From the woman that brought you Worry Flashcards comes…
The Worry Chain!
In a quest to find peace in my life, I’ve come up with a few tricks to help myself sort through anxiety and find a way to rationalize rather than emotionalize what I’m worrying about like the Worry Flashcards and Don’t Turn Your Want Tos in to Have Tos.
With all the craziness of juggling the three businesses, getting ready for our move, preparing for our friend and family wedding parties, getting a dog, and having some semblance of a social life, I’ve been stressed.
And though there really is a million (Okay, an exaggeration for sure, but it feels that way sometimes, doesn’t it?) balls in the air, they are not ALL landing at the same time. There is time between each each event throughout the next four months.
The problem when I’m feeling worried by the cumulative stress is that I’m putting all of those concerns and to-dos in my mind at once, which makes me react as though everything needs to be done right now.
“I need to think about everything I need to do for the next for months right now“ becomes the misled thought that enters my mind and freaks me the heck out.
And really, it’s not true.
I just need to focus on each event as they come and prepare bit by bit for the things that lie ahead in the future. In order to help myself keep this in mind, I decided to make a visual representation of the events coming up.
I decided to make a Worry Chain.
I cut up some pretty wrapping paper I saved from our invitations into strips.
Then, I wrote on each one something that requires planning and though which I
need to want to execute in the next four months.
Then, I stapled one chain together with work events and the other with life events.
Now, I’m only allowed to focus on “worrying” about each event one at a time. I know myself and the idea of expecting myself not to have any worry whatsoever is something to strive for… but not quite realistic yet. So when my mind starts to get anxious about all the things coming up that I
have want to do, I can stop, remind myself that I can only “worry” about the most recent chain link event, and leave the rest for the future.
What happens when I do this is that my mind calms down, it knows that the current link is all I can or need to fixate on, and allows me to get to work executing that single link’s event.
I can mentally handle one event at a time. It’s juggling all 12 simultaneously where it starts to fry my brain.
As you can also imagine, I’m calling it a “Worry Chain” for this post because it captures the essence of what it does. But I’m not actually looking at it and thinking about worrying, I’m really thinking about being present on each link one at a time.
I’m looking at it and reminding myself to focus on what I need to work on right now and to enjoy it as much as possible. Because really, that is all I can ever do physically and I don’t want to just “make it through” the next four months.
I want to thrive.