Break Past Procrastination, Panic, and Anxiety

3 Tips for Getting Things Done When Living with Panic Disorder

Many panic disorder sufferers struggle with procrastination. Panic attacks, worry, and anxiety may be getting in the way of your achievements. Don’t let panic disorder symptoms prevent you from accomplishing what you set out to do. Follow these 5 tips for getting things done when living with panic disorder.

1. Get Organized

Disorganization can leave you feeling more anxious and drained than you need to be.

Trying to memorize everything you need to take care of can be a daunting, if not impossible task. Free up some of this mental energy by investing some time and effort into getting more organized. Using organizational tools, such as calendars or day planners, lists, and alarms, can really help you to stay on track with what you need to do. For example, you may want to record your doctor appointments on a calendar, making it less likely you will forget them. You may want to make a list of all your upcoming therapy appointments. Perhaps you can set an alarm on your phone that will remind you to take your prescribed medications for panic disorder.

Getting organized will not only help you with staying on top of things, but it can also help you to get past procrastination. You can use lists and calendars to prioritize and keep track of your progress on tasks. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for you to follow through on what needs to be done.

For instance, if you have been putting off attending counseling, you can use your organizational systems to tackle this task. Start by writing down all the steps you need to take to complete the task and determining a date in your calendar that you will have each task completed by, such as:

  • Call insurance to find out how many sessions are available (Complete by September 2nd)
  • Call to schedule first therapy session (Complete by September 9th)
  • Gather relevant information to bring to first session (Complete by September 15th)
  • Arrange for childcare for evening of first therapy session (Complete by September 23rd)
  • Attend first therapy session (Appointment is scheduled for October 3rd at 7:00pm)

2. Let Go of Worry

Constant worrying can be a real hang up for people with anxiety disorders. Those diagnosed with panic disorder are often troubled by worries. You may notice that you spend a lot of your time worrying about how you could have done things differently in your past or feeling worried about what your future holds. Chronic worrying can negatively impact your mood, contribute to anxiety, and lower your self-esteem. Plus, all this time spent worrying takes you out of the present moment and adds to your issues with procrastination.

Is worry getting in the way of what you hope to achieve? Get through worry by bringing yourself into the present through mindfulness meditation.

Other activities you can try would be some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, visualization, and guided imagery. These techniques can help you relax your body and mind. Relaxation techniques are especially effective when practiced regularly, even at times when worrisome thoughts aren’t a problem.

3. Make Realistic Goals

In order to keep procrastination at bay, it is important to create your own set of concrete goals. Having goals is valuable as it provides you with a sense of direction, purpose, and motivation, all of which can keep you from thing off. When determining your goals, make sure that you stick to realistic accomplishments. Having unrealistic goals can be too intimidating. Plus, if you don’t ever seem to achieve what you set out to do, it can be hard to feel self-sufficient enough to push through procrastination.

An example of an unrealistic goal would be to “completely manage your anxiety by the end of the month.” Even though this goal is pretty unrealistic, that is not to say that it would be impossible for you to learn to better manage your anxiety. To make this goal more realistic, it needs to be broken down into smaller chunks or objectives. Using this example, you can break your overall goal into steps, such as

  • Learn some relaxation techniques through a self-help book or therapy
  • Decide which technique you would like to work on first
  • Practice this technique every other day for a month
  • At the end of the month, determine if this technique helped lessen your anxiety 

For every goal you have, break it down into smaller, measurable, and time-oriented objectives. Each step you achieve will bring you closer to your overall goal of managing your anxiety. Completing each step may also keep you motivated enough to avoid procrastination.

Read ahead for more tips on getting things done when you have panic disorder

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