How Making Lists Can Help Your Mental Health
Day-to-day life can be hectic and overwhelming and, if you’re struggling with mental health, it can be difficult to keep track of all the things you feel you need to do or achieve. Whether it’s your daily routine, fitness schedule, therapy appointments or your work tasks for the day, being mentally healthy often requires being able to organise yourself. This is where list-making comes in handy. Read on to learn how making lists can help your mental health in a variety of ways.
How lists help avoid overwhelm
If you have a lot of things on your mind, making lists can be a great way to take action and ensure you’re getting everything done. Lists help you prioritise and be realistic about your schedule—by giving you a visual representation of what needs to get done, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and distracted by your thoughts.
Easiest way to manage tasks on lists
There’s no doubt that lists are essential for managing tasks, but even more important is how you use them. Making checklists is a simple way of breaking down tasks on a list; for example, instead of writing a task to make dinner, write down the steps you need to achieve to reach this end goal, for example, going to the supermarket, or chopping vegetables. By breaking down each task into its simplest form (yes, even cooking can be overwhelming), you create a sense of accomplishment and clarity—and less stress.
Keep your lists simple, but use them often. Bullet journalling is a popular extension of list-making, allowing you to be mindful about the tasks you are creating. Different symbols represent different actions, and you can roll tasks over to the next day, or not, depending if they still feel important.
Mistakes to avoid when using lists
It’s tempting to include tasks on a list that are completely out of your control or extremely difficult for you to accomplish. This can increase your stress levels and lead to feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Be sure not to include items on your list that are impossible, unnecessary, or outside of your reach so you stay relaxed and confident in successfully completing the realistic achievements on your list.