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The Night Before List

When something's creating anxiety for me, I have trouble sleeping. For years I would either stay up half the night and then wake up after a few hours of sleep, or take a Tylenol PM and I'd sleep for a few hours and wake up anyway.

Every Sunday, almost, I have Sunday Dread. It's that anxiety that builds when you're starting the week with a lot of unknowns, work you haven't completed, things you might have missed, and things you need to do really well. 

And I'd add in this: the fear of judgment by others.

Anxiety isn't always easy to deal with, but there's a way I handle it now, and it makes a big difference. Step away from the computer. Turn off the TV. Go to a diner if a change of space will help you. 

Write down the following:
  • --What's worrying you
  • --What's the worst thing that can happen
  • --What you will do if that worst thing happens--what are the consequences and how do you pick up from there?
  • --The likelihood of the worst happening. 
That's for the big stuff. For the other stuff--the dogs nipping at your heels, write this:
  • --your plan for the week--what's critical? What's not? 
  • --specific things you need to get done Monday to make the rest of the week successful
  • --people you feel you need to be in touch with
  • --any possible complications
It's just an exercise. You might keep the paper, you might throw it away.

I keep it because I work from it in the morning, just after I've gotten up from a good sleep :) I don't know why it works, but it does--settles the mind. 

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