My empty bottle of Malibu...

I was talking to a friend the other day about a course she’d been on. It had loosely been about mental health- helping others; but in doing so it taught self analysis tools to foster understanding and self awareness.

One of the tools she was taught was called the stress bottle. The concept was that you draw yourself an actual bottle (mine used to be a Malibu bottle, I find it helps to be realistic!); then you put into it all the things that cause you sleepless nights and stress. You make the segments different sizes to represent how much they affect your life.

I don’t suppose it matters if they’re strips or bubbles or stars as long as they’re representative.

The reality is that at some point continuing to add more to the bottle will cause it to overflow - and that’s when we become over stressed and unable to cope.

The trick then is to focus on what will free up the most space in your bottle- you could look at then as quick wins but most likely it will be like eating frogs (I think I’ve mentioned that before).

I try not to get too stressed, often unsuccessfully, and I have lots of tools for managing it. It did, however, occur to me that the same could be done to manage your time- you could either size the segments by how much time they’ll take; how much they’re stressing your out not getting done; or how urgent they are.

It’s another way to create a ‘list’ and manage your priorities- especially good if you’re a visual person and the thought of linear lists scare you. I’m going to experiment with my Malibu bottle... good luck with yours!




Danielle Thompson