During Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s continue to chat about organizing and mental health. Many individuals who struggle with anxiety and/or depression feel like their life – from their schedule to their personal space – is out of control. Depression and anxiety significantly affect one’s ability to organize and stay organized. However, organizing your life will improve your mental health. Here are tips for organizing with anxiety or depression:
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
It’s first important to understand the symptoms of anxiety and depression and how they affect you in your ability to get and stay organized. Can you relate with any of the following symptoms?
Lack of motivation:
Depression can make it difficult to find the motivation to get things done. When tasks pile up, it can feel overwhelming, and this can lead to disorganization and an inability to prioritize.
Anxiety can cause difficulty in concentrating, which can make it hard to focus on tasks that require attention to detail or require long-term planning.
Both depression and anxiety can affect memory, making it difficult to remember important details or deadlines. This can lead to missed appointments or forgotten tasks, which can contribute to disorganization.
Anxiety can cause people to avoid certain tasks or situations that cause them stress or discomfort. This can lead to procrastination, which can make it difficult to stay organized and on top of tasks.
Perfectionism is a common trait in people with anxiety or depression. It can lead to spending too much time on small details and not enough time on the big picture. This can lead to disorganization and difficulty completing tasks on time.
TIPS FOR ORGANIZING WITH ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION
Don’t try all the tips at once! Just beginning by incorporating one or two tips into your life will make a big difference in helping you to organize your life and space.
Create a daily routine:
Establishing a daily routine can help you stay organized and reduce stress. Try to wake up at the same time each day, establish a mealtime routine and other such routines, and schedule in regular exercise or self-care time.
Utilize a planner or calendar:
Using a planner or calendar can help you keep track of appointments, deadlines, and daily tasks. Write down your schedule, to-do list, and any other important information so that you can refer to it throughout the day.
Break tasks into smaller steps:
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, breaking larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps can help you feel more in control. If you have ADHD, then you know there are specific challenges in this area. Here are some solutions for ADHD challenges. Focusing on smaller steps will help you to tackle each task one at a time. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Make sure you take time for yourself each day. Whether it’s going for a walk, meditating, or taking a relaxing bath, prioritize self-care to help manage your anxiety or depression.
When your surroundings are under control and peaceful, you are able to think better and be more present in the moment.
KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND
Remember to keep focusing on the end goal:
There are always distractions and the feeling of defeat can quickly derail you in the process of decluttering. Prioritize the big picture will help you to keep you on track, even when you lose some of the excitement or energy. It’s important to use these tips to stay on track and avoid distractions.
Big picture focus:
A state of order can be very beneficial for those with anxiety and depressive disorders. Our clients tell us “a weight is lifted” when their spaces are organized and they are given tools to manage their stuff in the midst of their depression. Stuff takes up mental energy and managing anxiety and depression takes up a lot of mental energy. Having your surroundings in order allows you the mental energy to focus on the things you need to give your time to. We know this takes courage to step out and ask for help and we promise you that there are those that can help!
Ask for help:
If you can relate with any of the symptoms above, we strongly encourage you to seek support from a mental health professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Reaching out for help takes courage, just make sure that you are asking a qualified individual to assist you! You need to be respected and valued, know that you are not alone, hear that you are brave and strong, and feel connected and understood. We value our whole client and this is why we take our collaborations with mental health professionals so seriously.
A great resource for you to find a professional organizer:
If you are not in Central or Charlottesville, Virginia, NAPO’s Pro Directory is always our go-to recommendation to find a professional organizer near you. If you are near us though, you know where to find us! We want you to be able to feel the weight lifted with an organized space and given the tools to help you stay organized.
While depression and organizing appear to have a complicated relationship, organization really can help with anxiety and depression. These tips for organizing with anxiety or depression can help you to create a more organized and less stressful life.