21 May 2020

3 Steps to Take the Anxiety out of Planning

Leisurely reading Breathe magazine whilst drinking copious amounts of green tea has truly inspired me in recent daysThis light reading has encouraged me to open up and accept where I am today in terms of my mental health. Earlier this week I even surprised myself by writing an unembellished piece about my anxieties ~ the many triggers, my symptoms, and the journey. Today though, I'm reflecting through a much more positive tone and sharing how I plan my life to avoid those dreaded anxious thoughts where I can.I hope these little pearls of wisdom may somehow support you in managing your time as well...

Get yourself a calendar and take note of the days you're definitely unavailable

Personally, I used Google Docs to create an online calendar synced with my partners. Having a calendar I can access on the go instead of one that's stuck to my fridge is a necessity. Having the ability to whip out my phone and give a definite yes or no to whoever is asking for my time is perfect in avoiding any awkward cancellations later down the road. 

In terms of my real-life job, my shifts differ from week to week, so I can mark these days as unavailable for certain. There's no way in hell I'm achieving anything of importance after a twelve-hour shift. At most, I'll shower and cook dinner. I might even rustle up a gin or two if I'm feeling optimistic. You can do the same if you're working shifts, but if you're currently working from home doing the 9-5 thing, or even still travelling to work every day, you might just want to block out the hours you spend concentrating on working life and make yourself more available for other events in the evenings. If evenings aren't an option because work leaves your brain feeling totally fried, then weekends are your baby!

Don't make yourself too busy

Busy isn't a desire of mine by any stretch of the imagination. By this I mean, It's extremely unlikely that I'll be attending two social events in one day once normality returns (I'm beginning to question if I even want it to). However, under current circumstances, this means I won't be responding to too many phone calls or messages all at once. I love you, friends, if you're reading, but please don't ask me too much from me, and don't assume my calendar is empty either.

In a future life when lockdown ends this means, don't ask me to brunch and expect me to also attend that party or gig with you all on the same day. It's just not happening unless it's your birthday, or someone has died. However, if those two events are on separate days, then sure I'll be fully functioning and completely capable to make the effort. 

In terms of work, don't pick up too many shifts. Don't cram all of your Zoom meetings into one day and don't leave the most important tasks until the very last minute. Don't make yourself busy every waking moment. Consider the hours you feel most productive and manage your diary around them for maximum optimization. Ask yourself these two questions - are you an early riser or a night owl? Do you prefer to work into the evening or get shit done before mid day? Basically, schedule your life where possible around when you feel most productive. Simple enough.

If you're a blogger gently take each day as it comes. Try to create somewhat of a schedule for content, but if that fails don't threat too much. Be kind to yourself and get writing when the mood strikes. Motivation can be found during the oddest of hours and your blog can be as flexible as you choose.

Leave room for spontaneity 

Arguably here is where I address the most worthwhile of steps.

Of course, we all probably have more free time than we know what to do with right now, but that doesn't mean we need to pack out every minute of our day.

Don't stick to a rigid routine. Try to adjust your mindset and embrace flexibility where possible. There's something so joyful about having the freedom to choose. The freedom to say this day or this hour is entirely my own. There's nowhere I need to be right now and nothing that can't wait. I try to leave at least one day or a couple of evenings open every week, where I can decide to write if I want to, spend time with my partner or just watch tele in bed. On these days there's no pressure to do anything but take care of myself however I see fit. 

The important acknowledgment here is to understand that your time is yours and no one else's to dictate. So, just keep a little room to breathe. Maybe just an evening free like a Friday night for example, where you're able to ease yourself into the weekend, wine in hand, and relaxation on the brain.


  1. I absolutely love having an electronic calendar, makes its so easy to know when you're actually free!

  2. Great post. I love planning and being organised. Not being too busy and leaving room for spontaneity are definitely important.

  3. These are definitely very good points to remember for everyone! Being busy is not something brag about, it means you're creating unnecessary stress for yourself or that you're doing something wrong. And leaving time for spontaneity is sooo important! That's when life happens and life is pretty good at the end of the day ;) As long as we just allow it to happen.

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

  4. The P word, is something I always struggle with, I like the online calendar idea, I might actually use a calendar if it’s on my phone.

    Adam - http://daddoesautism.com

  5. Unless someone has died 😂😂😂 love you

    1. Haha, I'm just here to be honest!

  6. These are really great tips. Last year, when I finally managed to really control my anxiety, I found myself making more and more plans. Which was great at first but then some weeks I'd look at my calendar and feel dread because I was SO BUSY. Which, going from having like, no plans to being busy every day isn't great! So leaving that time for yourself is sooo important too!


  7. Great post Kate! I love being organised and it's always good to leave that day or two for spontaneity! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

  8. I never thought of the idea you could share electronic calendars - that's actually so genius! I think it's so important to make time for ourselves- I've definitely done this and it has helped me so much for my mental health because I know I come first.



Leave a comment...