4. Put worry on a schedule
“In today’s busy world, we don’t have time to do normal worrying until the lights go out,” says Mary Susan Esther, MD, director of the Sleep Center at South Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Yet everyone needs a worry time,” she adds. The trick is to schedule it on a regular basis, early in the evening—any time before 8 p.m.
Sit down with a stack of 3 x 5 index cards and ask yourself, “What am I worried about?” Then write down one worry on each card. When you seem to have written down your last worry, go back to the first card, reflect on the worry it describes, and give yourself a reality check.
Does the worry involve a problem that you can do something about? If not, rip up the card. If there is something you can do, write down possible actions and tuck the card into a worry box. You can give it more thought in the morning and decide what to do.