Keeping Busy for Peace of Mind

Honestly, I have been pretty moody this week. The days have felt like eternities. There was almost too much time to think.

I often sat or laid down and said to myself that I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what to do.

I have been trying to do something meaningful or fun every day, but when the days are so long, my thoughts start to wander and I feel my mind and limbs going restless. While this can be natural, I do not like to let myself get to this point for the sake of my mental health. Over the past few years I have learned that it is VERY important to recognize and assess my feelings throughout the day. My anxiety always start with a weird thought and the sooner I recognize it and make adjustments, the less likely I am to fall on my face.

In an effort to avoid such feelings I want to create a list of the little things I can do to find happiness during my down time. I hope to look at this list regularly when I feel some restlessness, anxiety, or depression coming on. This list is definitely more geared towards my stay in Puerto Rico, but I plan on going back and adding ideas as my life situation changes.

  1. Draw a silly picture
  2. Watercolor
  3. Paint my nails/Self-care
  4. Find a DIY project
  5. Write a blog post/journal
  6. Write a love letter to my husband
  7. Write thank you cards to my family members/friends
  8. Plan out my week/month
  9. Call Mom & Dad
  10. Contact friends via social media, text, or phone call just to catch up
  11. FamilySearch
  12. Read at the beach
  13. Read my scriptures
  14. Say a good, long, meaningful prayer
  15. Listen to an audio book
  16. Read my books on Puerto Rican history
  17. Get a head start on homework
  18. Read Mere Christianity
  19. Go through old pictures
  20. Collect recipes online or from family
  21. Bake a treat
  22. Meal prep
  23. Make food to give away
  24. Make an elaborate meal
  25. Identify what food I am craving and eat it
  26. Eat some ice cream (Yes, it deserves its own bullet.)
  27. Plan out my weekly meals
  28. Research a new fun place to eat
  29. Go on a walk/jog
  30. Go swimming
  31. Explore the city
  32. Go shopping!
  33. Do an exercise video
  34. Learn to dance
  35. Watch Beyonce music videos
  36. Listen to and memorize the words to songs in Spanish
  37. Create a new playlist
  38. Update my LinkedIn account
  39. Have a movie night at home
  40. Go to the movies
  41. Binge watch a new exciting series
  42. Make lists: books to read, places to go, movies to see, groceries to buy…
  43. Add to my overall bucket list & make a plan to accomplish it
  44. Clean/organize
  45. Take note of service projects in the area
  46. Plan a day-trip
  47. Research graduate schools
  48. Look for future employment opportunities
  49. Get all dressed up & go out for a bit
  50. Do something nice for Ellie (my internship partner)

Just writing this list has helped me to feel better. And surprisingly, the idea of publishing it makes me feel even better. The truth is that I have written lists like this before. But I always lose track of them. By posting this list, I feel more responsible for the little choices that I am making every day.

**I would love to receive more suggestions!**

3 thoughts on “Keeping Busy for Peace of Mind

  1. Debbie says:

    That’s an awesome list, Erika! I’m going to use some of yours to add for me to do. I’m a lot older than you though, so my in between time usually ends up being a nap .😴 Not much extra time to get bored.
    How about adding a Gratitude Journal?
    Keep up the great work!

    Love you!
    Aunt Debbie


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