A routine is a consistent practice of certain activities, often done at a particular time or a particular order. Routines can be beneficial in many different aspects of life and come in many different forms. You may find that you have a weekly routine, a daily routine, or even different routines for different days of the week! The goal of a routine is that it helps keep you organized, focused, and set realistic expectations of your time without becoming overwhelming.
An important part of emotional and physical wellbeing includes figuring out how to structure your time in a way that is healthy and sustainable. This blog post explores the mental health benefits of establishing a routine that works for you!
Why Establishing A Routine Is Important for Your Mental Health!
1. A routine can help you set manageable goals
Without an understanding of what you want to accomplish and how you’d like to reach your goals, it’s easy to end up feeling like you’ve invested lots of emotional energy without actually accomplishing what was most important to you. Routines can help you to set realistic expectations of yourself and manage your time in the way feels more beneficial to you.
2. A routine can help you feel less overwhelmed
Establishing a routine can also help to provide comfort and consistency when things feel overwhelming or out of control. A routine can help to provide a way to fill unstructured time that can trigger feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression as well as behaviors such as avoidance and isolation. By taking time to develop a routine that works for you, you may find that day to day tasks feel less overwhelming or unexpected.
3. A routine can help you take better care of yourself
Without a routine, tasks like waking up, eating meals, and exercising consistently can easily be missed. Establishing a routine can help you to priotize self-care habits that are beneficial to your emotional and physical health. An established routine may help you feel less tired in the morning, eat more consistently during the day, feel better able to engage in your relationships, and find time to engage in hobbies or activities that you enjoy!
What Should I Include In My Routine?
When setting up a routine that supports your mental health, consider what is most important to you when you think about how you want to use your time. Are there certain times of the day you feel most overwhelmed? Would you like to include any specific activities that help reduce feelings of anxiety or burnout? Are there tasks you consistently want to get done but find yourself avoiding? Are you getting enough sleep, exercise, and time to eat during the day?
Some of the considerations I often talk with clients about when considering their routines include:
- Grocery shopping, meal preparation
- Social activities, clubs, hobbies
- Spiritual practices
- Cleaning, chores, or errands
- Work and school activities
- Bedtime and wake-up time
- Exercise or physical activity
- Taking care of family or pets
- Time spent with loved ones
- Personal hygiene activities
Establishing A Routine That Works For You!
It can take time to figure out a routine that works well for you. It may be helpful to experiment with different activities and experiences to figure out what help you feel balanced. As you find new interests, patterns, and experiences you can adjust your routine accordingly!
Using a journal or planner is a great way to begin establishing a routine. Having something visual to represent your daily goals can be helpful in providing accountability.
It may be tempting to try and fit too many activities into your day. Remember that a routine isn’t about being “productive”, but about maintaining a balance that is crucial to emotional and physical well being. Your routine should be realistic and sustainable, and focused on what is best for you!
Ready To Get Started?!
Would you like support as you begin to build routines that support your mental health as a student, professional, or young adult? Do you notice that you’re often unsatisfied or that your time feels like it is out of your control?
Therapy can bring you the confidence and clarity you need to feel like you can move forward with your life. I want to help you find the balance you need to make sustainable changes and feel more confident in your ability to take care of yourself. Let’s work together to make things feel more manageable so that you can get back to focusing on what matters most to you!