You know the saying, “Humans are creatures of habit”?
That might be one of the absolute truths about humanity. Sure, spontaneous moments and surprises are a nice change of pace. It’s fun to try something out of the ordinary and have a new experience. But leaving your entire schedule or plan up in the air sounds a little nerve-wracking, to say the least.
Highly successful individuals stress the importance of routines in their daily lives. It seems like every entrepreneur is up before the sun rises, drinking coffee, reading a few pages, and visualizing their day. While you don’t need to be up before the rest of the world to have a great life, creating an intentional routine is a good idea.
They’re not only useful for busy entrepreneurs, either. People trying to overcome mental illness or substance use disorders know the importance of routine. Consistency is crucial when it comes to managing mental health, from reducing anxiety and depression to maintaining sobriety. Adhering to a routine helps you maintain mental stability.
Do you realize the importance of routine? If you have a regular routine you already know how helpful a set of good habits can be. If you don’t have a system in place already, though, there’s never been a better time to reset and start up a routine. Routine is already a part of your life whether you’re paying attention or not so it’s better to be intentional with yours.
Why is Routine So Important?
At its most basic, routine is a necessary part of making sure things happen. You need some sort of routine to maintain your responsibilities. You have to get to work on time every day, take care of your tasks, and get some self-care in. Those in recovery need to make sure there’s enough time to make it to things like therapy and meetings, too.
There needs to be at least a little bit of routine and order in your life or you would never get anything done. It gives you a framework to navigate as you move forward throughout the day. It’s also important for the times that the unexpected happens and life feels chaotic and out of control. Despite what goes on in the world, there’s comfort and consistency in routine.
Relying on Routine to Manage Mental Health
Developing a routine is crucial for anyone trying to manage their mental health. Life can be chaotic and stressful at times. Unpredictability tends to aggravate symptoms of mental illness and put people in recovery at risk of relapse. Creating a routine ensures you have some consistency to fall back on when it feels like life is completely out of your hands.
Take the massive disruptions in 2020 for example. Everyone experienced a collective disturbance of their daily routine. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of routine you had, there was at least some disruption in your day-to-day activities.
Those who rely on the gym for exercise found themselves at a loss when fitness facilities closed. People who relied on therapy or support groups were overwhelmed at the sudden loss of in-person meetings. Everyone who had a routine in place that kept them on track found themselves at a loss for what to do for a while.
The impact on people’s mental health was evident. Many tried to develop a new routine that fits with their particular circumstances. Despite the restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic, they found a way to make it work. These individuals still sought the structure of a daily routine even when they had to stay at home.
Their routine created some normalcy in a world that felt anything but normal. This small bit of stability offered some relief from the day to day uncertainty. If you weren’t able to make use of a regular routine, now is a great time to try something new. What does a good routine look like?
What Does Your Routine Look Like?
Whether you realize it or not, you likely adhere to at least some sort of routine. Most people operate on autopilot during their day-to-day lives. Think about it. What a usual day in your life looks like? When do you go to bed and wake up? What kinds of meals do you eat? Where do you go throughout the day?
Is there a general structure to your day or are you more at the mercy of where the day takes you? If you’re still trapped in the cycle of mental illness or substance abuse, your day is likely dictated by your symptoms. Oftentimes you’re simply doing the best you can to get through each day as it comes. But building a routine is an empowering way to take control of your day.
Creating a routine is difficult at first, especially if you’ve never tried it before. Maybe you’ve tried to implement one in the past but gave up if you struggled to stick with it. There’s no right or wrong way to set a routine, though. The important thing is that you find a set of practices that works for you.
Resetting Your Routine for the New Year
Are you starting the new year still stuck in the cycle of your symptoms? Have you taken steps to manage your mental health before or have you been nervous to ask for help? If you’ve never asked for professional help before, or you have and need additional assistance, you’re not alone. The pressure and stress of last year pushed many people to their breaking point.
It’s never too late to reach out for help. You might feel nervous about seeking professional help but there’s no better way to start off the new year than taking control of your mental health.
Residential treatment programs like the one at Lifeskills teach you how to build a routine that works for you. When managing your mental health becomes the focal point of your life, you lose sight of the things you need to do to have a successful, independent life. Individualized treatment programs at Lifeskills can teach you to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.
Lifeskills is a specialized mental health and substance abuse treatment facility that can help. We offer multiple approaches to treatment that fit your individual needs. Whether it’s your first time in treatment or you’ve tried it before, Lifeskills will support you every step along the way. Make the decision to address your mental health and reach out to us today!