We believe that preparedness is the key to building a solid treatment plan for your incontinence. It’s also a great way to build stability in your life in general.
Read our top ten ways you can be better prepared to handle accidents, maintain your treatment plan, and stay accountable to your health goals.
1. Lay out your outfit for the next day. Include shoes, accessories, briefcase or purse, and an extra set of absorbency products for your car or bag. Use the downtime at night to avoid the risk of forgetting something in the morning.
2. Set out your breakfast and lunch so you can grab and go. There’s nothing worse that forgetting your breakfast or lunch and drinking coffee to sustain you. Not only will your stomach be growling, but you’ll likely irritate your bladder without the proper balance of food and hydration.
3. Schedule your pelvic floor workout with your regular workout. By penciling in time to exercise, you’re keeping yourself accountable to the goals you set for your body. Your pelvic floor should be no different.
4. Put a reminder in your calendar to review your bladder diary. Pick a time of the week or day where you’ll have no distractions and can focus on reviewing your notes. Maybe you stop at the library before you go home from work, or you leave early to get your morning coffee on the way to work and review it then.
5. Check in with a friend or mentor once a month at the same time and place every month. Finding a person to glean guidance and support from can be key to living your life as fully as possible. Maybe this person is a friend who has dealt with incontinence before, or it is a mentor who helps you manage your life holistically? Make time with that accountability partner count by adhering to the schedule you agreed on.
6. Review your day the night before. There are a lot of things that can be challenging with incontinence. Finding the restroom in a location is at the top of our list. Review your day the night before to avoid running in circles when you really need to go.
7. Refill your prescriptions on time. For some, medicine is a crucial part to their incontinence treatment plan. Don’t ruin the progress you’ve made in your treatment by forgetting to renew your prescription. When the pharmacy calls or emails you to renew—do it right away to avoid a lapse in your intake.
8. Take time to breathe. One of the best ways you can prepare yourself for the unexpected is stress management. And one of the best, cheapest, and most accessible ways to manage your stress is breathing. According to an article by NPR, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it's been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes. Take time to breathe and focus on slowing your body down so you can be prepared and strong enough to face the chaos when it comes.
9. Have a ‘worst-case’ solution. When everything fails and all of your steps to prepare yourself for the day or for treatment fall through, have a last resort trick up your sleeve. For some, this might be taking ten minutes to go on a walk and debrief, or a change of clothes in the car. For others, a worst-case solution is taking a lunch break or coffee break early away from their desk. Designate your worst-case solution and use it when necessary. You need a place to be redeemed from the unexpected pitfalls of treatment and day-to-day life.
10. Imagine your perfect day. There’s a benefit to letting your mind idealize your plan because it can give you something to look forward to. Take time to imagine your perfect treatment plan and your ideal day when you’re setting goals with your doctor. Think about that ideal situation when things get stressful and chaotic so you can bring your focus back to what you can control.