Recently, I've gotten questions about my newest whiteboard––a whiteboard that has a five-week fill-it-in-yourself calendar, space on the side for a list and a corkboard strip at the bottom.
"Do you really need that?"
"Can't you just use your phone?"
"Are you preparing to be a teacher?"
I'm not offended by any of the questions because all of them give me a chance to explain my madness (and are typically asked jokingly).
Yes, I do "really need" it. I need that representation of the next five weeks in a clear way for me to see, not on a small screen or within the confines of what I can do on an app. Honestly, I need more than one color for it, too, but that's something I'm working on.
Yes, I can "just use my phone," and I do. I use it for single-day events and as a quick reminder for things, but I don't want my calendar cluttered with days-long events like "boi out of town" or weekend events like "paint with parents."
No, I'm not "preparing to be a teacher," but I wouldn't be upset if that's where my life takes me. Having the preparation beforehand can't exactly be bad, and my ability to remember important dates is as bad as an elementary schooler's.
I'm managing my anxiety in the best way I know how.
One of the biggest anxiety triggers for me is time. I don't know if I can properly explain what it is about time that makes my chest squeeze and my head spin, but it does.
The best thing I've learned about managing that specific anxiety is taking as detailed notes as possible about what I have to do. If that means having a whiteboard calendar, my phone calendar and a list of important dates and what those are on my OneNote, then that's what it means for me.
My new whiteboard calendar for my anxiety about time isn't the only organizational habit I've recently picked up. My closet is color- and weather-coordinated because that way I don't have to spend as much time in the morning fretting about what to wear.
Having it organized and sorted like that helps me in the mornings when I'm self-conscious and hate everything about myself. It makes it easier for me to find my comfort clothing, which sometimes is the only thing keeping a bad morning from turning horrendous.
Ten years ago, I would have laughed at the idea of being this organized. Ten years ago, I didn't realize I had anxiety.
Today, I would not be able to function without my organizational tools. Today, I'm still finding ways of better managing my anxiety.
It's really a life-long process, but man has organizing my life made my anxiety so much easier to deal with.