Last week, I focused much of my time organizing my belongings. I put things in their proper places, and introduced containers into my space to make my things more tidy and accessible. By doing so, I eliminated a large amount of clutter. Once I had completed organizing, I noticed a change within me: I felt calm, like I could fully breathe again. I felt happy and productive, and inspired to take on new challenges. The symptoms of my anxiety have drastically reduced in frequency and intensity. This makes sense to me, as the most prominent symptom of my anxiety is sensory overload. If there is a lot of noise, or just too many things happening at once, I become overwhelmed and it is impossible for me to think clearly. My breaths become laboured, and often I feel as though I am burning from the inside. By decluttering my space and installing order, my mind has less to register and deal with, allowing me to feel calmer. I discovered a quote which hit home for me:
“Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action.”
Reflecting on my past experience, if I create a plan of what I will do when, I am not anxious, because I can clearly see that I will be able to do what I need to in a timely fashion. However, if I fail to plan and am scrambling to accomplish things, I am anxious because I have to make sure I don’t forget about anything, and I have to make sure that I have enough time to do what is needed. Should anything not go according to plan, I become even more anxious, as I do not have a plan for when it can be completed.
Additionally, not planning my activities makes me much more susceptible to burnout, since I needed to use much more energy to think fast. When my body is under that much stress, I become depressed, which further inhibits my ability to be productive. Then, because I am not accomplishing tasks, I become anxious, and the result is a vicious cycle.
Even if you do not have an anxiety disorder, feeling anxious and stressed is not a good feeling, and it will only hurt you later on. Take 10 minutes every evening to jot down what needs to be accomplished in the near future. Then, select the tasks that are most important and what you can realistically complete the next day, and create a schedule of your day. Finally, get a good nights sleep, and conquer your day with a clear head and specific objectives. Rinse and repeat. Also, note what worked well for you and what did not, so that each days plan is better than the previous.
Perhaps in your daily plan you can set aside time to clean up your home. Eliminate as much clutter as possible, and make your items easy to find. That way, your day can go even more efficiently, and your space will not be chaotic to look at: instead, it will be pleasant to enjoy. An article that further discusses this topic can be found here.
Make your life like a tree in fall: vibrant, beautiful, full, and tall. Make it strong by fuelling it with organization, and no obstacle can cut you down.