Routines are important and can create a sense of purpose in your everyday life. Daily routines are known to have mental health benefits that can help instill healthy habits and reduce stress. When it comes to your mental health, having even the simplest routine can make a significant impact in how you feel.
It typically takes 21 days to form a new habit, so it's important to stick with it for at least that long; it may seem like it's taking forever, but in time, this new change will turn into an old habit.
Change Can Be Stressful
A big change can be stressful. It's important to set small, short-term goals when trying to build a new or better habit and to not get discouraged if you miss a day or two. It can sometimes be easier if you replace a bad habit with a good habit instead of just eliminating the bad habit alone; that way, your mind still has something to focus on.
It's also important not to overdue it with changing or trying too many things at once. I recommend starting with one or two tasks until they become habit, then continuing to start new ones, one or two at a time.
Start by sticking to a morning routine, like waking up at a specific time, or commit to eating a healthy snack at least once a day. Little things like that can go a long way when it comes to being healthy.
Plan Mental Health Breaks
A daily routine can create a sense of structure. When you plan your day around a routine, you can then prioritize other aspects and events throughout the day. Even if you have nothing planned for the day, following your routine can bring you a sense of familiarity.
You can also plan mental health breaks throughout your day to help you reduce stress and feel less overwhelmed. These mental health breaks can consist of simply stepping away from a task, writing in a journal, or completing a 5-minute meditation. Simple breaks can hep you feel restored and re-energized and allow you to continue onto the next task without you feeling sluggish or disengaged.
What Else Can I Do?
While routines can help you feel less anxious and alleviate stress, it's not a cure for mental health. If you feel that you need to talk to someone, therapy is a great place to start. A therapist can help you take control of your overall mentality and emotions and help you build better habits.
Support groups can also be helpful. In a safe environment, you are able to share your experiences with others who have similar stories to help make you feel less alone.