One of the simplest ways I’ve found for coping with panic is to formulate a plan.  Often this plan starts with something as simple as a piece of paper, a pen and 15 minutes to write a to-do list.  I have been blessed enough to be very, very busy over the past few months.  And while I am definitely NOT complaining, there have been times where I became somewhat overwhelmed with the volume of producing, writing, business and family projects I was juggling.  And by “overwhelmed” I mean crying hysterically and screaming at my husband to hurry up with the D@#@#$N paper bag for me to breathe into.  And when that happened, I found it most helpful to follow the “steps for coping with panic” pretty much as I’ve been outlining them for you:

1.  Recognizing I’m in panic mode.  (Often facilitated by my husband sheepishly peeking around a corner and asking, “are we in a panic then?” and ducking before the frying pan, encyclopedia or office chair could hit him in the head.)
2.  Doing something physical to blow off some of the adrenalin.  Either teaching an aerobics class, or walking around the block or chasing the dog.
3.  Taking a quiet moment to stop, and take a deep breath so I could think properly.
and then
4.  Taking out a piece of paper and a pencil and writing a to-do list.

Sometimes the list in itself is a little overwhelming.  I had one list before Christmas that got to 43 items that I wanted to do before I left town the next day.  Naturally I had to trim a few things off the list.  And 43 items due the next day is like, um, YIKES!  But somehow writing everything down always helps.  The to-do list is just a beginning step to formulating a plan.  You can manage, prioritize and execute the list a little bit later on.  But somehow knowing what the drama is, in black and white, always seems to calm me down and I think it will help you to.

A to-do list isn’t just about errands.  A to-do list can also apply to life situations that cause you to panic.  So if you’re feeling panic-stricken about your weight (or anything else), take out a piece of paper and a pencil and make a to-do list about all the things you think you should do about it.  Don’t worry if these things are attainable or logical or reasonable at this point.  Just write down every crazy idea you have about what you should do about your weight (or whatever is bothering you).  Then fold the list up and put it away until tomorrow.  We’ll deal with it then.  Happy list making…

The Fat Chick

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