Ah, yes, this post is honestly THE post that’s going to explain the entire concept of my blog & rising business. I always talk about planning and its AMAZING use in managing mental health, but I’m finally gonna share the in-depth reasons why I believe organization will calm your anxious mind.
Before we dive in, I want to share a bit (I promise, only a little, lol) of my personal story.
I’ve always been an anxious person. I didn’t know it or how to manage it until I was about 18, but it’s always been there. Depression bit me in the butt in October of 2017.
You know what #1 tool for me was to get through those rougher times? My planner.
I found ways to manage my health all within the pages of my beautiful Happy Planner (you can check out the website here!) and it gave me the strength I needed to push through 7 hard months.
I still use all of those techniques now, and they are absolutely amazing! And now I just want to teach other young women about in order to find the same peace that I did. 🙂
Okay, so that’s out of the way. Now let’s get into why a planner will help calm your anxious mind!
The Main Concept: Chaos vs Control
I’ve talked a lot about this in some of my recent posts (like this one!) and that’s because I really believe in this concept. Anxiety loves chaos. You don’t even have to be “officially diagnosed” with anxiety in order to apply this.
Any form of stress or overwhelm you deal with comes from your thoughts running chaotically through your head and you don’t have any control.
Now let’s look at the opposite: what is a tool that gives you absolute control over everything you do? A planner!
Don’t even question me on this, man, lol.
You’ve probably used a planner of some type for a long time! In middle school, you used a planner to write down your homework and quizzes. In high school, you did the same and also wrote down your extracurriculars.
Once you become an adult in your early 20’s, you have even more to write down and keep track of. If you don’t have a way to organize all of those things, chaos has the perfect opportunity to jump inside your head and take over.
Simply using a planner to be more organized and know exactly how each day is going to go will help you relieve some of that chaos and be less stressed out.
Related: Lists to Make When You’re Anxious
A Planner Is a Place for You to Organize Random Thoughts
Stress and overwhelm easily cause you to have thoughts appearing in your head one after another. It can be exhausting trying to manage all of those thoughts when you don’t even have time to process them before the next one shows up.
That’s where a planner comes in and saves the day.
A planner is the perfect place to take all those racing thoughts and put them all onto paper. This is what I call a brain dump!
I talk about these literally all the time, and it’s because I think they’re incredibly effective! You basically just take a pen and paper and write down every single thing that pops into your head and you organize them after that.
We all know a planner organizes your life, so why not use it to organize your thoughts?
Your planner will get the overwhelming feelings onto paper and that gives you a chance to actually do something about them.
Stress Affects More Than One Aspect of Your Life
It’s easy to say that you’re stressed out about one thing in particular (and that very well may be true!)
But stress leaks. It can be started by one thing, but it will slowly spread into the other parts of your life before you even realize it.
And if you aren’t organized from the beginning, that famous chaos will latch on and will be an unnecessary, but extremely prevalent part of your life.
That’s why keeping a planner that organizes every part of your life is incredibly important! Stress is going to pop up in some area of your life whether you like it or not, but you have the ability to keep it under control by using a planner.
By having a system in place with your planner from the beginning, you’re basically telling any stress that shows up, “No. I’m keeping you in this box and you’re not spreading to every other part of my life. I’m gonna make you go away from here and nip you right in the bud.”
Doesn’t that sound way better than trying to get rid of it from everywhere all at once?!
You Can Plan Ahead for Times You Know You’ll Be Stressed
Unfortunately, there’s always gonna be something that shows up in life that will cause stress and/or anxiety you just can’t avoid.
(But we can keep wishing that will never happen, right?! At least I’m going to, lol.)
There’s plenty of examples as to what some of those struggles might be:
- finals week at school
- a big event being planned at work
- moving to a new house
- trying to find a new job
- graduating college and having no idea what to do
If you’re able to plan ahead for such an event, you can plan ahead for how you can deal with the anxiety that comes with it.
Maybe the way you do that is by cutting something out of your schedule that will make you less busy. It could be scheduling in some time to visit with your best friend. Or it may simply be finding time for yourself when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Related: 64 Self-Care Ideas
But the key is that planning ahead for those things means that they won’t sneak up on you. You will give yourself the tools you need to calm your anxious mind before it ever becomes a problem!
You Can Plan for the Long-Term Future
We just talked about how you can plan for things that you know will be stressing you out relatively soon, but what about in a few months? A few years?
I don’t know about you, but my anxiety kicks in pretty hard sometimes when I think about my future. I mean, I know that realistically I can’t control it, but it helps me a ton to at least make a plan and not just wing it!
If you end up waiting around for some magical, amazing, future to happen, you’re probably gonna be disappointed. And that will just do nothing but stress you out!
So you make a plan.
Planning for the future will allow you to work backwards and know exactly how you can prepare for the desired future now.
Doing that will give you some control over how unknown the future is and will make it less daunting and stressful!
Your Planner is a Great Tool to Set Goals
This aligns with what I said in my last point. Goal setting is AMAZING to help you calm your anxious mind because it allows you to have some control over what you want to have happen in your every day.
Going through your life all willy-nilly isn’t going to give you that feeling. Setting goals will!
I have a whole page in my planner that lists out the goals I have for the year. I reference this page all the time!
When I sit down to plan each month, I look at what my goals for the year are so that I can break them down. Then I break those down into what I need to do weekly, and then daily! (I go over this entire system in a worksheet you can download for free here.)
A planner is just the perfect place to write down all of these things because it will keep you productive in trying to accomplish your goals!
A Planner is the Perfect Tracker for Your Moods, Routines, and Symptoms
I’ve been hearing a lot from people on Instagram that they want ways to understand their moods and track anything related to anxiety or stress in the long-term.
Guys, a planner will help you do this!
There are a TON of ways you can track those things, but the point that I want to tell you now is that it’s totally possible.
And I highly, highly recommend that you do it. Understanding yourself, how your mind works, and how you’re feeling over a long period of time will be really helpful in how you manage overwhelming feelings in the future.
A couple things that I love to use in my planner are habit trackers and a layout called a Year in Pixels. I have more information about them here if you want to check them out!
I really love my planner for tracking this kind of stuff because I already use it daily for everything else! Tracking my emotions is a lot easier when I can fit it into a routine that I already know and love.
Planners are a Great Place for Inspiration and Positivity
Here’s me sneaking in yet another reason as to why The Happy Planner is the most bomb planner ever.
The Happy Planner is just so dang happy!
It has all sorts of amazing quotes to inspire and motivate you and beautiful colors and themes you can stare at all day long. It’s really the best, guys, I’m not joking.
But! Even if you don’t use The Happy Planner, you can still find ways to include bits of positivity in whatever organization tool you use.
You can simply write in quotes that inspire you, print out pictures that you like and tape them in, doodle, or add photos of you and your friends into it.
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And my favorite way to find inspiration in your planner is that you can look back at all the things you’ve accomplished.
Listen, if you go back through the pages of your planner and you all the amazing little check marks of the stuff you’ve gotten done, it’s really motivating!
Stress, anxiety, and overwhelm can all make you feel like you’re really not getting anything done or you’re not good enough. But literally looking at the stuff you’ve gotten done in the past counters all of those negative feelings.
Your planner is quite an amazing tool to inspire you every day of your life!
Does your planner calm your anxious mind?
It’s time to find out! I want you to use your planner in a way that purposefully helps you manage any of those overwhelming thoughts and feelings. It’s totally possible!
What’s your favorite thing about your planner? Tell me in the comments!
And by the way – have you joined the Mental Health Empowerment Facebook Group yet? Join it here!