“What’s up this week?”- How to quick plan to reduce stress and anxiety

Amidst my toddler yelling incoherent jargon, mental fog from pre-coffee wake up, and a sink full of dishes, a lightbulb went off. No, not the one in the ceiling light—that happened last week and is still burnt out—it was the light that flickers when one has a moment of brilliance.

Holding so many things inside my head was taking up so much mental space, and Lord knows I don’t have much of that left anymore since having a baby. Mommy brain is real.

My mind is always so busy spinning in circles, trying to remember events, appointments, and lists that I find my anxiety is frequently running high. But this morning was different. Today I decided to try something new. After my kid was settled in his high chair with breakfast and the Keurig was heating up, I pulled one of the rarely used magnetic note pads off the fridge and grabbed a pen.

I named the page the first thing that came to mind: What’s up this week?

Then I began to make bullet points. Things like Go to Costco and Put away laundry were things I wanted to get done, while Schedule dr appointment and Clean bathrooms were things that needed to get done. At first I didn’t differentiate between need and want, I just transferred the swirling thoughts from my head onto the paper to get them out.

The list wasn’t that long or life-changing, but it gave me a sense of direction for the week and could guide what I would do next. It helped me feel organized, clear-headed, and, most of all, sane. That’s huge for any busy woman.


Feeling in control of your day and week is never easy, and what I do find to be very easy is to let things get out of control pretty quickly. Sometimes it feels like everyone else but us is dictating our lives. For me, a little basic organization reigns the control back in. A few minutes of tidying in the morning and evening, basic lists, and a paper calendar with everything going that sits open on the counter top are a few ways that I’ve found to keep sane.

These methods work for me, but might not work for you. What other basic organizing could you do? Chore charts assign a specific cleaning task to a specific day, ensuring everything gets done in a timely fashion. Family calendars on the fridge with color codes to each person may let you plan ahead so that your life isn’t a last minute rush. One mom I know writes everything on sticky notes and creates an orderly grid on her fridge that allows her to quickly find important things to do, appointments, and future scheduling. So easy, but something I never would have thought of myself.

Making lists or charts might seems like the last thing you want to do on a hectic Monday morning, but planning the week ahead before it starts is guaranteed to make you feel in control and capable of taking it on. With a cup (or two, or three) of coffee in hand, of course.


What are some ways you’ve found to help keep yourself organized?

Dear son, sometimes I forget how little you are.

Dear son, sometimes I wonder if I’m doing motherhood right.

When you’re clinging to my leg whining. When you cry if I take away your toothbrush. If you pinch my cheeks, hit my arms, and bite my legs. If I get frustrated because I don’t know what you want and can’t help when you have a tantrum over it. When you wake up at night, or can’t be soothed when you’re sick. When I get frustrated when you won’t lay still for a diaper change and I throw up my hands in exasperation.

Dear son, sometimes I forget how little you are.

You don’t even have two years of life under your belt, and you don’t know a better way. I forget how hard it is for you to communicate to someone who has been speaking for 31 years. I forget how hard it is to be so small in a world so full of big people and things. Sometimes I forget to look at the world through your eyes, and see that sometimes it’s the little things that can cause big tears, but also big happiness.


Photo via The Milkleech, all rights reserved. No reuse without permission.

Dear son, you make me a better person.

You teach me to slow down and enjoy every moment, because you show me that change happens daily and you won’t be small forever. You show me that some germs and dirt are okay, because nothing is more fun than crawling around a playground or digging for worms in the garden. You remind me how beautiful a single dandelion on a warm spring day can be, or how wondrous it is that a giant metal bird can fly through the sky with the ease of a real one. You demonstrate to me what it means to have one person to be your world, because I am yours, and—truly—you are mine.

Dear son, sometimes I forget how little you are.

So I will try harder every day. Try harder to laugh. Try harder to be patient. Try harder to take a step back. The one thing I don’t have to try harder to do, though, is to love, because my whole heart swells with joy in every smile you give me.

Dear son, I love you.