If I was restricted to one tip, it would be to be kind to yourself. Your first job is to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of anyone else. Sometimes life events throw you off center and you don’t have a chance to take care of yourself properly. I’ve been there many times. Just try to get back on track as things calm down. Taking time for self-care is one of the most important things you can do.
Get some human contact outside of your immediate family. Sometimes I force myself to participate in social activities when I don’t really feel up to it. For a couple of years before I was diagnosed, I didn’t do anything except work and crawl home. Getting out made my life so much better but I had to put some effort in to get started. The longer I stay cooped up, the more I dwell on every little thing that’s wrong in my life. Sometimes getting out and having a bit of fun is just what I need. How much you can do will depend on your own situation but human contact is important.
Tools. There are plenty of people who give much better information on tools. Here are a few that I use most often. I have scissors in almost every room for opening things. The days when I could rip open a bag of chips is mostly over. I keep ice packs in the freezer and microwaveable heat wraps available for those achy joints. I use compression gloves for days when my hands are particularly painful. Pre-cut and frozen fruits and vegetables and rotisserie chickens can make food prep for the week easier. I don’t always trust my hands to cut something firm like a winter squash so I buy frozen or pre-cut. I have apple slicers to cut apples. I also try to keep some healthy frozen dinners for those days when that’s all the energy I have.
Exercise. I have the hardest time with keeping up with exercise, but I usually feel better when I do exercise. I am just now getting back into an exercise routine. Usually I will do some easy exercises at home that I have collected over the years, go walking or hiking, or do some gentle yoga. Choose something you will enjoy and that is appropriate for your health condition. What works for me may not work for you. I went to a diabetes education with someone one time. The instructor made the point that if you have to start exercising by just going to the mailbox once a day, start there and work your up.
Pace yourself. Do what you can. I do housework and yard work in short blocks of time. If all you can manage is to heat a frozen dinner, take a hot bath, and crawl into bed, so be it. So many times I have come home with plans to get a lot accomplished only to end up napping on the couch. As frustrating as that is, it ends up better in the long run. If you take a break today, maybe you can accomplish more tomorrow.