In a year that seems to have a never-ending supply of stress, I find myself needing simple visual reminders of things I can do that will disrupt moments of overwhelm. I use the following categories to think about different areas of my life, but you may have different ones, of course:
- Good for body
- Good for $
- Good for work
- Good for brain
- Good for home
I started my year with these categories because they encompassed many rituals I wanted to strengthen or habits I wanted to prioritize. In my journal, I made a list of examples of what I meant for each of these:
Good for body: use foam roller to stretch leg muscles, follow a yoga video for 20 minutes, take the dog for a longer than usual walk.
Good for $: reconcile bills with accounting software for the week, update budget for a marketing program, send email to follow up to previous corporate clients.
Good for work: respond to 5 emails, post once on Instagram, work on the script for the next presentation.
Good for brain: watch the next module for the interior design course online, listen to a guided meditation, spend 15 minutes on a cross-stitch project.
Good for home: empty the dishwasher, order new fabric to re-cover chairs, write a sweet card for husband to find later.
These actions fuel different parts of my life, so I wrote them each out on a post-it note and placed it on my desk. When I feel frozen about what to do next, I pick one of these categories and do one thing from my list (or something that has come up that is the same category), and then I place a checkmark on the post-it note. The next time, I pick a different post-it with fewer check marks on it and do something from that category. This helps balance out how I spend my time, especially when my attention is scattered.
What do you do to manage your focus and energy when you know something stressful is on the way?