Work, paying bills, cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, getting enough sleep and exercising are just some of the things we do every day and it is very easy to be overwhelmed, especially at this point in time. It can feel impossible to get everything done, let alone take care of yourself – especially if you are already struggling with a mental health concern like depression or anxiety. By creating routines, we organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them.
Try these tips for success when establishing your daily routine:
- Create the routine that is right for you. We all have different schedules and daily responsibilities. No two routines will be exactly the same and it is important to recognize what works best for you. All healthy routines should include eating a healthy diet, physical activity and getting enough sleep.
- Start small. Pick one small thing each week to work on. It could be adding something new and positive, or cutting out a bad habit. Small changes add up.
- Add to your existing habits. You probably already have some habits worked into your daily routine, like drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Try adding new habits to an existing one – if you would like to read more, set aside a few minutes to read while you drink your coffee.
- Make swaps. Try to identify things you do throughout the day that might not be the healthiest choice. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up and you would normally grab a sugary treat or drink, trying going for a walk instead to get your blood pumping.
- Make time for things you enjoy. Even if it’s just for a few minutes each day, set aside time to do something you find fun or relaxing.
- Reward yourself for small victories. Set goals and celebrate when you reach them! Have you added exercise to your weekly routine and worked out every day as planned? Treat yourself! Watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see or enjoy a small, healthy dessert after dinner.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day. Making life changes can be hard and you might forget to do something that is new to your routine every once in a while. You don’t have to be perfect, just pick up your routine the next day.
At Johnson Health Center, we provide mental health services at each of our primary care locations. For a list of services and to find the office nearest you, click here.