Sometimes life can feel so big and busy that our minds can become a little scattered. I know that sometimes when things at work or school can pile up alongside my worries at home and with friends, I feel like my thoughts are spinning in a million different directions. What I’ve found can really help to calm me down and feel more in control of my life and time is to make lists.
The Art of List Making
The To-Do List
Obviously, everyone knows the ultimate power of a good to-do list! Even organizing the groceries that you want to buy into a handy list can make for a stress-free trip to the market. Organizing your immediate future can help you budget your time, and when you feel like there’s a distinct plan for your day or days, you can budget time to relax and reflect.
It’s important not to let your schedules and plans overtake your life! Every good to-do list should also allow time for quiet reflection and relaxation so that while your physical chores are being taken care of, you can be sure to cater to your emotional well-being as well.
The Worry List
Another valuable list making list we can make is an outline of our worries along with musings on how to deal with them. Many people find use in creating a sort of “prayer list” that reminds them of all the important things in their life to pray for. I think a list like this can be used to contextualize and straighten out our worries, and help us to think about the things that bother us in a practical way.
As much as this kind of list might be unpleasant to write or refer back to, when things as intangible as sadness or worries are written out in a direct way, they may seem more manageable.
The Grateful List
This last list is my favorite one! When things seem too overwhelming in my life, and I feel like everything is going wrong, I like to write a list of all the things I love and all the things I’m grateful for in my life. If there’s one thing that can help put a bad situation in perspective, it’s looking at all the ways my life is already great! I like to organize my list into two main categories:
- People & Places: In this category I write down all of the people I care about and all of the places I can go that make me happy. Writing this part of the list often inspires me to remind my friends how much I love them, and that can sometimes boost their moods as well!
- My Favorite Things: In this part of the list, I like to write down things that I know I can always see or do to cheer myself up. For example, in my “favorite things” list, I have written: baking, jumping on a trampoline, camping, etc. It’s important to know that there are always things to do and places to go when I need a little change of pace.
Good luck and happy list making!