I suffer from anxiety.
I haven’t hidden that from you because I think it is something important to talk about.
There is frequently a stigma surrounding those people who have mental illnesses, but I don’t think that’s fair. I think everyone needs to understand what these things are all about, what people suffer, and what can be done to help.
In that spirit, I have been sharing my own experiences and the ways I have helped myself. Today, I want to tell you about a great technique I have learned that has helped my daily anxiety.
Before I do that, though, let me explain what I mean by “daily anxiety.” Every day I feel anxious because there is a new set of 15 or so hours to fill. If I have engagements on the calendar, the anxiety is lessened, but any open time that is not already booked becomes a trigger for me.
I don’t know what to do with myself, with my home, with my family, and so on. I can know that certain chores need to get done and that my son requires attention, but I am nevertheless anxious about when to do each thing.
In consequence, I spend my day crippled by my anxiety, and there is very little happiness or productivity.
So I came up with the idea to book my entire day. I don’t mean to fill it up with appointments, but rather to lay out for myself everything I am going to do in a day and when I am going to do it.
This isn’t a schedule, mind you. A strict schedule just increases my anxiety, especially when things run off the track–as they are sure to do.
This is just a comprehensive list of every task that I want to perform, written down in the order in which I want to do them.
For example, one day’s list looked something like this:
- Get up
- Get dressed
- Make breakfast
- Start laundry
- Dust floors
- Switch laundry to the dryer
- Dust living room
- Get ready to go
- Go to gymnastics
- Clean toilets
- Quiet time: Editing and Blog
- Dust remaining rooms
- Get dinner ready
- Bedtime for J.
- Work on Pinterest
So you see that I always know what to do and when to do it. There is still plenty of flexibility in there since I don’t have specified start and stop times, but I have a framework for my day with which I can work.
I have been doing this for several days now, and it has proven very efficacious in removing the source of my daily anxiety.
Don’t mistake me, though–I still get anxious. However, I don’t get anxious about how I am going to fill in my time, which is a tremendous relief.
And I find also that the byproduct of it all is that I am very productive. Since I have planned out getting certain chores and tasks done, I actually do them. It’s a double victory.
Try this if you suffer from the same kind of anxiety I do. Sheesh, it can even work if you don’t suffer from anxiety and you just want to accomplish more. It’s such a simple technique, but, at least for me, it works wonders.