Whether you’ve started taking new medication or you’re naturally a forgetful person, it can be hard to remember to take your pills. Thankfully, there are a variety of different methods you can use to help you keep yourself organized.
Keep reading to learn our top seven tips for how you can remember to take your pills on time.
1. Use an app on your smartphone
Is your phone glued to your hand? For those of you who have your phone with you wherever you go, consider using an app with the notifications turned on. Some examples include a reminders app or a dedicated alarm for your birth control pill.
Of course, a secondary tip is to keep your phone charged so that you get your alert in the first place!
2. Where you keep your pills is important
Have you heard of the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind”? This saying applies to your pills as well. Are they stuffed at the bottom of your purse or hidden away in a bathroom cabinet? If so, it’s much easier to forget about them if they’re not visible.
Be sure to keep your medication next to items you use every day. Some ideas include:
- Your night table or near your alarm clock
- Next to your toothbrush
- Near your phone
While you want to store your pills in a safe and dry location, hiding them in a cabinet makes it more likely to forget they are there.
3. Get a friendly reminder
If a friend, family member, or partner is also taking medication at the same time, consider asking them to help remind you to take your pill. If both of you take your respective medication at the same time, it’s much easier to have you or the other person remind each other.
However, this method may be less effective if both of you forget!
4. Develop a routine and stick to it
One way to help you to remember to take your pill is to establish a step-by-step routine that you go through every day. By sticking to the steps in order, taking your pill becomes a natural part of your process. Here’s a sample routine:
- Wake up in the morning
- Go through your skincare routine
- Take your pill
- Brush your teeth
5. Tangible reminders can help you stay on track
Sometimes when we get into the habit of doing something over and over again, we may forget if we actually did it. Developing a visual system may help!
For example, if you have a calendar, consider adding a checkmark to it if you’ve taken your pill for the day. That way when you’re wondering whether or not you actually did take your pill that morning, you can look at your calendar to check.
6. A “sticky” reminder
On a colorful sticky note, write a reminder to yourself to take your pill. Make sure that it’s in a noticeable area that you’ll pass by every day, such as your bed or kitchen. While a plain beige or yellow sticky note might not stand out, try a bright pink or hot orange sticky note instead.
7. A high-tech cap
If your medication comes in a bottle, it could be used with an electronic cap. These reminder caps typically feature a small electronic display that keeps track of the last time you opened the bottle. Talk about fancy!
8. Reward yourself
In an article by the American Academy of Family Physicians, they found that patients are much more motivated by an immediate reward compared to long-term benefits, which are often harder to quantify. When it comes to taking your birth control pill, pair it with a small treat. Be sure to keep it on the healthy side such as your favorite fruit or a small piece of dark chocolate.
What type of reminders are best for you?
Ultimately, the most effective method to remind yourself to take your medication will depend on your preferences. If you don’t often have your phone on hand around the house, using a reminders app may be less effective. Try a few different methods and see which one works best for you.
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