When you’re struggling with your mental health, even simple tasks like showering or exercising can become overwhelming. Getting through the day turns into a regular struggle, and every decision starts to feel like it’s impossible to make. How are you supposed to live your life when you’re in a mental state like this?
One of the most powerful things you can do to not only improve your mental health, but to help you get through difficult times, is to establish a routine. Having a set of daily habits that you always keep up allows you to minimize the amount of choices you make in a day, reduce stress, and ensure that there’s dedicated time in your day for all the things you need to do to keep yourself healthy, both physically and mentally.
Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from having a daily routine!
Having a routine that you stick to every day is a very powerful way to help you reduce your anxiety. Familiarity leads to comfort for many people, and having a set of tasks that you go through the same way at the same time every day can lead to you feeling a lot more comfortable in your life. When your mind and body know what to expect at any given time, you can cut out a lot of stressful uncertainty from your life and help yourself to relax.
Additionally, when you have a set time for addressing all of the things you need to do over the course of your day, this can help you to stay more organized and keep on top of the items on your to-do list that aren’t daily tasks, which reduces stress as well by helping you feel more in control and less overwhelmed by the things you need to get done.
Building Healthy Habits
Self care is crucial to maintaining your mental health, but self care isn’t always about face masks and massages. Often, the truly effective forms of self care have more to do with the menial, daily tasks you do to take care of yourself, like bathing, keeping a clean home, eating nutritious meals, getting physical exercise, and doing things like journaling or meditating to help you clear your mind.
Having a daily routine makes it much easier to build these habits and keep them up over time. For example, if it’s a part of your daily routine to make yourself a healthy lunch before you leave for work in the morning, you’re much more likely to eat healthy meals regularly throughout the week. Without a routine, it becomes easier to drop these habits and end up with habits that do much less good for your mental health.
Getting plenty of good quality sleep is incredibly important to how you feel every day. You’ve probably noticed how different your mood is after a good night’s sleep versus a poor one. Sleeping can be difficult for people with mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and one of the things you’ll hear as a recommendation for improving how you sleep, along with avoiding blue light and evening meditation, is to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
Without a daily routine established, keeping up a sleep schedule can be hard! You sleep in some days, go to bed late other days, and overall throw your circadian rhythm out of whack, making it even harder to fall asleep and wake up easily. Keeping a routine in other parts of your life can make it less of a struggle to have a nighttime routine in which you go to bed and get up at the same time every day, and before long you’ll be sleeping much better!
Burnout is one of the less pleasant results of high stress, and it unfortunately affects many people. It’s the culmination of stress and exhaustion, often related to a demanding job, that leads to poor self esteem, lack of motivation, negative outlook, and poor interpersonal relationships. Over time, burnout can even have negative effects on the body as well, as mental exhaustion turns into physical exhaustion.
Having a daily routine can help to combat burnout not only by making it easier for you to be productive at work and in your life, but by building in time for you to take breaks and make time for yourself. For instance, it could be a part of your daily routine to go on a walk for 30 minutes during your lunch break every day, or to stop work for good at a specific time of night. Doing these things can help you to feel less overwhelmed by your job and your other responsibilities.
Although good habits like these can take some time to build, investing the time and effort into creating a daily routine is well worth it when you see the positive impacts it can have on your mental health. Combined with professional treatment, like the kind you can receive through clinical trials with the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research, a daily routine can have you feeling like a new person.