Do you have so much on your plate that you feel frustrated most of the day, most of the week? Have you ever felt emotionally or mentally drained and wish you knew how to manage this stress? Well, I have a coping skill that may be just what you are looking for. A skill that will help you balance all that is on your plate. A skill that will help you find relief from stress so that you can go on to enjoy your day, and your week.
This skill is called compartmentalizing and it has helped many people find relief from stress and to better manage all the things that they need to balance in their lives. Now, compartmentalizing will not rid you of your stress (that is impossible! Stress is a normal part of life, its inevitable.) but compartmentalizing will help you better manage your stress therefore providing you relief. Here is how it works:
I want you to Imagine all of your responsibilities in your mind. Now, picture in your mind a dresser with multiple drawers/compartments in it. I want you to label each drawer or compartment with one of your responsibilities in each. Then, I want you to close all those drawers or compartments. So, it may look something like this, a compartment for: Work, school, family, social life, significant other, parenting, hobbies, exercise, etc. Hang in there, we are getting to the good part!
The idea of compartmentalizing is that you can only have one drawer/compartment open at one time. For example, when you are at work, you are only focused on work; work is the only compartment that is open. During this time, and only this time, is when you think/deal with the stress that comes with work. You are not focused/thinking about school stress, family stress, or parenting when you are at work. Now, once you leave work, you close that compartment and focus on (open) the next compartment, and that compartment only. Maybe that compartment is school. When you are at school, you are solely focused on school and all the stress that comes with it. The moment that your mind wanders to work stress, or parenting stress, you close those drawers (in your mind) and refocus only on school. Maybe you tell yourself a phrase like, “nope. I am at school right now and only focused on school. Once I leave school, I will open the “parenting compartment” and focus on parenting, but not right now. And tomorrow, when I get back to work, I will worry about the work stress.” And then you refocus on school.
Now, realistically you might have to think about parenting or work when you are at school. But the idea of compartmentalizing is that you are organizing your responsibilities in a way that helps you better manage the stress that comes with them. Give it a try and let me know what you think via email or insta comment!