Disorganization is rampant in our society. It rears its ugly head through anger, chaos, emotional instability, and overwhelmingness. Symptoms include depression, fatigue, financial debt, and even weight gain. Many of these symptoms can be avoided by simply instituting a few basic principles. But first, one must face head-on the answer to the question, “Are you an organized person?”
To determine an answer, answer the following questions:
- Are you normally late to appointments?
- Do you pick up your clothes from the floor?
- Do you return phone calls, emails, and text messages in a timely manner (normally 24 hours)?
- Do you pick up your trash?
- Do you maintain a healthy and consistent exercise program (3 or more times weekly)?
- Do you eat fast food 4 or more times weekly?
- Do you routinely get 7-9 hours of sleep?
- Do you keep a to-do list or schedule of events?
- Do your dishes pile up in the sink?
- Do you complete routine physical, dental, or visual examinations?
- Are you forgetful?
- Are you routinely stressed (anxiety, fear, irritability)?
- Do you routinely feel as if you have lost control?
- Do you believe you are without hope?
- Is your car clean (inside and out)?
- Are you normally fatigued with a reliance on caffeine or sugar to keep you going?
- Are you or have you been in a pattern of weight gain from excess fat?
- Are you forgetful?
If you answered YES to 5 or more, you are likely in a state of chronic disorganization. That may sound harsh to hear or even too blunt. However, in order to get help or get better, one must first admit a need for help and not be ashamed to seek remedy.
If disorganization is not dealt with, one will experience a likely debilitating cascade of events. For example, being routinely late can promote stress which leads to imbalances in the normal responses to life. This in turn creates an overabundance of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). The overabundance of the freeze, fight, or flight hormones leads to dysfunction in the endocrine system, creates systemic inflammation, and leads to a pattern of excess fat gain. As we know, inflammation in itself is a precursor for all sickness and disease.
The important thing to understand is that one disorganized area can lead to others. it is much like a string of dominos falling. When one falls, others in the chain are sure to follow. In short, life can become like a train with a line of boxcars in tow heading for a large canyon.
If life has become like this, there is good news. Things can be turned around. It will take diligence and effort, but it can be done by employing just a few of the following principles/duties:
- Work on arriving at appointments 15 minutes early. This can be done by setting alarms on your cell phone and moving all digital clocks in your car and home at least 15 minutes fast.
- Purpose to sit in silence at least 10 minutes a day. Remove yourself from everything, including spouse, kids, dogs, TV, etc. and listen to quiet. Peace will follow. Start at 1 minute if 10 seems impossible.
- Have a to-do notebook and schedule handy at all times. Write down important things to accomplish, people to call, and places to be. Cross them off the list when complete.
- Pay all bills on time and do not live on credit. Selling things and downsizing may be in order. If you don’t need it, sell it or give it away.
- Declutter your closet by giving away clothes and shoes. If you haven’t worn it in two years, put it in a trash bag to donate.
- Cook at least 3 times weekly and purpose to eat more vegetables and avoid fried foods. This will bring you joy to your heart and health to your body.
- Work on improving sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene (pre-bed routine, soothing baths, cool and dark room, no caffeine or sugar at least 5 hours prior to planned bed time).
- Practice prayer or meditation. Dr. Michele and I reach out to God and ask for help.
- Get a routine physical exam. Most insurance carriers allow one annually without cost.
- Schedule at least 3 walks per week. Work on time and distance later. Enjoy yourself.
- Make a conscious effort to smile and laugh more. There is far too much pain in the world. Make your environment happy.
- Read an inspirational book or blog and purpose to spend time with positive people who lift your spirits.
- Schedule a day to clean your house and car. The cleanliness will lead to satisfaction and joy in your soul.
- Learn to forgive yourself. If you fall down, keep getting up. Do not stay down and feel sorry for yourself.
Remember, to move from disorganization and chaos to organization and order takes to time. It is a journey. I like to say it is a Quest for Wellness. Now is the time to get on this journey and not fall prey to death by disorganization.