Just Incase Syndrome

What on earth is ‘just incase syndrome’?
Who came up with this and what does it mean?

How much time do we waste everyday – just incase?
How many of us live a life with this ‘just incase’?

What is it that we keep doing ‘just incase’?

How does our body respond to our ‘just incase’ way of life?
How do our friends and family put up with our ‘just incase’?
How often do we drive others crazy with our ‘just incase’?
How much stress do we create with our ‘just incase’?

Just incase of what?

The following are all taken from real life examples –

How many emails do we hold on to – just incase?
How many old utility bills do we hold on to – just incase?
How many old letters do we hang on to – just incase?
How many receipts do we have in our wallet – just incase?

How many carrier bags have we collected – just incase?
How many old records have we got stashed away – just incase?
How many books are on those shelves – just incase?
How many buttons have we got in that old tin – just incase?
How many belts we never wear are we keeping – just incase?
How many shoes do we really need for that one weekend – just incase?

WHY do we always pack extra luggage on holiday – just incase?
WHY do we pay extra surcharge for all our just incase baggage?
WHY do we over shop at the supermarket – just incase?
WHY do we cook extra for our guests everytime – just incase?
WHY do we have supersize pots for guests that have been sitting around for years – just incase?
WHY do we have the posh dinner set for visitors that have never come – just incase?

WHY have we got tins of food for the next air raid – just incase?
WHY have we got sand bags hanging around for the flood – just incase?
WHY have we got empty jars and canisters never used – just incase?
WHY have we got that old manky teapot that is broken – just incase?
WHY have we got knitting needles when we stopped knitting 20 years ago – just incase?

WHY have we built storage in our garage taking space – just incase?
WHY is our loft full of old stuff we think we need – just incase?
WHY have we got old wires and nails and screws – just incase?
WHY is our first aid box full of out of date stuff – just incase?
WHY do we have all this memorabilia stuff in our house – just incase?
WHY have we got a box full of old photos we never look at – just incase?

WHY have we got a suitcase full of baby clothes – just incase?
WHY are our cupboards full of clothes we never wear – just incase?
WHY have we got a room full of handbags and shoes – just incase?
WHY is our make-up drawer full to the brim – just incase?

WHY does it bother us when others are not into this ‘just incase’?
WHY do we feel to justify our ‘just incase’ syndrome?
WHY are we wasting so much time with this ‘just incase’ stuff?
WHY is ‘just incase’ a priority in our life and driving us nuts?
WHY do we pay attention and live a life of ‘just incase’?

Who is telling us about this ‘just incase’ stuff?
What voice in our head feeds us this nonsense?

Dear World

How much effort do we put into something – just incase?
How often does our ‘just incase’ put us into a spin for no reason?

What if the ‘just incase’ way of living is draining us?
What if this ‘just incase’ stuff is not needed?
What if our need to hold onto things ‘just incase’ is holding back our evolution?
What if our ‘just incase’ keeps us in fear and stops us living in the moment?
What if taking responsibility and being sensible in our approach to life means we can end our ‘just incase’ habit?

What if the ‘just incase’ mentality gives us a tension in our body?
What if the ‘just incase’ behaviour keeps us constantly anxious?
What if ‘just incase’ stops us breathing naturally in every moment?
What if letting go of this ‘just incase’ way empowers us to get real?

What if we stopped worrying about what others think?
What if we just trust that if the button falls off we will be ok?

What if we feel what to eat and not go into the ‘just incase’ drama to take over our dining experience?

What if it has never happened and probably never will that someone turns up and there is no food, so we can happily let go of our ‘just incase’?

What if we learned to deal with each situation as it arises with a sensible approach and so those thousands of emails we are holding on to, ‘just incase’ may be ok to let go of?

What if we stopped worrying about our mother checking if we kept the old plant pot ‘just incase’ she notices on her next visit?

What if we know that the weather will be fine so no need for those extra bits?

What if we can feel what we need and what we don’t need?

What if our ‘just incase’ syndrome is just a game in our head that keeps us losing and not evolving?

Could it be that Simple?





Comments 19

  1. Just in case is all about making choices around fear rather then love. Living in the “What might happen” rather than the present moment.

    It creates instant dis-connection to what is going on around you, and your body tenses up because it is dealing with something that is not happening.

    When we are dis-connected to what is happening around us we really have no idea of what to do, creating more fear, supporting the “just in case” stuff.

    Simple Living Global’s Back to Basics program has supported me, with simple suggestions to stay more connected to myself.
    When l am with myself, and listening to what my body is communicating, l know exactly what to do in any situation.

    This process takes time to re-learn, but it can totally knock out doubt and the “just in case syndrome”.

    1. I agree Ken, a moment of doubt or uncertainty is an opening for my mind to jump in with all sorts of reasons and what if’s but staying with my body and feeling what is needed, what will support me and what will not will bring the truth about what to keep and what to let go of in all areas of life. Sometimes I make mistakes but that’s ok it’s just a learning.

  2. Yes I know this one well – ‘just in case’ – I used to take extra food with me when I was out and about just in case I got hungry, I would buy stocks of toiletries or other household goods at home just in case I ran out, and I would do things like go to bed early one night just in case I would get tired the next day (without asking my body what it needed). In fact I could give you many examples of just in case – and all the while the bag I carry for work would get heavier with all the items I could put in it ‘just in case’, and my drawers and cupboards at home would get fuller ‘just in case’.

    Last year I moved to London and downsized radically to a small place. This meant letting go of the ‘just in case’ items and keeping things really simple. And, it has been a breath of fresh air – not being hampered by ‘just in case’ items. I still catch those ‘just in case’ moments, but they are rare nowadays.

  3. This blog had me laughing out loud with its truth.

    Just this week my husband and I were asking ourselves why we still have excess crockery for those ‘just in case’ dinners for large numbers of people that we never have!

    That just in case thing is sneaky and needs constant review…

  4. Seriously, I was Mrs Just In Case.

    Always thinking ahead.

    It was at its peak when I had kids and felt I needed equipment for every eventuality.

    My husband has been a great counter balance to this. He will just leave the house confident if that button falls off no one will die and we will figure it out. And of course, we do.

    I have learned a lot from him and reading this blog I realise the impact my just in case obsession must have had.

    I also realise how much tension and anxiousness a constant ‘just in case’ mentality brings.

    Thank you for shining a light on this often overlooked area. It’s a big one in my book.

  5. What would happen if l did not have everything l need? A great question to feel. It allows me to go deeper into the, l am not enough thing.

    Is that why l keep stuff just in case? Because l do not feel like l have what l need to survive? But it is impossible to accumulate all the stuff l might need to survive.

    Suppose l have all the things that l truly need, all the things that l think l do not have?

    All l need to do to have everything, is to connect to a place inside of me. A place l have always had and always will.

    When l can do this everything is given to me. Thank you.

  6. Love this blog, chuckled as I read it nodding at the familiarity of some on your lists. I laughed at the carrier bag one, I used to collect carrier bags.. I had bags of them, thankfully that one has been dealt with and is no more.

    I have definitely held onto things just in case.. I may not find another one, something as good as this, it might come in handy.. usually never does, I’ll try it on again.. oh it does quite suit so back in the wardrobe it goes only not to be worn.

    Over the last few years I have cleared out many things and got rid of most of my clutter but I know there is more to do and it is those just incase things, empty jars in the cupboard is one, cushions is another. Reading this blog is a great prompt to get to it and get it done.. keeping it Simple. Thank you.

  7. If I set up my life to be ready for anything, I can spend all my time preparing for life rather then living it.

    Why do children get annoyed when you tell them they need to wear mittens or boots when it is cold out? Is it because they sense the place where this request is coming from?

    It was a struggle to get my children to dress warm enough in the winter, they grew up in a place that can get very cold.

    I was was walking my young children to the bus and there was puddle of water that had a thin coat of ice on it. Of course they immediately went right towards it.

    My first reaction was to say no it is not safe. But suppose I allowed my child to walk out on the ice and possible break through and get wet? Which situation opens up the possibility of more evolution?

    My son did break through the ice. What a thorough lesson in ice, water, and cold. And a lesson for me. What was more important, making the bus or my child learning about life?

    I found that if my child experiences cold hands and feet, they start to understand why they need to wear mittens and boots. Rather then listen to their boring parents.

    When we do things just ‘in case’ are we limiting our experience of life?
    Living from a place of fear rather than, bring it on!
    I want to experience everything that life has to offer!

    1. Great observations Ken – particularly loved the bit about letting children learn about life.

      I realise writing this that I still have just in case syndrome with my kids and the weather – I do not want them to be cold.

      My youngest son gets warm easily and, uninterrupted, would probably wear shorts all year.

      My eldest can feel exactly what to wear most days – he’ll know if it’s going to rain and if it will be mild even if it looks cold or the other way around.

      I am learning to listen and allow, whilst also inviting them always to keep their bodies warm!

  8. Why was the insurance concept invented? Is it all about just in case? Is it all about fear, not trusting the world?

    I lived in a rural area were there was much cooperation among people. When a barn needed to be built , a barn raising was organized, it was a day of community where work, food and play were shared. This is what happened before there was insurance. Their was a sense of responsibility for the people you lived with. What an amazing way to live, knowing that your neighbors are there for you.

    I do understand the importance of insurance in some cases, but when it is used irresponsibly. Like (I can do anything because I have insurance), it defeats the purpose of insurance.

    So why is insurance a growing multi billion dollar industry? You can buy insurance for literally anything.

    Are we losing trust in our fellow humans because of the state of our world? Or maybe not trusting ourselves?

    Simple Living Global’s Back to Basics program has supported me to realized that by taking true care of myself, my natural ability to trust myself and my fellow humans is restored.

    It makes sense if you are exhausted and on the floor and is easy to feel there is no support out there.

    But if we take the first step in truly supporting ourselves, we will find there is amazing support all around us.

    1. Ken this is such a wise observation about insurance. It really emphasises our relationship with trust/mis-trust.

      It was amazing to read about how barn raisings were organised when needed and I could feel the fun and togetherness in the shared endeavour – it’s clear everyone got something out of the purposefulness and community.

      I’m imagining what it would be like if we felt our neighbours were really there for us and in fact for it to be no big deal to ask for support.

      What a wonderful way to live and I bet it would have a massive impact on our trust and worry-about-what-might-happen levels.

  9. The just in case scenario is upon us. What we are afraid of is here. So has doing things just in case worked?

    It is time to deal with what is happening now. Doing things just in case is a way of just avoiding what needs to be done to in the present. Lets get on with it!

  10. Just the title of this blog makes me laugh.

    I know this is a digital footprint out into the world now but it has to be said for the record. I am the writer of this blog and no longer suffer with the just incase syndrome.

    However, in the past I had this huge issue called “just incase syndrome”.

    My luggage was so heavy and super stressfull on all my travels and it was so often that I used to dread having to travel because of the just incase events that I would make up in my mind that might happen, so I better pack this and that.
    I even recall paying a large fee at the airport to get my supersize suitcase through.

    Another thing was bags and boxes. Empty boxes was a must and a panic attack would start at the thought of letting go of any box that might just come in handy one day or be needed to return an item we no longer even have.

    It was so bad that I remember one house we had a triple garage full of boxes with nothing in them – all shapes and sizes.
    It makes no sense and it just created stress, which never allowed me the space to actually breathe and trust that life without empty boxes and jumbo size suitcases was going to support me.

    What a blessing to not only deal with this nonsense that I created but get a blog out and comment on it!

  11. I have had to pack for different business trips recently and noticed a bunch of just in case stuff creeping in.

    And I realise the extent of it depends on how much space I have given myself to pack.

    If it’s the right moment and I’m not in a rush then I just pick out what’s needed with care, but zero ceremony and little thought.

    If I’m last minute or I feel like I should be doing something else, then over-complication and over-thinking come in and I try to ‘work out’ what I might need. That leads to just in case packing and extra stuff creeps in to weigh me down.

    There is a balance, though, with being caring of myself in packing and not scrimping in an effort to pack light.

  12. Life without empty boxes. That is too funny, though it also shows the extent to which must in case syndrome can bite.

    Great to know this blog has been written by someone who has worked through it and come out the other side.

    That can be felt in the writing and it re-defines true expertise, in my book.

  13. This certainly brings back some memories.

    Both myself and my wife used to be part of the ‘just in-case’ program.

    Albeit in different ways, it still had the same effect – items that needed to be stored in our home that we really didn’t need, taking up space that we didn’t really have.

    We have both come a long way since those days and we are continually evaluating what we buy and keep in the house now.

    The ‘just in-case’ mentality is definitely one that is based around fear, fear of not having enough and/or fear of running out of something.

    Some may say that it is good to stock up, to make sure we have enough, but is it possible that that way of being actually drains us quicker because we are putting so much energy into something that we may not need or something that may not happen.

    One thing I have noticed in letting go of the need for the ‘just in-case’ program is that I know that I don’t need to have any just in-case items as I know I will be able to deal with any situation with what I do have.

    Is it possible that this ‘just in-case’ program is very insidious as it compels us to obtain things we don’t need?

    Is it possible that it creates tension in us because we feel that if we don’t have this extra ‘stuff’, we will be missing out?

    Is it possible that getting out of the ‘just in-case’ program is simply knowing and trusting that whatever we need will be given to us?

  14. I worked in a school and part of qualifying to work in a school was to take classes in how to interact with the children. It was a time when there was more publicity around child abuse and such things.

    We were told we could not touch a child because it might be considered abuse.

    I remember thinking what a ridicules rule, How can you not touch a child in some circumstances? So many times it has been so obvious to me that touching a child was the right thing to do.

    This rule came about because of the fear that something might happen. That we need to have this rule just in case.

    Yes we need to be aware of child abuse situations, but most people in the world are not child abusers.

    It makes me sad to see us making rules about not touching each other.

  15. I very much used to have the attitude that I would keep my distance from people – just incase they hurt me. With that attitude it meant that yes I would have friends, but I would always choose those that were safe or where the situations weren’t challenging or if a challenge presented itself, or things became uncomfortable, I would run off.

    Over the last few years, I have chosen to be more open in my relationships and what I have found has been extraordinary. The more that I stay open and am willing to face and deal with any uncomfortableness, the hurt does not last as long and there is a feeling of resilience within me, where I am more able to put any hurts into perspective and move on.

    This confirms that letting go of the Just incase Syndrome allows us to be open to others, rather than remaining closed down, guarded and hurt – which definitely does not allow us to grow and evolve.

  16. Our local supermarket brings out a Health Magazine for 2020.

    At the beginning there is a ‘tech’ section with the title “Apps for busy people”.

    Did we all know there is an App for people on the go and too busy to read a “fascinating’ article or view a video? They can save it and read or watch it later.

    How many of us have the ‘Just incase Syndrome’ and would an App like this ADD to our current state of mind where we think we might miss something?

    WHO creates these types of apps and what is the purpose really?

    Are the app creators on the front foot because they know there will be a demand coming?

    Is it designed to keep our already busy minds even more distracted and stimulated with another bit of tech software application?

    Is it a sign of the times that we need an App to rescue us in every way possible and keep us even more addicted to our screen time?

    Is it feeding our ‘Just incase syndrome’ as we really don’t want to miss anything, even though in reality we know we have zero time or space to entertain our minds with more ‘fascinating’ stuff, that the world of media puts out there for us on a daily basis?

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