15 Lists to Help Manage Anxiety

15 Lists to Help Manage Anxiety

by Laura Geftman, LCSW

When there’s tons to do, lists can help you juggle all the pieces and parts, and keep your anxiety in check. Making lists gets all the tasks out of your heads, and organizes what’s to do and what’s already been done. They help combat avoidance and prioritize what matters. For those of us that get easily overwhelmed, they also help break things down into smaller steps. Steps that provide direction and form achievable plans. Inner chaos be damned! We’re getting sh*t done!

How to Prioritize Tasks

So many tasks, so little time. To insure success in cracking the productivity whip, I have to prioritize all that needs to get done. There are entirely too many distractions in my life if I don’t create a list and stick to it!

There are two questions I’m sure to ask myself to prioritize each task. I ask:

  • Is this something that is time sensitive? Do I need to get to it today?
  • Are there other tasks I need to accomplish first in order to do this?

Once I know the answers to these questions, I know where to put my focus. Sometime I’ll even rewrite my lists as per their priorities. That way I don’t get distracted. I’ll even add items to my calendar and schedule them into my life. The clutter of my life gets uncluttered!

15 List to Help Manage Anxiety

Truth be told- I have lists for my lists. I can make a list out of anything, and I do. It’s the very reason for this post. I have everything listed from “DO RIGHT NOW” to “I’ll get to it…” lists. The last person I showed my lists to was amazed with them, and started keeping some of them, too. So here we go. Here are the lists I’m currently keeping:

  • DO RIGHT NOW – these are my prioritized items and things I must get done asap!
  • Weekend to-do list– Not everything needs to get done in the moment. Weekends are made for task rabbiting and errand running. So that I don’t forget to take care of business I keep a list of what to get to come Saturday! 
  • Grocery list– kinda obvious but keeping a list also help me ensure I don’t buy things I shouldn’t or go over budget!
  • For a rainy day… list– it’s not always about listening to music, reading a book and drinking tea. There are lots of things you can do with a rainy day. Thing is once they happen, I always forget. So therefore I keep a list!
  • Self-care lists – Like most people, I struggle with my own self-care. So I have a list for that! When it’s self-care time, I refer to it for ideas of ways I can treat myself.
  • Favorite songs list– Sure I have plenty of playlists but I keep a list of favorite songs so they don’t get lost in the mess of music in my library.
  • Songs to check out list– I find new songs all over. Not just on the radio. Sometimes they’re brought up in conversations, on billboards, in magazines, etc… So I put them in a list so I remember to check them out later.
  • Good ideas list– It happens to the best of us. You have a great idea. It pops in your head at the most random time. Then you think- I’ll get back to this and later on you have no idea what that great idea was. Ugh. It’s the worst…unless you write it down.
  • Bad ideas list– It’s all about raising my own awareness. There are just something I should not do or get involved in. This list is a constant reminder.
  • Coping skills list– In moments that I needs support, I know there are things I’ve done in the past that have helped. So I maintain a list of things I might try again when needed.
  • Gratitude list– Giving gratitude can raise your vibe and help you feel less anxious.
  • Worry list– Sometime you just have to get your worries out of your head. And sometimes it’s just thing you need to do to stop worrying about them. There’s a list for that!
  • TV/Movies list – I’m a huge fan of watching TV and movies. I just wish I could watch them all the time and everyday but I can’t. So I keep them listed so I know what I wanna watch when I can watch them. This also helps to prevent scrolling dizziness!
  • Achievements list – I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda hard on myself. To remind myself of my awesomeness, I keep a list of things I’ve accomplished. It builds a sense of security reviewing all that I’ve accomplished.
  • Hopes and dreams list – “Bucket lists” are kinda morbid. So instead there’s a hopes and dreams list. It’s so much dreamier.

Are there other lists you keep to help manage your anxiety? What kinds of lists to you find most helpful?


About Laura Geftman, LCSW

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Laura Geftman, LCSW is the Founder of The Calm, Cool & Collected and a practicing therapist. Beyond all things cannabis and mental health, Laura is passionate about developing greater understanding for kindness and acceptance. In her free time, Laura can be found on her yoga mat, in a kayak or singing karaoke.

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