How to Feel in Control

Everyone has those moments – or days, or weeks, or even months – when they feel like everything is out of their control. Sometimes it can feel like one is still a little kid, being shoved into the role of an adult with no training at all. Everyone can and probably does feel this way, at some point or another. So, I’ll share here my tricks for feeling like I’m on top of things.

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I write on my whiteboard.

I have a whiteboard with a slot for each day of the week. I keep it on the wall at my eye level by my bedroom door. I don’t typically use it to plan things day-by-day, though. I just write the most important or time-sensitive things that need to be done on it, and as I erase them, I feel better and better. When the board remains full, it’s a reminder that I still have something to complete.

Now, maybe a planner or paper calendar or phone calendar would be better for you. But having reminders in places where they are easily and frequently visible is the adult equivalent of your mom’s nagging. However, unlike your mom’s nagging, you’re more likely to complete the task not just to get her to stop, but also because you know it’s on you to do it. It shifts the responsibility, which makes you more likely to do what needs to be done.

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I care for myself.

I shower. I wash my face. I moisturize. I take my medications. I dress in a way that makes me feel good and comfortable. I wear a perfume that I find delightful. Some days I wear makeup. I eat things that make me feel good. I go to the gym. I make my bed every morning. I try my best to keep my room organized.

Ever notice how you’re exhausted on the days you do absolutely nothing? When you accomplish little tasks, like getting dressed, or taking your meds, or making your bed, it can lead to increased productivity. Because you’ve already accomplished something, no matter how small, you’ll feel more capable to accomplish bigger things. (Making your bed is a big one. Your bedroom always looks twenty times better when your bed is made. It’s a big piece of furniture, and the namesake of the room. Treat it nicely.)

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I journal.

Now, this could fall under the umbrella of self-care. But hear me out. Journaling is, for me, a multi-step process; I type my journal entries first, and write them out by hand later. Typing my journal entries soon after the events or ideas have occurred to me ensures there will be depth and detail to my writing. But it’s writing out the words using a pen and a pretty journal that’s cathartic for me. As I reread the words, I feel those emotions again, but I also can look at them in hindsight, and with a more objective eye. It is a release and an examination in one. Keeping track of my doings and emotions ensures that these will not be forgotten, and the emotions will be processed. This leads to more success in other areas for me.

 

I reward myself when I finish a task.

This is key. When I finish my homework, or cleaning my bathroom, or my laundry, or what have you, I reward myself. Sometimes this reward is lighting a candle and reading a book. Sometimes it’s internet-related. Sometimes I watch my favorite show. Sometimes I’ll take a nap. But no matter what, if I’ve done something productive, I will in some way reward myself.

Rewarding yourself is a good thing, in moderation. For one thing, it’s a break between one activity and another, both of which may or may not be palatable, with something you do enjoy. For another, it is a way of showing yourself appreciation for what you’ve done. Appreciation is vital to any relationship – including that with the self. It’s easier to complete a task when you know something pleasant is waiting for you once you’re finished.

 

These are some of my tips and tricks for maintaining a sense of order and control in my life. Write a comment below if you do the same, if you try one of these methods and how it went, or your own ways of staying on top of your game. I can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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Student. DC area native. Lover of literature, my rescue dog, good food, and the sea.

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