Self-Care for Professional Organizers: Managing Worry

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a worried woman

As the owner of your own business, it’s natural that you’ll feel worried from time to time. How can I get more clients? Am I charging the right amount for my services? What if I get too busy to serve my clients properly? What if I’m not good enough?

And your business probably isn’t the only thing you worry about. Depending on your personal situation, you may also worry about your children, your relationships with others, your finances and many other things. For some reason, women seem to be even more susceptible to excessive worrying. However, we need to realize that excessive worrying is a danger in itself.

There are many health problems that can arise when we allow ourselves to worry too much. Although it is normal to worry, when you find yourself worrying about something practically all day, every day, it can lead to many different health problems. Some of the illnesses that can result from stress and worry include:

  • Anxiety Attacks
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Physical Illness
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Muscle Tension
  • Weak Immune System
  • Premature Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Memory Loss

Keep in mind that this is not a complete list! As you need to remain in good health for the benefit of both your family and your business, it’s essential that you learn how to manage your worry. Here are a few things that can help:

Eat Right:

Some people tend to overeat when they’re worried about something. Others consume foods that aren’t good for them, or even skip meals altogether. It’s important to make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day, but also make sure you aren’t overdoing it either. Focusing on eating a healthy, balanced diet helps take your mind off of the things you’re usually worrying about, and helps keep you in good physical health as well.


Exercising has a way of making us feel better. When you exercise, you give your mind a break and release chemicals within your body that work to improve your immune system. It can benefit you in many ways, including increased energy level and stamina, reduced anxiety, tension and depression, better sleep and lower stress levels.

I love to walk, but sometimes I think I’m too busy and don’t have time. However, I’ve found that when I go out and walk alone or with a friend for an hour or so before beginning my workday, I’m actually more productive! I don’t know if it’s a result of the physical activity or if it’s because I work harder to make up the time – all I know is that it works!


Make time to relax every day, whether you choose to read a book, watch television, soak in the bathtub or work on your favorite hobby. The key is that you take the time to do whatever it is that relaxes you every day. Even if you can only find 20 minutes, it will help reduce your worrying tremendously.

I’ve chosen to keep my evenings free for personal activities, unless I have a speaking engagement, am attending a business event, or am facing a really tight deadline. No matter how much you love your work, life is too short to spend it all working!

No man on his death bed ever looked up into the eyes of his family and friends and said, I wish I’d spent more time at the office. – Author Unknown


Meditation has been around for centuries and is well-known for its therapeutic powers. To meditate correctly, you must be in a quiet place and be still. You must clear your mind and concentrate on nothing but the present. This means that you must not allow your mind to think about anything that may happen in the future or has happened in the past.

I have to confess, the only time I’ve been able to meditate was as part of a yoga class, and even then, I had trouble keeping my mind clear. However, for many people, daily meditation is very effective in helping manage worry and stress.

Get Counseling:

If you’ve tried all of the above strategies, but still struggle with excessive worrying, consider seeing a therapist. Sometimes just having someone to talk to will help, but sometimes excessive worrying is a symptom of an anxiety disorder, which can be treated.

Just as your clients seek your professional help for their organizing challenges, you should not be afraid to seek professional help if you need it.

Managing your stress level is critical to staying healthy! Do it for your family, do it for your business, and do it for yourself.

How do you keep your worrying under control?

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Join the Conversation


  1. Tracy Tracy on October 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Great tips, Janet!!
    Prayer is my favorite stress reliever. I can give all of my stress and worry over to the God who is in control and big enough to handle the situation that I am worried about. Being grateful and thanking God and others out loud for all the things I DO have gives me a fresh perspective, too! 🙂

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on October 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

      Thanks for sharing, Tracy! That’s an especially good message today, as we Canadians are celebrating Thanksgiving. 🙂

  2. Avatar Julia Wooster on November 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Reiki can also help with relaxation. Speaking from experience, after my first Reiki session I was almost a different person. I didn’t “sweat the small stuff” and the overall sense of peacefulness I felt was amazing. Highly recommend it.

  3. Avatar Lisa Gessert on April 20, 2020 at 8:31 am

    stress levels are high right now..great advice!

  4. Avatar Diane Quintana on April 20, 2020 at 9:06 am

    Love this Janet! I came across a card (years ago) that had a quote about worrying on the front. At the time, my oldest son was learning how to drive. It says ” worrying does not empty tomorrow of its’ troubles, it empties today of its’ strength”. I keep that card tacked on my bulletin board.I read it if I start down the worrying path. Your suggestions to combat worrying are marvelous. Thank you for reposting this.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 20, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Ooh, I love that! So powerful! Thank you for sharing that.

  5. Avatar Seana Turner on April 20, 2020 at 9:21 am

    This is such a stressful time, and so many small business owners are seeing their income stream dry up. I’m glad to see posts like these that acknowledge the power of stress, and how much damage it can do. I don’t even think we always realize how much stress we are carrying, and the toll that is taking on our health. I agree with Tracy and believe that prayer helps put things in perspective, as well as all the other suggestions you have made. Just getting outside to see the sunshine (if it is shining!) can help as well.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 20, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      For me, seeing the sunshine makes all the difference in the world. It’s helped me to realize that, so when I’m down, I can usually attribute it to the weather. Now I just need a trick to shake it off when that happens.

  6. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on April 20, 2020 at 9:49 am

    I find that adding a walk or two around the neighborhood each day helps me reduce my stress. Being in nature is important to me, so keeping plants and an outside view near my desk also helps.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 20, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      I have no plants, but I also take a couple of neighbourhood walks most days (dogs are good for that!) and love the view from my desk.

      • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 20, 2020 at 12:46 pm

        Just realized that’s not entirely true – I bought a poinsettia before Christmas that is still going strong.

  7. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on April 20, 2020 at 10:12 am

    Ding, ding, ding! So much of what you said resonated with me. Worry and anxiety can result in us doing the exact opposite of what we need. Some of that doing what isn’t best for us happens when we stop being mindful of our choices. For me, when I’m aware, I ingest the foods that are good for me. When I’m at the height of worry, that breaks down. Meditating, doing yoga, walking outside help me practice my mindful muscles. Is it foolproof? No. I’m human. But they do help as great reminders and practice during my day. They help me return to healthier, positive habits.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 20, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      You’re so right about worry and anxiety leading us to the opposite behaviours of what we need – I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I know when I’m feeling stressed out, I tend to take shorter walks to “get it over with” when in fact a longer walk will do wonders for my state of mind.

  8. Avatar Nancy Haworth on April 20, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for these helpful tips, Janet! I find that exercising and eating healthy help me to manage worry. The actions you describe in this blog can be especially important for everyone during this Coronavirus pandemic.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 20, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      I thought so and am glad I remembered I’d written it! One of the downsides of blogging for so long is that you lose track of your older content.

  9. Avatar Ronn Eisenberg on April 20, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Oh boy! You are so spot on. A friend of mine used to say if worrying helped you wouldn’t have to keep doing it. But we’re only human.
    I don’t think I could stop worrying if something is really pulling at me. I might bite my nails or turn to comfort food. Here’s what does help. I feel better after I exercise. I have my go- to circle that I’ll share with, and I’ll meditate or pray. I find that always helps.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      Exercise, meditation and prayer seem to be popular coping strategies. Glad you’ve found a few that work for you that are healthier options than nail-biting or overeating! (I know you didn’t say overeating, just trying to be dramatic…)

  10. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on April 20, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Excellent strategies, Janet. I’d add one more — share your vulnerability with clients. I think we have such a temptation to put our Best Face(book) Forward, and the problem is that people end up comparing their “insides” to everyone else’s “outsides” and it creates more distress. Talking to my mastermind group and sharing with my friends and colleagues makes me feel more at ease. Other than that, I’m walking. Lots and lots of walking. I have logged enough miles to get halfway to you in Canada, Janet! But I think it’s getting a teeny bit easier each day.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 21, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      That’s a really good one, Julie. Letting our clients know what we’re going through not only helps relieve stress; it’s also a good way to show your authenticity and grow your relationships. I too am finding it’s getting easier as we all settle into this lifestyle.

  11. Avatar Janet Schiesl on April 21, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I see myself in several on the list. A couple of needs: I need to eat a little better and I need to do more exercise. I have taken up meditation and it has really helped my stress level.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 21, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      I’d like to learn to meditate – it’s very hard for me to just “be” and not be doing something.

  12. Deb Lee Deb Lee on April 27, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    The one thing that really helps me to destress is cleaning. Or, cleaning and organizing. Those two activities keep my brain occupied and gives me control of the things around me. By the time I’m finished, I’m too tired to worry! ?

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on April 28, 2020 at 12:30 pm

      That’s a great idea and you’re killing two birds with one stone. (Are we still allowed to say that or will PETA come after me?)

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