Looking after your Mental Health.

Working, cooking, working out, and taking care of the family are just a few of the things that we do every day, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It can feel impossible to mark everything off your to-do list, especially if you’re struggling with a mental health condition like depression or anxiety.

By establishing a daily routine, we can set aside time to take care of tasks and focus on our mental and physical health. Routines are essential at every stage of life—from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. They help us cope with change, create healthy habits, improve interpersonal relationships, and reduce stress. Studies have shown that daily routines have far-reaching mental health benefits, from reducing anxiety and managing depression.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit, and the same goes for a routine. If you set and stick to a new plan for three weeks, there’s a good chance you’ll stick to the routine for a long time. When it comes to mental health, here’s how a daily routine can make a significant difference. 

Routines help alleviate anxiety.

To cope with anxiety it’s essential to sit down, identify what’s worrying you, and address your concerns. When we create daily routines through exercising or changing our sleeping patterns, this allows our bodies to adjust and know what to expect.

The same goes for mental routines—creating predictable scenarios through habits allows your mind to adjust, understand what to expect, and alleviate anxiety over the unknown. Journaling is a great way to establish a regular schedule, especially for those struggling with the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Journaling at the same time every day can help you start a process—or routine—of mental restoration and wellbeing.

Routines promote healthy habits.

For people with busy schedules, daily plans can promote healthy lifestyle habits. Simple changes like packing your lunch before work can help you eat a more balanced diet while going to bed at the same time every night can promote a consistent sleep schedule.

Additionally, set aside time to focus on your physical health. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every day to enjoy the benefits of exercise. If you’re short on time, scheduling a few minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can boost your self-esteem, improve your mood, and provide numerous mental health benefits.

Routines help combat burnout.

Many of us experience stress at times. For those who feel extreme levels of stress on a regular basis, you may need to stop and take stock of your work/life balance. The gradual accumulation of stress leads to burnout, which can cause mental and emotional exhaustion, poor interpersonal relationships, and lost productivity at work. While it affects everyone differently, burnout can lead to serious health conditions and mental health issues over time. No matter how busy you are, there are different ways to prevent and combat burnout. If you’re on the road to burnout, try making the following changes to your daily schedule:

  • Stick to a morning routine.
  • Avoid hitting the snooze button.
  • Take periodical breaks throughout the day.
  • Schedule time to be alone.
  • Take note of one important thing you’re grateful for.
  • Stop work at the same time every day.

How to Create a Healthy Routine

Changing your daily routine all at once usually doesn’t lead to long-term results. Instead, pick a few small things each week to work on. You might choose to cut out a bad habit, like spending too much time on social media or to add something new and positive, like spending more time with family members.

Making changes to your daily life can be hard, and you might forget to follow your routine every once in a while. You don’t have to be perfect—if you miss a day, try to do better the next day.

Daily Routines and Mental Illness

While routines can improve your mental health and provide wide-reaching psychological benefits—from alleviating symptoms of mental disorders to managing insomnia—they aren’t a cure-all for mental health issues. In addition to creating a routine, individuals experiencing mental health symptoms should explore other treatment options, including therapy. Working with a qualified counsellor can help individuals stuggling with poor mental health learn valuable coping mechanisms, manage symptoms, and build resilience. As one of the more effective forms of therapy, counselling helps clients take control of their emotional health by changing patterns of thoughts and behaviors. It can also help understand why you feel the way you do. In doing so, you can gain a deeper understanding of self. Moving forward, this can give you the chance to make more positive life choices.

At Serendipity Counselling we know how challenging it can be to stick to a daily schedule. Best intentions get lost in the living of life. We often check in with our clients on the foundations to their good physical and mental health – Rest, Nutrition and Exercise. Often one or more have fallen by the wayside. Our years of experience have prepared us to offer  dedicated counselling through our team of experienced, qualified counsellors and psychotherapists. Whether you’re taking the first step in your mental health journey or looking to come back to counselling, an experienced therapist at Serendipity Counselling York can help you manage your symptoms and develop coping strategies. 

Please contact us to arrange a free initial telephone consultation. We can talk through how counselling can help you and if you decide to book in we can usually arrange an appointment within a few days. Contact us at admin@serendipityyork.co.uk

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