When I first started blogging, Jess LC was a big deal for me. She has since gotten married and started Jess Lively, which is even more awesome, and her web design has me drooling. But she had this post that was really neat. I couldn’t find it, but I think she turned it into a new post at the Everygirl called “Two Strategies for Managing Stress”.
The one I like in particular are her Worry Flashcards. Her method is a little more involved, but basically, you give each of your problems their own notecard. There’s more to it, but that’s where I tend to stop for now. Here’s mine in sticky notes:
Big problems, small problems, tiny stressors. They all get a note. And everything adds up. Eventually I had so many I made categories… that’s the blue ones across the top. Here’s why it helps:
Naming the Beast
Naming your fear lessens its power over you. It’s weird to say, but it’s true. Writing is therapeutic. Art is therapeutic. Writing down your problems makes you feel like you’ve taken a productive step towards resolution, even if all you’ve done is written them down.
Giving the Beast Space to Be Beastly
When you write the problem down, you’re dropping it off at day care. At least for me, writing down the problem makes something deep inside makes me feel like I’ve attended to the problem. When I know the problem isn’t being ignored and won’t be forgotten, I can de-clench, so to speak, and give myself time to think about it.
This is especially useful when dealing with more than two or three serious problems at a time.
Making the Beast Seem Like a Wimp
Can it really be that bad if you can write it out on an orange post-it? I think my logic goes like this: Sticky-notes are temporary. Problems are temporary. Writing means you’re alive. Being alive means the problem is not as dire as it feels, even though it feels like you’re about to die from it.
Writing the problem out makes the problem seem like a wimp, because in your mind the problem is endless and has no shape. When it’s written down it is finite and it has taken its shape.
For especially awful problems, I recommend shiny silver pens and colored paper. Don’t use childish stickers or the problem will feel mocked. What’s important here is classiness and artfulness.