Work, dealing with COVID 19, managing your bills, keeping up your household, watching the news, making food for your family, taking care of your children, cleaning, staying in touch with your loved ones, are just some of the things everyone does each day. Some of us might be feeling overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all of the areas we are managing. Sometimes, it feels impossible to get everything done and we might forget to take care of ourselves, especially our mental health needs. Creating routines helps us to organize our daily lives in such a way that taking care of ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done. It can take anywhere from 66 days to more than 8 months for a routine to become automatic for a person.
One simple way to manage stress and anxiety is to maintain a healthy lifestyle including eating healthy and regular meals, developing a consistent exercise routine, and sleeping the same hours every day is linked to improved mental and physical health.
People with more daily routines have lower levels of distress when facing problems with their health or negative life events.
Here are some tips for developing a healthy routine…
- Create a Routine that is Right for You
No two people are alike and no two routines will be alike either. Find what works for you and adapt your plan as you need to make changes. Remember your routine might look a little different each day depending upon your needs of the day.
- Start Small
Start off by making one change and working on that change for a week. That small change will hopefully have a ripple effect and you can add additional changes as you go.
- Add to Your Existing Great Habits.
Find those habits that you already do and expand upon them. For instance, if you love to walk and you usually walk one mile a night. Add distance to your walk, add an additional walk to your day, or add a different activity to your day.
- Plan Ahead
If you know that a certain activity or situation that adds stress to your life or if you go on vacation, plan ahead. How can you keep your routine as consistent as possible and how can you plan to stay on track.
- Make Room for Things that You Enjoy
Making time for yourself to relax. Even if it is only 10 or 15 minutes. Listen to some of your favorite music, walk in the park, watch a movie, talk on the phone.
- Get Back on Track
If you miss a day, get back to your routine. The more you practice your routine, the better you will get at it.
- Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself.
Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics. Evaluate your routine. Ask yourself is it working for you and make adjustments to fit your life.
For more information regarding healthy routines and mental health contact the Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley Prevention Team at 937-461-4800.