If you're like me, you have to plan out your day and what you're going to do ahead of time (sometimes days in advance) in order to stay sane and prevent yourself from stressing out. I am that person that stresses out over everything. I try to internalize it most of the time, but then it ends up building up in me until I have a breakdown. I have little tricks that I do everyday in order to stay feeling cool as a cucumber and like I'm on top of things so I prevent as much stress from consuming my life as possible. Here they are:
1. Have a to-do list. This may seem like a cliche or pointless, but it really does help me. I have a to-do list that is 7 days long and I cross off things as I complete them. I use this mainly for school related things as well as my bills. For my bills, I write it all down by month and then write down a week-by-week list of the dates certain bills are due and how much so I'm not caught off guard and can make sure I use my money wisely. Also, keep a calendar and write down important meetings, appointments, etc., so that you remember and are prepared for them.
2. Stay ahead. This mainly pertains to school, but I try to stay about 2-3 days ahead (sometimes more) with homework, projects, etc., so that I can make sure I really am prepared and I can fix and revise later if necessary. It also allows for more time to be focused on bigger assignments and projects.
3. Take time to chill. I usually like to take time to just "dumb down" for about an hour or two a day where I'll watch a show or something. Having a distraction like that really does help me relax and unwind. Making sure you have time to relax truly is important for mental and emotional health. The trick is to plan when you're going to take that relaxation time and for how long so that you don't go overboard with it or feel like you're wasting too much time. You can also use this time to do some sort of hobby or activity. I love to make DIY quote pictures so if I have time to relax sometimes I'll do that.
4. PRAY. If you're religious at all, I find that praying everyday really helps my day go more smoothly. They're especially best when your intent is to have an actual conversation with the Lord. It seems to kind of be a way of venting when I just have a conversation with Him in my prayers and helps me feel a million times better.
5. Keep a journal. This is something I've been doing EVERYDAY since January 1, 2007. Having a journal is another method of releasing stress and allows me to evaluate what my day was like and if I had a particularly bad or stressful day how to learn from it and make similar days in the future more manageable.
6. Wake up at a relatively early time. Usually (because of school) I'm awake before 8am. Even without school I still try to be up no later than 8am. Now, I don't do this all the time. Some days I just need to sleep in later to catch up on sleep. If I do this, it's usually on Saturday, but I still try to not sleep later than 10am even then. My boyfriend told me about a quote he heard in class that basically says that what and how much you get done before noon everyday will kind of exemplify how successful you will be. I agree with this quite a bit. I know that sometimes there are days where for the sake of your health and your sanity you need to just be a couch potato in the morning, but overall I do agree that getting as much done in the morning as possible helps the rest of your day go super well.
7. Work out. I have super bad anxiety and one of the things that helps me is working out. However, I also have some health issues so lately I haven't been on top with it. When I'm not dealing with health issues, I work out 6 days a week because it seriously makes my stress seem like it's no big deal and it's also great for your self esteem and confidence when you're taking care of yourself. If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.
There you have it! My tricks to staying feeling "on top!" I'll be honest, there are some days where I may stray from this a little bit, but overall I find that using these tricks helps my life feel less chaotic and if you use them, it'll help you feel the same! As the great Bob Marley said: "Don't worry 'bout a thing. Cause every little thing is gonna be alright."