is God inspired I am sure. I am asking for you to pray for my youngest son’s wife–Tracy. I had no idea that she was facing possible brain surgery until she posted what was going on with her on FB (which was upsetting to me…I would have preferred to know by her telling me directly–but I have no control over this…so I am leaving it to God). Thank you for praying for Tracy – my son and she have 3 children–under the age of 16….very active lives…the youngest child (Audrey) was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a bit over 3 years ago which turned her world and that of her family upside down for awhile. But she is “adjusting” to having to constantly monitor her lifestyle so that her diabetes doesn’t spiral out of control. I keep remembering Scripture that state s”Man is of few days and full of trouble”….isn’t that the truth!!

  2. JoJoisms says:

    Oh Sharon, I’m praying for the entire family!!

  3. Tanya Kirkendall says:

    That was a great read. I love what you said “ration your energy”

  4. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you! Rationing is a theme I’m familiar with having had several surgeries and chronic issues.