The changing of seasons is upon us. As September fast approaches, many of us are starting to look at the change of summer to fall routines. While this can look different for everyone (adding back in school routines and extracurriculars, maybe a slower time without travel or plans every weekend, or maybe just a change in sleep-wake routines as the days get shorter), many of us will start to plan and prep for the change, which can lead to worry mode.
When I find myself stuck in worry mode, I try to remind myself of a few things.
- Worry actually has an evolutionary purpose. It is intended to help us prepare for what’s to come or reflect back and adjust if something didn’t go well.
- I choose when I’m on the “worry channel,” and I have the power to turn it off.
- Worry is there to remind me that something needs to be looked at, reflected on or prepared for, but once I’ve created the plan and prepared, I can give myself permission to turn it off.
In recent weeks, I have found myself worrying more. Worrying about what to bring to a family event, about cleaning the house for friends to come over, about what fall will bring for my own schedule. I’ve realized that worry often leads to a feeling of overwhelm. I followed the steps below to help me shift out of overwhelm back into a more balanced state.
Steps to shift out of worry:
- Name, own and acknowledge worry. Notice it! And take a breath.
- Get curious – what are you worrying about? Grab a sheet of paper and write down ALL the things you’re worrying about – maybe split it into categories or find the common themes. I love using colored pens or highlighters for this.
- Tackle them one by one. With each worry, identify what is in your control vs. what is out of your control? For items in your control, list out what you can plan or prepare (i.e. writing a packing list for that upcoming trip, typing up a back to school supplies list for your family, etc.).
- For items out of your control, I wish I had a magic wand! But those items are what we can learn to let go, release and move forward. Or ask a friend! Maybe someone in your circle has an expertise or fresh perspective on the “uncontrollables” and can give you ideas.
- Once you’ve completed steps three and four, it is time to get off the worry channel. Again, worry has a purpose – to help us plan and prepare! If you’ve done steps three and four, you’ve done what you can; it’s time to let go and release the worry/overwhelm. Introducing a mind/body practice to bring you back to balance will be helpful. Maybe you do this with a self care practice, a mindful activity, a leisure activity, listening to music, scheduling a massage or something else that works for you. This can be the hardest step!
Learning new mindful habits is a journey. Try the steps above and remember it’s like developing a muscle. Your mind may want to go right back into worrying, and that’s normal. Aim to purposefully and intentionally remind yourself you’ve done the planning/preparing and jump to step five!
If you find you need more help with getting off the worry channel, check out the resources below, book a consult session with Maria Serbus LLC, or connect with a local mental health professional.
I will be hosting workshops and webinars this fall to help you worry and stress less so you can enjoy life more!
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Worry Less Resources:
If you want more tools & information on this topic, message me and ask about the ‘Worry Less, Smile More’ masterclass to watch on demand.
Maria Serbus is the CEO of Maria Serbus, LLC. She focuses on helping motivated, driven women overcome stress and overwhelm through mind-body practices to enjoy the life they live now.
mariaserbus.com | @maria.serbus