Using Routine to Calm Anxiety

Frazzled womab

Have you been running around on empty lately? Has it been difficult for you to accomplish projects that you start? Oh good, it’s not just me. I have been having a really hard time with my days lately. And, I wanted to share with you, a revelation that came to me during my morning meditation. We all need structure and routine. As parents, we know how important routine is for kids- it gives them something to look forward to and structures their day so they know what to expect. I have not been great at providing structure for my kids because my overactive brain screams BORING! When I went to live with my Dad as a teenager, I was so bored with the routine of his life. He ate the same meals on the same day of the week, every week. But now, I see that my Dad created that kind of structure in opposition to the life of chaos that he may have grown up with. By creating structure, you give your inner child something to look forward to and give your overactive brain much needed peace of mind.

How do we create structure?

Start in the evening before by envisioning the kind of day you want to have tomorrow. Check for the things that you may be missing out on in your day? Is it more time for your kids, more time to plan a meal? Is it more time to exercise? Find a way to schedule these things in your busy day before you go to bed. Do you need to wash out your gym uniform tonight? Can you meal prep for breakfast tonight? A great morning starts with a well planned out, thoughtful evening. Again, think now about what you will need to have a smooth afternoon tomorrow. I have gone shopping at lunch just to make sure I’m spending time with my kids and eating a home cooked meal after work. It makes my work schedule a bit hectic but worth all the while.

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Make a schedule

You have 24 hours in the day, the same 24 hours that Oprah, Tyler Perry, Beyonce and the Obamas have. What will you do in those 24 hours to make an impact? I often tell people that they are just driving aimlessly unless they have a destination. What is it that you hope to accomplish tomorrow? Write a statement of purpose or a mission statement. This could be just for today or this could be your overall mission statement in life. Connecting to our purpose and fulfilling our passion equals days well spent. So what it is that you are most concerned about accomplishing tomorrow?

Create accountability

For the past two months I’ve been working on waking up early to exercise and/or write but it just hasn’t happened. I created an accountability system for myself by tying my waking up in the morning to watching Underground which, by the way, premiered Season 2 this past Wednesday. If I didn’t get up and work out, I would not have watched Underground- which I’d been anxiously waiting on for almost a year now. And guess what? I woke up, worked out, felt great and have worked out every day since. If you have a workout or accountability partner, text them tonight and ask them to hold you accountable for your schedule or goals for tomorrow. Two is better than one and together it can be achieved.

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Let me know if creating a schedule and routine helps with your overall mood and how you deal with things. Let me know if you are able to get more done by prioritizing and aligning your actions with your overall purpose. Put Facebook, emails and trash TV to the side in order to accomplish those great things you have sitting on the shelf. I believe in you and I know you believe in me, so let’s go!

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

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