Mental to-do list doesn't let me rest! - Anxiety and Depre...

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Mental to-do list doesn't let me rest!


Can someone tell me how to stop the ever-expanding to-do list from running nonstop in my head, day and night? I can't even sleep. Insomnia for years now. And the to-do list hardly ever gets tackled anyway. I'm often too frazzled or wiped out to do it (particularly since my breakdown last year). But it's very real and constant: make dinner, go grocery shopping, all the bills that are due that I have no funds for, cleaning the house, doing daughters hair, losing weight, exercising, choosing a new career and getting a job to help Ruth money but I CAN'T work right now due to my condition...but it's nonstop! Some days are better than others, but it really leaves me feeling super frazzled and exhausted. Please advise! Thanks.

8 Replies

*getting a job to help WITH money*, not "Ruth." Who is "Rith?" Lol

hypercat54 in reply to lrperkins

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I understand all the running around! It never ends! We can, however, change the pace in our head! I have to slow way down in order to have any chance at a productive and peaceful day. Decide what task needs to be done now, or 1st, and then proceed with that task until completed and there you go! You can start on the next priority if you want, or stop and pat yourself on the back for completing that task or goal. To me, that’s taking baby steps. I have to think this way when I’m overwhelmed. Live in today only! Focus on your priorities and let the rest go! It takes practice to live like that, but it’s worth the effort. Wishing you peace of mind...🌷🙂🌷

lrperkins in reply to Hidden

I SO appreciate your response--very helpful. Thank you! 😊

Hidden in reply to lrperkins

You’re welcome, my friend 🌺🌺

Hello Dear, I'm so sorry you have this going on. I, too, for many years, was also a mental to do list worrier, and just a constant worrier in general. (I still worry about a lot of things but that has gotten much better). From my experience, and it sounds much like yours, Just the constant worrying in itself is totally exhausting on your body, mind, well being, and over all health. It gets to the point that you feel as though you have just worked 3 full time jobs, yet have nothing to show for it, and nothing has gotten accomplished at all. You are so mentally, and physically exhausted, and too depressed/stressed to be able to function properly, so you just end up giving up all together, and saying why bother starting it when I know I can't get it finished anyway.- (Do these things sound familiar?) I personally think a lot of our mental to do list is not so much about necessarily worrying about the things we need/want to do, but more so us replaying these things over and over in our mind so that we can remember that this needs to be done, or we'd like for these things to be done, etc.

What I ended up doing was Writing my Mental to do lists down either on a piece of paper, or there is an excellent free app for your cell phone called ColorNote that I highly recommend-you can make either a text list or a checklist-I prefer the Checklist because you add the item in, move it up or down on the list, and then you can either delete it when it gets completed, or if it's something that needs to be done weekly or monthly like paying a particular bill, picking up Milk at the grocery, etc. you just touch the item on the list as you complete it or buy it, and the app marks it off, and when you need to remember to do it or buy it again or whatever then you just touch it again, and it will uncheck it, so it's ready to go again. (I use this app for Grocery Lists, Dr's visit questions, etc. and it is a really excellent free app, and you can put each different List in a Different Color). I like to put a word like SKIP or something between the items on the list though because they do sometimes tend to run together if there are a lot of items on there.

Here's why I think this helps. Once your Mental to do list is Written Down you tell yourself that it now becomes a physical not mental issue, so you no longer need to remember and replay it over in your mind, or worry about it mentally any longer because it's all right there written down, right where you left it, and it will be right there when you are ready/able to do it.

As far as the things that you aren't getting done, you don't think they'll get done anytime soon, or can't get done in a day's time etc. you will have to prioritize everything on what is and isn't as important just like Gratitude First said above. :) I move the least important things to the bottom of the list, place the things that are more important, but harder to achieve above those, and then the most important/ easier to achieve things at the top of your list. Start at the top of your list, do the 1st thing on it, and then move on to the next thing, don't stress over the things below the task you are currently working on, take and achieve 1 thing at a time.

Now those things that are in the middle of your list which are those things that take more than a day for us folks who aren't well enough to do it in 1 day, like cleaning the house, washing multiple loads of laundry, etc. Break those things up into smaller more easily doable tasks, and Move them towards the top of your list in the order of priority with what's already up there: like instead of saying I need to clean the house, say on Monday I need to clean the bathroom, Tues clean the kitchen, Wed do 1 load of laundry, Thurs go to the Grocery, etc. this way those things are much easier to achieve and prevents you from becoming completely overwhelmed by telling yourself that an entire house needs cleaning, yet knowing you are not physically able to do it all at the same time. This way you have a plan, you have a routine/schedule, and you have goals that are achievable for you so they will in time get done.

Also if you are sick 1 day and can't do that day's chore, etc. don't stress over it, just move it to the next day for that week only, and do it with the following day's things.

Of course, there will always be some things that are completely out of our control, and all the worrying in the world will not fix, or take care of those things, so we have to let those things go completely, and tell ourselves that we can only do what we can do, and we can NOT do anymore than that. I hope this makes sense. Give it a try, it does help a lot. Best of Luck to you Hun.

Crackerjack4u, I think you're right. My mom used to tell me that same thing all the time, "Write it down!" Thank you for taking the time to respond in detail with examples and reasoning. I'm an analytical thinker and that helps a lot! Will try that app. Thx again😊

You're very welcome. I think you'll really love that app.-(It has made my life so much easier and so much more organized). I use to write things on a sheets of paper, but kept losing my lists, so this is much better because I usually, lol but not always, know where my phone is at. I hope my suggestions help you. Keep us posted on how you're doing, or if you need any help on how to use the app, just let me know. Good Luck, and Hugs

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