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Dealing With Anxiety: How Scheduling Helped Control The Daily Struggle

Welcome back!  Today I am continuing my series on anxiety.  I have accepted that even with therapy and the techniques that I use to combat anxiety attacks and to minimize it on a large scale, anxiety is still a part of my life.  I’d like to share something that helps me with my daily anxiety roller coaster.

I schedule everything.  That’s not to say I don’t miss things on the schedule but having things on the schedule takes it off of the 5 million things rolling through my mind.  For those of you that don’t know me well, I am one of the most disorganized people you’ll meet. But I am actually quite organized disorganized.  I know there are those of you reading this and nodding-YOU ARE MY PEOPLE!  Let’s have coffee.  Those of you that are shaking your heads, bear with me.  I likely drive you crazy and for that I’m sorry.  I digress…as usual.

I do some planning with pen & paper and some electronically.  I’ll go into more detail about my favorite planning tools in another post, but my favorite planners are Day Designer and Erin Condren.  Electronically, we use Asana-which is nice because I can connect Tyler and I on there and it send my entries to him and vice versa.  I also like using the plain Jane calendar app on my phone.  Bottom line is, what works for me might not work for you so find what works and run with it sister!

What do I schedule?  Of course the usual stuff: school stuff, doctor’s appointments, work schedule stuff.  We run a 2 store pool and spa business operation so keeping things straight for business commitments and coverage so all of that goes on the schedule (ideally…)  I also schedule weekly milk delivery because if I don’t it’s guaranteed I’ll end up being out all day and it will sit on my porch and turn to cottage cheese.

Meal planning and prepping

Another thing that has to go on the schedule are our meal plans and what I am prepping each day.  See, I have tried to do the prep everything for the entire week on one day thing and I just end up getting overwhelmed, angry at the meal plan and half of what I’ve prepped goes to waste.  What I do now is schedule the meal we are having with a meal prep step that works.  For instance, if we are having chicken fajitas then I’ll make sure to prep extra chicken so that I have it for lunches for a couple of days.  You get the picture.  This method works much better for me but it has to be in the schedule or it throws my anxiety through the roof.

House cleaning and care

Another stress reliever I have found, is that I tend to be able to breathe a little easier if my house doesn’t reach epic hoarder level.  One wouldn’t say that it’s always clean and I can relax from that, but I schedule 30 minutes dedicated to a certain room each day.  I love having a clean house and it makes my anxiety SO much lower, I am just really, really bad at it.  Scheduling that 30 minute touch up everyday doesn’t keep things “eat off of the floor” ready, but it takes the edge off of my edginess.   And it keeps it in good enough shape that if someone calls and is visiting last minute, we can do the mad dash clean up realistically.  But I have to keep that 30 min room clean up in the schedule.

Time for Mom’s quiet morning

The last thing that helps calm my everyday anxiety is booking time in my schedule for me.  I typically block out one hour a day for me to have quiet time, get my workout done and get at least 10-20 minutes of self development in.  It varies what I do for self development-reading books or articles, listening to a podcast or a book on Audible or sometimes it is just journaling my thoughts.  This step alone makes huge difference in my mood and sets my tone for the day!

People often ask how I fit these things in my day:  first of all I schedule it, just like I would a trip to the gyno, second-I make it happen.  I hear all the time “I just don’t have any extra time”.  BULLLLLSHHHHH!T!  You don’t make time for it.  I get up 30-45 minutes earlier than I used to, to make sure I get this stuff in my day.  This argument came from me a long time ago and at the time, a mentor said to me, plainly as can be, “you have the time, we all do, you just have to make it the priority”.  So now by putting it in the schedule, it has become a priority for me.  Whoa, sorry for the baby soap box there for a minute, done.  🙂

So that is the skinny on how keeping life on a schedule, or at least trying to, has helped to keep the normal, daily anxieties at bay.  What things do you do to keep from going cray cray?