shower prompts




Anonymous said to realsocialskills:

Do you or your followers have any advice for focusing in the shower? Or for a good blog to ask this question? My mental illness makes it hard, so a 10 min shower sometimes takes me more like 40 min. Then I feel exhausted afterward. I’ve found lots of techniques to focus in other situations, but for some reason the internet seems to have no advice on this. It’s hard to use post-it notes or affordable electronics in a wet space.

realsocialskills said:

If notes or visual symbols work for you, there are options for using them in a shower. hygiene

If it’s your shower, the right way to do it might be to write the steps on the shower wall. You can do this with a bath crayon. (It’s also possible to wash off the bath crayon after, but it might not be a good idea to count on being able to do that without getting distracted.)

You could also write instructions on a shower curtain.

You could also try bath stickers. Baths stickers are these plastic things for kids that stick the walls while they’re wet. You could look around for what kinds there are, and see if there are some that might work as prompts.

You can also make a laminated note sheet that tells you the steps. Which you could hold in your hand attach to the wall with a suction cup. You can make your own and laminate it. (There are also a lot of activities of daily living sheets on Pintrest; but they’re mostly created by parents and therapists and may or may not meet your needs). Stores like Office Depot and copy shops usually have laminators. You can also use a page protector and tape. That doesn’t work as well.

If you use timers to help you notice the passage of time, an hourglass sand timer might be a good solution. There are some with suction cups, so you could get one of those and put it at eye level in a place where you will notice it.

In terms of higher tech solutions, there are also shower lights you can install that change color over time.

You also might try audio prompts. If you have a way of making your phone loud enough to hear in the shower, you could try recording yourself describing the showering process then following your instructions. You could also try putting on a song that you know has a specific length in order to help yourself keep track of time.

Anyone else want to weigh in? What have you found helps you keep focused in the shower?

vladdraculea said:

Awesome advice!!! I don’t have any, but I’ll be taking some of yours — especially the laminated card idea. I think I can design one that’ll work well for my particular needs.

jack-not-jacque said:

The sand timer sounds like a great idea. I’ve used egg timers sitting on the counter as an audio prompt, but that’s not great since there’s only one alarm so no “warning” sound, and it’s hard to remember to check how much time I have left if it’s outside the shower. I’ve also got a water-resistant clock hanging from the shower head. It doesn’t ring or anything, but I can use it to judge how long I’ve been in the shower, or how close I’m getting to a time when I need to get out.




do you have any tips on personal hygiene/showers for someone with both chronic pain/mobility issues and severe depression? often i shower the very least i can and still get away with it, it’s disgusting how long i’ve gone without showers just…

ischemgeek said:

For me, certain shower head types are painful. It’s a sensory thing. Fine powerful jets are really painful for me, but thicker more powerful jets feel wonderful. 

So if it’s that the jet itself hurts your skin, consider trying a different showerhead if you can make that happen. I have an adjustable showerhead for because most people prefer the kind of jet I find painful.




do you have any tips on personal hygiene/showers for someone with both chronic pain/mobility issues and severe depression? often i shower the very least i can and still get away with it, it’s disgusting how long i’ve gone without showers just spotwashing in the sink and applying deodorant etc. i don’t understand what makes showers appealing to other people. all they do is put me in pain and take an immense amount of energy out of my day. this might be out of the reach of your blog though, sorry.
realsocialskills said:
I’m posting this mostly because I think many of y’all probably have advice on this.
A couple of things I can think of to suggest:
Is your soap hurting you?
  • For some people, certain kinds of soap and shampoo hurt
  • If you find showering painful and you’ve only tried one kind of soap, it might be worth trying another kind.

Is showering exhausting because standing is painful?

  • If so, using a shower chair might help
  • Or, if you have a tub, maybe sitting in the tub and using one of those flexible shower heads would work?

I don’t really know. Have any of y’all found solutions that make showering work for you, or that allow you to be clean without showering?

wheeliewifee said:

Before showering:

Convincing myself to get naked is key. I have to decide that I’m going to take the step beyond sponge baths and sink-washing my hair, and actually get IN the shower. 

I convince myself I’m only going to stay in for 5 minutes to rinse off my body and shampoo my hair. It sometimes takes a little internal arguing, but I almost always agree that five minutes is doable. 

Once I’ve decided to fully undress, I do prep work ahead of time to a) make the shower more appealing, and b) to make the recovery period after the shower easier. 

I set up a mini set of speakers in the bathroom, with a playlist of my current favorite songs. I set out easy to wear, comfortable clothes. I sometimes even prep a snack ahead of time for after.

In the shower: 

I use a bench, and sit as much as possible. 

I start with shampoo, because that’s usually the thing that helps me feel cleanest, and I can get my body fairly clean without an actual shower. 

I use my arms as little as possible. I only apply shampoo to my roots and rub it in at the top, the act of rinsing actually pulls the shampoo through and cleans the rest of my long hair. While rinsing, I just sit there. I let the running water do the work. After two minutes or so I may rub the water through a bit to make sure it has rinsed clean. 

Then I continue sitting and use a loofah sponge with a handle (purchased at the dollar store) to apply soap to my body. 

I usually stand up to rinse off my body (using attached grab bars I bought at Walgreens), but you could remain seated and use a detachable shower head to rinse. 

That’s the end of my quick shower, which is almost always less than five minutes. Often, once I’m in I decide to just stay and shave, deep condition my hair, etc. But if I’m not feeling up to it, this routine works well. 

After the shower:

I apply a small amount of coconut oil or conditioner to my hair and leave it in. 

I usually lie down and rest in my towel for a while, then I get dressed, eat my snack, and practice some self care to reward myself for completing that difficult task!

A few other things to mention:

You can get a shower chair (to borrow and see if it helps) through your local Independent Living Center. The National Council on Independent Living website (nicl.org) lists locations in the US. I’m not sure of the names internationally, but I know similar organizations exist. There are also often shower benches at thrift stores. 

An IL center could also possibly help you get grab bars as well. 

If you overheat easily, or have an illness like POTS, it may be helpful to take a cold water bottle into the shower, and/or crack open the shower curtain. 

I prefer to have my legs clean-shaven, but sometimes I can’t stay in the shower long enough to complete the task. So I will use a foot-spa (you could even just use a bowl of warm water): I sit on the couch, put a towel on the floor, wet my legs with a wash cloth and warm water, exfoliate with a loofah, then rub on coconut oil, shave, and rinse with a washcloth. 

Hope that is helpful! :)

Sort of random, but are nail clippings considered gross? I’ve never thought twice about nail clippings before, but I just recently found out some people consider them on the same level as boogers. One of my friends was clipping his nails in a shared housing area and another person told him that was gross and to do it in the bathroom. I personally don’t find it gross, but am I just missing out on some common social cue here?
realsocialskills said:
I think nail clippings are generally considered gross. What do y'all think?


Social skills for autonomous people: When food is too hard


Related to the remembering food exists thing, do you have any advice for what to do when your depression is making preparing food seem so hard that you’d nearly prefer to just go hungry?
A couple of suggestions:
Order a pizza, or some…

reesa-chan said:

This. So much this. Also, some grocery stores will deliver food if you happen to be lucky enough to live in the right city. I have one on my list of resources for when spoons have been completely exhausted. They also deliver toilet paper, which is the most crazy awesome thing ever. Also other things, but delivery toilet paper! How amazing is it to know that if you run out but can’t face leaving the house, someone will BRING YOU TOILET PAPER!

Depending on how your brain works, it might be worth being careful about the disposable dishes, though. I know that for me it’s even harder to deal with a build up of trash than a build up of dirty dishes (and don’t get me started on how overwhelming those dishes can be!), so if you’re like me it might be easier to either reuse a mildly dirty dish or to figure out a way to go without using dishes for this meal or, if you have the resources, to wash just the one dish you’re going to eat off of.

realsocialskills said:

That’s a good point about trash. Disposable dishes aren’t a good solution for everyone.