Tips for Daily Living

Parkinson’s Q&A: How do I manage my time and mental health?

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Navigating Parkinson’s disease (PD) can feel like a never-ending learning curve. PD Conversations is a place to ask your Parkinson’s questions and connect with others living with the disease. In this blog series, we highlight a high-interest question answered by the Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline on PD Conversations.

Question: With Parkinson’s, how do you find enough time in the day to get everything done and not feel completely overwhelmed? I'm trying to find enough hours in the day to get in the exercise, the cognitive activity, my daily household chores, eating right and taking meds. Any tips?

A Parkinson’s disease diagnosis changes many areas of your life. You may have to readjust the way you work, rest and live. The changes that come with PD can cause emotional distress. Common PD symptoms may also include anxiety, apathy and depression. It is normal to have overwhelming feelings through all the changes of living with Parkinson’s, but there are resources to support your mental health and help you live well with PD.

We're here for you

Call the Parkinson's Foundation Helpline 1.800.4PD.INFO (1-800-473-4636) for answers to your Parkinson's questions.

Time management can sometimes feel like another task for your to do list, but it is crucial to create a schedule and plan that works for you and your unique PD needs. The change of lifestyle that comes with a Parkinson’s diagnosis is unavoidable, but there are ways to actively respond to this change.

Here are tips to help you manage your time:

  • Establish a consistent schedule. You may not always be able to plan for everything but creating a consistent schedule can help life feel less overwhelming. Talking to your doctor about the priorities and needs of your health is important for establishing a schedule.
  • Make time for rest. During the busyness of life, it can feel impossible to create time to rest. Setting aside time to slow down and relax can mean just 15 minutes of your day. Rest will look different for every person, but it should be a self-care activity that brightens your day and allows you to relax. Practicing self-care and rest can help to ease the overwhelmed feelings and bring mindfulness to your day.
  • Create goals for what you want to get done each day. Small, achievable goals can help you move forward with your health. These goals do not have to always be serious; you can create fun goals like going on a walk in a beautiful park or making a new recipe that sounds delicious.
  • Make time with friends and family. During the day-to-day stress, it is normal to feel lonely. Having intentional time with people you love can help support your mental health. This can be a space to process what you are feeling and connect with loved ones.
  • Talk with professionals to clarify any confusion and process stress. You are not alone in living with Parkinson’s. It is important to talk to the people on your care team about what you are experiencing. Health professionals can help you manage and plan what needs to get done in your daily life. It may be helpful to talk to a mental health professional about the emotions you experience as well.
  • Find exercise classes and mental health activities that work for you. Looking for quick, on-demand exercises for your mind or body? Our Mindfulness Mondays videos offer guided relaxation techniques, while our Fitness Friday videos provide at-home workouts led by exercise pros.

We have resources to help with the overwhelmed feelings when living with PD:

We are here to support you and your family through these changes. Please call the Parkinson’s Foundation Helpline for answers to your Parkinson’s questions or referrals to nearby health professionals, support groups or exercise programs at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).

Do you have a question for the PD community? Check out our PD Conversation discussion groups: Newly Diagnosed, Symptoms, Caregiving, Tips for Daily Living, Young Onset and more.

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