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Amira McLaughlin

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Making changes to your lifestyle will have positive effects on anxiety. In previous posts, you’ve learned ways to do this: making changes to your physical environment, adding a nice walk to your day, and even incorporating calming scents into your surroundings can lessen the tension you feel. Next up: controlling your day by looking ahead to schedule time for meeting your goals is yet another strategy that can make a huge difference in your life. Read on to learn how a day planner can reduce stress and anxiety. Soon you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this life-altering tool. 

First, you should consider the best type of agenda or planner for you. Everyone is different. What helps your friend or family member control their day may not help you. Ask yourself questions: do you prefer to write things down in a notebook or keep it all in electronic form? Would your lifestyle fit a small, portable calendar you can take with you everywhere, or do you respond best to having a large visual reminder like a desk calendar or whiteboard that hangs on the wall? Think about it and start with what you think will work best. Nothing set in stone, you can always make tweaks to your system later. 

Next, you’ll want to get in the nightly habit of creating a to-do list for the following day. This routine has multiple benefits:

  • It lets you create a “brain dump” by getting a lot of the information floating around in your head out on paper. 
  • You’ll likely fall asleep faster with fewer small details cluttering your thoughts. 
  • You can look ahead and place some of the tasks in time slots, knowing you’ll be able to complete them when it’s best for you. 
  • This exercise also lets you feel confident you haven’t forgotten anything important. 

Keeping a day planner adds structure to your life – an essential element of reducing anxiety and stress. 

You can add long-term goals to your agenda, as well. This step lets you feel more in control of the direction you’re heading and puts you in the proverbial driver’s seat. 

Along this line of thought, another great way to keep tabs on your time is to write down regular, mundane activities in your calendar ahead of time. Items like doing the laundry, preparing meals for the coming week, study time for you or your child, paying bills, and exercising can be scheduled in your calendar. Including these tasks on your weekly to-dos is a way of holding yourself accountable. This a proactive approach to managing your day: things are more likely to get done when it already has its time slot. 

Finally, don’t neglect to add leisure time to your schedule. Planning for a night out with friends or even just sitting down to read a good book will bring you relaxation and fun. By now, I hope you can see how a day planner can reduce your stress and anxiety. Enjoy the process and make it one that fits your lifestyle. 

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