You deserve to feel clean and comfortable.
When mental and physical barriers make traditional hygiene routines overwhelming or unrealistic we sometimes ignore our hygiene needs altogether and secretly feel shame that we are failing in this area of life. However, you are not alone and you are not failing. Struggling with hygiene tasks is due to functional barriers, not a moral failings. You are just as valid of an adult as anyone else. You deserve to feel clean and comfortable and you deserve adaptive routines and products to help you get there! Below are products that can help you work with yourself instead of against yourself when it comes to hygiene care tasks. (note: this article uses affiliate links, which generate profits that support Struggle Care)
One of the most common casualties of mental health, executive dysfunction, and overwhelmed individuals is tooth brushing. Even the most seemingly successful people can struggle to regularly brush their teeth. The key to cracking this hygiene care task is to ask yourself, "What exactly is the barrier for me?" Your answer will tell you what kind of adaptive product or routine is best for you.
Sensory Issues: I hate the taste of mint!
You might be putting off brushing your teeth because you hate the taste or feel of the mint flavoring. It can be surprisingly hard to find a non-mint toothpaste. But many people find that once they switch, they no longer put off brushing their teeth.
Tom's of Maine makes non-mint toothpaste flavors:
This mouthwash has a fruity flavor and flouride:
Colgate makes an affordable alternative for fruit flavored toothpaste:
If completely unflavored toothpaste is your jam, try this one!
Sensory Issue: "I don't like the bristles of tooth brushes"
If it's the feeling of stiff bristles you can't stand, perhaps you'd rather your mouth be caressed by the loving touch of 12,000 silky bristles. If that sounds like your kind of party, the silkobrush is for you. The website calls says "SilkoBrush™ is perfect for those with sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, or tooth aches." and calls their toothbrushes as "soft as a feather."
Executive dysfunction: "I just forget"/"there are too many steps"
Perhaps you've heard my hack of keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste in every bathroom of my house and in my car. Combine that with these pre-pasted options and you've got yourself a one step, low barrier routine that allows you to brush your teeth quickly wherever you are.
Wisps are little plastic disposable toothbrushes with tiny drops of toothpaste on them. Perfect for your car or bag to freshen up your tooth when you've forgotten to brush
When getting out of bed is difficult, having pre-pasted toothbrushes on your bedside can get the job done.
Attention issues: "Brushing my teeth is boring"
Quip is a sleek electric toothbrush that buzzes when it's time to switch quadrants in your mouth. It connects to an app to give you all sorts of cool feedback about your oral health. Colgate hum gives you the same guided experience with the plus of letting you adjust your vibration strength.
Many people take for granted the ease at which they can autopilot the multiple steps it takes to take a full shower or have the energy it takes to undress, stand, and lift your arms. If a full shower routine is a barrier for you, check out these cool adaptive products. Even if you are overwhelmed, mentally ill, or physically sick, you still deserve to feel clean and comfortable. As always, get curious with yourself as to what the barrier is for you.
Energy barriers: "I'm too tired/fatigued/lack the energy"
I always say that washing your hair in the kitchen sink is a valid choice for hair care. Sometimes permission to just sit in the shower and clean part of your body is what we need to hear. If sitting on the ground doesn't sound like a relaxing shower to you, consider a shower chair. This one comes with a back to help support your whole body:
Get more reach more easily with this loofah on a stick!
Executive dysfunction & motivation barriers: "There are too many steps."
Just because a full shower feels out of reach doesn't mean you have to abandon every option for cleaning yourself. Freshening up with some wipes (I like water wipes because it's just water) and dry shampoo can go along way.
No rinse shower caps can break washing your hair into a more manageable step.
Portable bidets can keep your privates fresh and feeling good.
Attention barriers: "I'm bored."
This bluetooth shower speaker can make things a little more interesting. Turn showering into your special time to listen to a podcast or rock out to your favorite artist.
What adaptive routines or products do you use? Tell me in the comments!