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If you are anything like me, you struggle with STARTING. I can do all the prep work, all the planning, ALL the things! But when it comes time to actually begin whatever task I need to begin, it feels like there is a forcefield keeping me from taking that first step.
That is anxiety. And it sucks.
I have been experiencing a lot of this lately, as I plan my kids' school assignments. Seems simple, right? I swear I will do ANY and EVERY thing before I get started with the lesson planning. I will probably get up from my desk ten times in a hour's time because my brain tells me that I have to do so many other things first in order to get to the start line of planning these lessons for my kids.
Absolutely ridiculous. Yet, I know I'm not alone.
What do I do when this anxiety fill me, you ask? I'll list a few suggestions for you. These don't always work for me, and they may not work for you. However, there is no harm in trying!
Set a timer.
Start with small time increments, such as 5 or 10 minutes. Don't overwhelm yourself. I like to use digital timers with the seconds showing. Get one that fits your personal needs. Dollar Tree sells sand timers, or the digital timer pictured is found on Amazon. The purpose of using a timer is to allow your brain to set a limit; you know when you need to stop versus just working without a time constraint. You are more likely to start a timed task than a non-timed task.
2. Make a prioritized to-do list.
Creating a to-do list may seem overrated. Trust me, they aren't! Many of us NEED these lists to keep our brains and our thinking balanced for the day. One way to amp up your to-do list and maximize it's worth is to prioritize your list! Sometimes, when looking at a list we automatically start completing what is on the list starting at the top. This happens to me even when I make an unorganized grocery list: I spend so much extra time making circles around the grocery store getting randomly listed items when I could have maximized my time & energy by organizing the list according to various grocery store groupings (such as "dry goods" or "dairy products"). When I create a to-do list that is not prioritized, I spend extra time over-analyzing and trying to figure out what task should be done first and why and who and what... Spend a few extra moments prioritizing your list and see how much more clearly you can think and process through the it all!
Yep. Breathe. Breathing is essential to life. Deep, cleansing breathes are essential to sanity! How often do you take deep breaths? Try sucking in as much air as your lungs can hold. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Then slowly release the air through your mouth, with your lips pursed just like you would blow out the candles on a birthday cake. You can even close your eyes while you do this. I have an Apple watch that can be a bit annoying with its reminders to breathe, but it does come in handy!
Take control of your day. Don't let fear & anxiety rule you! Recognize your signs of anxiety and get ahead of them. Begin anywhere, as long as you begin!