A life hack is any trick, shortcut, skill, or new method that solves an everyday problem. Occupational therapy is full of helpful “life hacks”.
April is OT month and to celebrate we’re featuring a few of our favorite Engage OT DIY “life hacks” to:
Assist your grip
Finding it difficult to get daily tasks done due to hand pain or weakness?
Slide don’t lift heavy items in the kitchen. Try adding small appliance sliders. In a pinch, place a folded dish towel underneath heavy bowls or dishes to assist in sliding across counters and table tops.
Use a soap saver! Soap savers make it easier to hold onto those slippery bars in the shower (and let you use every bit). Inexpensive soap savers with loops can be attached to your wrist for extra security. For an extra benefit, work on your fine motor skills and make or crotchet your own.
Get a grip. Keep a roll of rubber shelf liner and rubber bands on hand for crafting DIY built up grips for everything from hairbrushes to kitchen utensils. Cut the shelf liner to fit the handle, wrap the handle tightly with the liner and secure well with rubber bands. Cut a small round piece of the shelf liner and use it to assist your grip when opening jar lids and bottle tops.
Trying to add more physical activity into your daily routine?
Inconvenience yourself. Get more steps in by parking farther from the entrance of a building. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Carry less and make more trips to bring in groceries or load the washer.
Remember that any time doing physical activity is an investment in your health. Simply set your oven or smart phone timer for 5 to 10 minutes and stand during that time to complete part of a task you’ve been putting off (wiping out a cabinet, shredding old financial documents or dusting a few bookshelves) doing. You’ll feel better and get things done!
Struggling with fatigue in your daily routine?
Never leave a room empty handed. Going to the kitchen to get a drink? Take yesterday’s newspaper with you and put it in the recycling bin. Going upstairs? Take some clean laundry with you. Combining steps saves your energy for doing the things your enjoy.
In the kitchen, store items that you use most often between hip and shoulder level. Gather all the items you will need to make a meal in one area before beginning. Arranging your space and organizing tasks saves mental and physical energy you can use for the things you really need to get done.
Working with an occupational therapist can help you find balance in your daily routine and strategies to accomplish what is most important to you.
Want to learn more about how an OT can help you with “life hacks” that can make your daily routine more effective and enjoyable? Call Engage Therapy to set up an evaluation at 315-810-2423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.