Using Cheat Sheets To Remember to use your tools

Today I want to talk about

Why it is so hard to use the tools that we know about?

I had a challenging situation this past weekend and I was feeling a lot of anxiety about an upcoming event and was spinning in my mind and thoughts and emotions about what to do with the situation.

And then I was like,

“Wait, I have tools to handle this!”

And I actually went back to some of my old podcast episodes.

I listened to, I think three of them.

  • One was, this is not my responsibility.
  • The other one was on how to feel your feelings.
  • And I know there was one more, but I can’t remember it off the top of my head.

And what I found very interesting is that as I listened to these podcast episodes and to the tools that I actually teach other people to use,

I was so confused.

why didn’t instantaneously think,

“Oh, I should use this tool”


“I should have this thought.”

We learn a lot as parents

On how to try and manage ourselves as well as how to try and manage our children and as we have compassion for ourself and see that, wow, it’s not always easy to remember or to use the tools that I have.

It might also help us to have more compassion for our children who we also try to teach tools.

I know I tend to get frustrated with my boys when they don’t use the tools or information that I know they have.

What can we do about this?

Why is it important to be aware of this?

I think what helps me is to

first have compassion for myself

then also to be prepared.

So for instance, what I could do is write down on a note

my top three tools for when I’m feeling anxiety

and I could even just have the names of my podcast episodes.

One great thing about my podcast episodes is that they’re short, so I could easily review them and remember the tools and get a refresher if I need it.

Having those tools written out will help me in the moment to remember –

I can use these two or three tools right now in this situation!

Cheat Sheets also work for when you get sick!

I do this also for sickness, so I have this cheat sheet of what to do when someone’s getting sick.

Bryson, my youngest, tends to get a lot of sinus infections, and the last time he had one, our nurse practitioner was like, here’s what you do –

Next time he starts getting symptoms and she listed off three different, very specific things to do before it even gets bad.

And I wrote them down and I put them in our over-the-counter medicine box.

And honestly, three times now, he started to get what normally would lead into a sinus infection, or at least a pretty icky sinusy goopy time of life.

And instead, we’ve done these three easy tips. I’ll share them with you just in case.

  • Sudafed
  • Mucinex with a lot of water.
  • Saline spray.

We had known that, but usually wouldn’t start using it until he actually felt really, really icky and had icky gross boogers.

So now when he starts to feel that and he knows it, like he shakes his head and his head is stuffy, he’s like, mom, I need to take that right away.

And, honestly, he hasn’t gotten sick since we’ve used those three things right at the beginning of his symptoms.

We only have to use them for about two days, and then he’s better.

Feeling Anxious?  Look at your Notecard!

When I start to feel anxious next time, I could have a little note card and remember those three tools and use them in the moment and avoid a whole morning of  a lot of turmoil in my body and in my mind.

Tools don’t help, if you don’t remember to use them.

you probably already have a lot of great tools, and maybe the challenge is remembering which ones to use in which circumstance.

So maybe in your notes app on your phone.

You could list anxiety and put three tools underneath it.

Or Angry at my child, and list three tools underneath it that you know can help you in the moment.