Thursday, September 17, 2015

Random thoughts: Keeping anxiety at bay

I am not sure why I was so "kan chong" when school restarted.

I can't seem to keep my mind intact, with my mind drifting to multiple issues concurrently and then feeling very anxious about the amount of things I have on my hand. It is rather scary.

I did 2 mental exercises and I no longer feel chest tightness. It could also well be because this term is actually not as hectic, but nonetheless, I think these 2 methods work.

Every morning, before I start my day, I would write down a list of things I need to complete and those that I want to complete.

Then I will write a personal note to myself documenting how I feel about the day, it could be I am feeling jealous of my colleague who got a teacher's day gift from my favorite pupil, but I got nothing from her (LOL). I can laugh it off now, but I was feeling rather lousy before I pen down my thoughts.
It is also this process of penning down my personal thoughts before I start the day that I wrote that I have problem keeping my mind focus when I seem to need handle multiple issues at the same time.

So, thereafter, I did 2 things.

I allocate work to my staff (LOL)
I allocate time for specific duties.

But there are also many issues that will prop up the mind as and when it comes, like a teaching idea, or there might be sudden issues that need my attention immediately. It is still happening, but I no longer have serious anxiety attack.

When something props up in my mind. I ask if it is related to what I am doing, and if it goes with the flow, I will stop my work and do it. I realized trying to compartmentalizing something for another time is worse, and usually becomes less productivity. For example, although I have planned to do administrative work for project A in the afternoon, but after my lesson, I thought of doing a follow up with another teaching idea, it is better to follow through and carried out what I want to do than leave that idea later and finish the project. The mind could not focus anyway.

However, there are also time when I remembered I need to handle A, B, and C. as I am doing D. What I usually do is insist on finishing C first. Now, if I need to handle A, I will handle A. It is more relaxing to be moving on than trying to leave A for later.

However, if it just an emotional attack of feeling kanchong. I will say this to myself:

1) I -- Zai, just finish this first.
2) If B is cannot be worked because I  am doing A, than B is not meant to be, there is no need to "强求"
3) If I want to cover 4 items in one lesson, I will need to consider the trade-offs, if I can cover only 2, so be it. 3 and 4 are not meant to be even if I am super "kanchong". "Kanchongness" will affect  my 1 and 2 too.
4) What is the worst that can happen? Most probably feeling lousy... Now, I have my morning therapy, it is one thing down.



  1. thanks for sharing this great post !
    writing a to do list seems to be what many management gurus advocate and I was head over heels those days, with post it pad, mind map , note books ,etc.......
    It does give a temporary high.........crossing one task after another.......but more get into the list and the heart beat even faster , attempting to play catch up..........

    And later on.......when more activities are loaded onto the poor piece of paper and the mind spins like 70 disco spotlight.......just imagine......

    Less is more and on hindsight we slowly realise many things are not that urgent and need our attention after all......

    All the best

    1. Hi Mr Chua,

      Thanks for sharing and leaving a comment. Indeed, the guru also shared the 4 quad of urgency and importance.

      At the end of the day, we have so much time. We can give up sleep for something really dear to us, perhaps like a new born baby. But giving up sleep frequently for work? U got to be kidding me.