I haven’t been sleeping well these past few days. I suspect I’m not the only one. I deleted the Twitter app off my phone, I’ve been avoiding watching the news, and limiting my time spent on social media – all in an attempt to curb my anxiety – but I’m still struggling to deal with the magnitude of what the world is currently going through.
I’ve managed to keep things together over the past week, largely thanks to a rather tight schedule of home-schooling activities for Bean whilst still trying to keep afloat work-wise, but it all came crashing down today. I woke up with a heavy sadness at the pit of my stomach, and ended up spending most of the day in my jammies. I learnt two things today: (1) staying in my pajamas all day long rarely bodes well for my mental state, and (2) I feel much better at the end of the day if I’ve done something productive – even if it’s something as simple as unpacking just one box, doing one load of laundry, or changing the linen.
In an attempt to try and stay sane during the next few weeks of social-distancing, I’ve decided to end each day by writing down just three things that I plan on doing the following day. Some days these might be big, important things, like writing an article or shooting products for a client, but on those days when I’m feeling a little down, simple tasks – like folding the laundry or actually getting dressed – will suffice.
The simple act of ticking tasks off a to-do list always lifts my mood and gives me a sense of satisfaction when I get into bed later that night. Even if I do nothing else that day, I feel like I’ve accomplished something – no matter how small – which really helps me to deal with overwhelm.
To-do lists are what kept me sane during some of the toughest moments after my ex and I separated. When things started feeling beyond my control or too overwhelming, I returned to my list and simply did the next thing on my list. It kept me focused, and helped me to feel as though I had at least a little bit of control over my life. With so much fear and uncertainty in the world today, I feel like this is a concept that we could all use right now.
The idea is to pick three simple things that take minutes to complete. Nothing too big or too overwhelming. (I’ve found that doing the smaller things first often leads to the motivation and momentum needed to tackle the larger ones, too).
So as I finish up this blog post and prepare to go to bed, here are my three things to do tomorrow:
- Make coffee to go and take Bean for a stroll around the neighbourhood
- Fold and put away laundry
- Put Christmas tree, box of decorations, etc in storage
How have you been dealing with all of the feelings during this weird time? I’m open to any – and all – suggestions. (Also, let me know if you try this, and how it works for you?)