Over 50s Lifestyle WOTY 2023 - TIME

Strategies to stop ‘worry’ stealing your time.

January 16, 2023
Strategies to stop worry stealing your time

Do you worry about little things? My darling Mum was a worrier and I inherited that ‘gene’ too, although I’m getting better at handling worry and anxiety as I age.

My Word of the Year is using my TIME wisely and I recognise that worry robs us of our valuable time and joy. Unnecessary worry isn’t good for either our mental health or our physical wellbeing. Worry can manifest itself with stress and anxiety and affect our ability to relax or in extreme case function effectively on a daily basis. It affects our sleep as we lie awake with thoughts racing through our mind. It affects our eating – some of us turn to comfort food or the opposite where we find we can’t eat because of all the butterflies in our stomach.

Stress has been proven to result in physical illness, some chronic. It raises our blood pressure and whilst a little stress is good for us too much can lead to more serious issues.

Strategies to stop ‘worry’ stealing your time

As I mentioned above. I’m prone to worry however, I’ve been working on strategies that have worked for me and hopefully may work for you. I find that if I am worrying about something, I try to rationalise it. I try to take action rather than let it become bigger than what it really is.

  1. Is it a worry or a concern? Worry can paralize us as it comes from a base of negativity and fear. Concern puts the focus on possible outcomes.
  2. Is it something I can change? – If not, then I have to find ways to let it go
  3. Am I worrying about something little to avoid focusing on a bigger issue?
  4. If I’m struggling to overcome the worry, I talk to someone. They usually can provide a different perspective or help.
  5. I go for a run or do some form of movement to release the worry from my mind.
  6. Writing down your thoughts, working through what you are worried about can also help
  7. If worry is taking over and you feel you can’t cope, seeking professional help is important
  8. Taking time to meditate or listen to calming music
  9. Taking time to breathe slowly inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 4 counts can help our body relax
  10. Will my worry today be worth the time I’m using? Will I look back in the future and wonder why I worried?

How do you handle worrying thoughts? As always I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share your ideas with me and the community so we can help and support each other.

Have a beautiful day everyone 💕💕

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

36 Comments

  • Reply Retirement Reflections January 16, 2023 at 07:37

    Hi, Sue – I believe that your worry is also how concerned and caring you are for everyone around you. I like the strategies that you shared here. They make much sense. Sending big hugs and much love your way.

  • Reply OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com January 16, 2023 at 08:11

    I am a grand worrier who comes from a long line of grand worriers. It is inbred. Something in our DNA. My mother worried herself positively crazy. I’m not that bad…YET. And even though I am on medication for OCD – mostly for ruminating, I still do it. I know it is unproductive, makes me physically sick, is a colossal waste of time but I can’t help it. I worry when there is nothing to worry about. Ha!! Which is most of the time, thank goodness.
    My dad always told me to go for a walk when I was most upset. Living in Panama so far from home during some pretty scary times of social unrest in that country, he would advise me to go for a walk, get some exercise when I was most upset. Your tips are very sound. I need to remember them and act on them the next time I am nibbling on my cuticles with worry.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 16, 2023 at 08:20

      Hi Leslie, it is so difficult to overcome worry when we are predisposed to be this way. I know I am and it is always a difficult job for me to overcome. I try theses strategies to help me although sometimes they work and other times they don’t. We can only try can’t we? Take care my friend. x

  • Reply Toni Pike January 16, 2023 at 09:25

    Hi Sue, a very insightful article – I’ve always been the same, but I think I’ve improved recently. I find meditation has helped me a lot. I think the Covid period didn’t do my mental health any good, but trying to turn things around now. love, Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:14

      Hi Toni, I believe that COVID has had a detrimental affect on many of us with our mental health. It is difficult to turn around but if we keep trying and don’t put too much pressure on ourselves we will get there. xx

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt January 16, 2023 at 09:44

    Wow, Sue, your post couldn’t be more timely! Worry is such a destructive force (I know, I worry). I am preparing an article for our local newspaper on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the pastor of our church is doing a series on mental health (today’s was anxiety, a close cousin to “worry”). I’ve got your article bookmarked so I can use it as a source for my article. Thank you for the tips. Excellent question to ask if I’m worrying about something I can’t change. My favorite is the quote at the end!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:15

      Hi Terri, I’m so pleased you found the post helpful. These are strategies I try to use although sometimes they work and other times I still struggle. Thanks for bookmarking my post and for leaving your comment. Take care xx

      • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt January 20, 2023 at 11:33

        It was great to see your post and so timely with my article. I’m nearly finished with it and I’m using a couple of your ideas that you list to help relieve symptoms of SAD and anxiety. Great stuff!

        • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 12:06

          Well done you having an article published. xx

          • Terri Webster Schrandt January 20, 2023 at 12:35

            Thank you, Sue. I’ve become a part time reporter for our local monthly newspaper. Perfect vocation for me now!

          • Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 17:07

            Oh that is wonderful. I’d love to try something like that. Well done! x

          • Terri Webster Schrandt January 21, 2023 at 01:17

            Thanks, Sue. It’s the perfect part-time gig and a great way to get to know my small town. I could see you writing a fitness column 😀

          • Sue Loncaric January 21, 2023 at 05:10

            I would love that. Perhaps I should investigate where I live although in Brisbane a large city, I believe local papers have died out. Good for you though and best wishes. x

  • Reply leannelc January 16, 2023 at 10:32

    Hi Sue – I’ve always been a worrier and funnily enough I don’t get it from my mother. She’s a classic middle child who goes with the flow and always says “worry about it when it happens”. I think my worrying comes from the oldest child/people pleasing gene. One of the many blessings of Midlife has been that I’ve finally let go of worrying about the little stuff – the big stuff still gets to me, but your point number 10 is one I use a lot these days.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:16

      Many of us appear to be worriers Leanne and it is something I think I will always struggle with. I won’t give up trying not to worry as much but accept the fact that intrinsically I worry. xx

  • Reply Jo Wright January 16, 2023 at 20:27

    Spot on Sue. My Mum is a pessimistic worrier, always looking for the worst case scenario. Growing up, I found this attitude very negative and actively focused on being the opposite, but as I’m getting older, I find myself worrying during quiet times. I find that asking myself ‘can I do something about it or is it out of my hands?’ helps me either accept what I cannot change or be proactive in addressing it, depending on the worry. All of your strategies are useful and I use number 10 myself, very handy when I’m about to chair a meeting or some form of public speaking.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:17

      Hi Jo, thanks so much for you comment and a few readers have commented about using number 10. Worry is something that can be all consuming if we allow it to take hold. For me it will always be a WIP but I continue to try. Have a lovely weekend xx

  • Reply patwdoyle11 January 17, 2023 at 02:53

    Sue, I too am a worrier. I run “what if scenarios” in my head all the time. I’ve got a huge worry going on right now… one I cannot do anything about! It was helpful to read your strategies and see which ones I might apply to this big worry. Great strategies!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:18

      Hi Pat, from the comments I see we aren’t alone and there are many ‘worriers’ out there. I’ve shared what helps me although they aren’t always successful. I do try to remember the strategies and implement them as best I can. Thanks for visiting and best wishes for 2023. xx

  • Reply Debbie January 17, 2023 at 08:55

    Hi Sue, I can relate to your post as I’m a worrier too but I try hard to put things into context and not overthink it all – easier said than done. My husband is the opposite and just goes with the flow and doesn’t understand what I’m worrying about all the time! Your suggestions were all spot on, so many thanks. I agree with Donna, you are a very caring person! Sending hugs to you xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:19

      Thanks Deb, wouldn’t it be great to be like Grant? Life would be so easy if we could control our worries and it is a struggle for me at times. We can only but try can’t we? xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 18, 2023 at 16:54

    Hi Sue. I was a worrier in my younger days but I gave that up in my 50s when I realised that worrying wouldn’t fix a problem. Like you getting out doors and exercising are my ways to mull over a problem. Great insightful post Sue

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:21

      Hi Jen, it seems many of us have been worriers and some have been able to overcome that which is great. I have my moments when my strategies work and other times when they don’t. You just have to keep trying don’t you? Have a lovely weekend. xx

  • Reply Susanne January 18, 2023 at 23:23

    I’m a worrier by nature but have worked on it in recent years because since the arrival of Covid, I would be suffocated by worry otherwise. Now I manage to push things aside if they’re not a real threat I need to worry about – and I’m learning to steer my thoughts in another direction and focus on other things. If I can’t control it in any way, then there’s no point in worrying about it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:23

      Hi Susanne, I think COVID certainly made us take stock and re-evaluate how we live our lives. Worry can be so unhealthy and I won’t say that I never worry now, I do. I just try to use some strategies to get through it. x

  • Reply Georgina Caro : Gypsy Soul January 19, 2023 at 00:04

    Hi Sue,
    I found your blog through the Wednesday Words & Pics link up.
    Movement is so important when you feel overwhelm or stressed as we store our emotions in our body. It allows us to release anything that no longer serves us as well as raising our vibration. Great blog thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:24

      Welcome Georgina and it is lovely to connect with you. I find movement is the best strategy for me, although if I’m deeply worried about something it can have a paralyzing affect. Thanks so much for your comment and look forward to reading more of your blog. xx

  • Reply Min Write of the Middle January 19, 2023 at 14:42

    Great tips Sue! I’m prone to worry too, and I’ve sure had a lot of it lately with Mum not well and lots of tragedy around me last year (family and friends). My daily yoga/pilates/meditation practice helps a lot and just recently I added lying on an acupressure mat during my meditation time which I am loving! Savasana on the acupressure mat with my noise cancelling airpods in – heaven! I plan on getting into more walking too – now that my foot is hopefully on the mend. I also want to get fitter in readiness for NZ in May. Moving the body is critical to looking after our minds I have found. Hope you are well and I hope 2023 is a good year for you! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:24

      Hi Min, I know you struggle with worry too and you have had so much on your plate recently. NZ will be wonderful for you to plan and enjoy. Take care of yourself and take time for you when you can xx

  • Reply Jo January 20, 2023 at 08:14

    I’m actually getting worse with dealing with it as I get older. I never thought I was an anxious person, but I’m changing that opinion of myself. Moving helps, but on my list this year is to try meditation and make yoga more than the occasional treat I give my body.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:25

      Hi Jo, I struggle with meditation although it can be calming if you forget about ‘trying to clear your mind’. I love yoga and movement of course always helps. I accept I will always worry but I can do things to lessen the mental load. xx

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs January 20, 2023 at 11:19

    So many comments here Sue of understanding exactly what you wrote about. I see that most, if not all of us, are ‘worriers’. It can be such a draining feeling when we worry about things so much our health takes a battering. I sure do know much of what I worry about is mostly out of my control, and just understanding that has helped me. I find writing about it takes it from my mind and onto paper…in my private journal. I can also look back and see how things actually were after the event etc.

    Thank you for your blog post shared on Wednesday’s Words and Pics this week. I do appreciate your support. I hope to see you next week too. Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 12:05

      I agree Denyse, I’m certainly not alone in the ‘worrier’ category. I have listed the strategies but sometimes even they don’t work and I have to retreat into my own world for a time. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee February 4, 2023 at 07:49

    I am working on this with my sister – she has some new medicine that disrupted her mood stabilisers. It’s hard to try and get her to focus on NOW as her brain is clambering all over may different ‘future’ scenarios. I keep telling her just to think no further than 6pm today. Any thought concern with after that time, leave it till tomorrow. Then when she gets to 6pm, pick a new time frame. It might be 7pm or 8am the next day and so on. It’s trying to get her to enjoy what she’s doing rather than bring in things to ruin that enjoyment.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 5, 2023 at 09:44

      Worry can be so debilitating, Lydia – I know because that is how it affects me. I like your idea of putting a timeframe in place for your sister to focus on. Sending you both best wishes. x

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